Senator Mitchell Announces Bill for Property Tax Reform

June 10, 2015

Thank you all for being here today.

We’re here to talk about SCA 5, new legislation that will finally reform our commercial property tax system and make it fair.

The problems are thirty plus years in the making:

We have large corporations and wealthy commercial property investors that have used loopholes in the law to avoid paying their fair share.

We have large, multi-billion dollar corporations that actually have a competitive advantage over smaller start-ups simply based on when a property was purchased.

In short, we have a few businesses that are benefitting from far lower taxes than their neighbors and competitors.

That’s what this legislation is all about.

Here’s what it’s not about:

It’s not about homeowners, renter or agricultural property – we don’t touch that at all.

And it’s not about raising property tax rates.

And I must note, that when it comes to small businesses, this bill provides tax relief by reducing tangible personal property taxes on business equipment and fixtures.

We recognize that the vast majority of commercial property is assessed at or near fair market value.  What we are simply looking to do is take those few that are benefitting from under assessment and bring them in line with everyone else.

Let me give just one example of how this would work and why it’s needed:

In Century City, there’s an office building on Avenue of the Stars assessed at $65 per square foot. Immediately behind that building stands the Century Plaza Towers, which is assessed at $726 per square foot.

This is all in the same area; using the same roads and water mains and under the same police and fire protection.  But one office building is assessed at more than ten times the property value as another.

That doesn’t make any sense.

We’re here today to restore fairness and restore common sense.  I look forward to working with my colleagues and Senator Hancock to move this bill forward.

Thank you.