Tax Fairness Bill by Senator Beall Clears Committee

April 03, 2013

SACRAMENTO – Senator Jim Beall’s legislation to return about $2 million in lost property tax revenue to the cities of Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and the Town of Los Altos Hills was passed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance on Wednesday.

“Senate Bill 629 is about tax equity,’’ Beall said. “Property owners in these four cities have been dutifully paying their taxes for years but they are not receiving their rightful share of revenue returned to them by the state.’’

Cupertino, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and the Town of Los Altos Hills are the only cities in the state that are allocated less than 7 percent of the property taxes they pour into state and county coffers. Their allocation hovers about 4 percent.

The disparity began in 1978 following the passage of Proposition 13. The voter-approved initiative froze property taxes, creating a problem for cities with low rates at that time. In Santa Clara County, four cities were affected. There have been succeeding legislative attempts to fix the problem but they have not fully remedied the inequity.

Beall’s proposal calls for changing Santa Clara County’s  property tax revenue allocation so the four cities can receive the same share their counterparts throughout the state. If passed and signed into law by the Governor, the bill would become law in 2014.

The bill now moves to the Committee on Appropriations. 

Senate Bill 629 is sponsored by Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, and Monte Sereno.