In the early 1980s, in an effort to generate much-needed revenue for the City of Boston to offset federal and state budget cuts, the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation entitled, “An Act Establishing the City of Boston Funding Loan Act of Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Two and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority” (the “Act”). In addition to creating the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Act allowed the city to borrow up to $75 million and to issue and sell bonds and notes to try to bring the city out of a serious financial deficit, all of which was to be secured by the levy of several new taxes.

Continue Reading The Funding Loan Act of 1982 and the Origins of “Tregor Stamps”

Since February 2015, California state legislators have proposed several bills to modify the limitations on property tax increases established by Proposition 13 (Prop. 13). These bills include Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA-5) by State Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), Assembly Bill 1040 (AB 1040) by State Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Senate Bill 259 (SB 259) by State Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel).

Commercial and industrial properties will be most affected by an annual reassessment but less affected by proposed redefinitions of “change in ownership”

Currently, property taxes are reassessed only when the property changes ownership, defined as a single purchaser buying more than 50 percent of a property. Of the three bills, two would redefine “change in ownership” and the third would calculate business and industrial property tax differently than residential and agricultural property tax. Continue Reading Proposed Prop 13 Reforms in California