LA Mayor Villaraigosa

Editorial: Mayor Lee, support Prop. 13 reform

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EDITORIAL You want a quick way to cut a huge chunk out of the city's budget deficit? A way to save essential services without having to put a tax increase before the voters?

Just force the owners of large commercial properties to pay their property taxes.

It's an open secret in California that the biggest properties are bought and sold under a loophole in the Proposition 13 that prevents city's from reassessing them. It's a fairly easy scam, one that almost never happens with lower-priced residential property: Instead of selling, say, a large commercial office building, the owners simply incorporate the building as a limited liability corporation and then sell shares in the LLC. That doesn't count as a property transfer under Proposition 13, so the building is never reassessed. Read more »