Membership Meeting – June 9

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Tuesday, June 9, 7:00pm
...on ZOOM...

Once again, in order to continue maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Progressive Dems of Benicia will hold our next meeting on Zoom.

Members and friends will receive Zoom login instructions by email.  (If you are not currently on our member or interested parties email list and want to attend, you can either Become A Member,  OR, if you are just interested and want to attend, let us know on our Contact Us page, and we will send you Zoom instructions by email.


Our featured topic for discussion at our June 9 Zoom meeting will be ballot measures on the Nov. 3 ballot. You may have already heard about a proposed “property tax reform” initiative promoted by Schools and Communities First and many other education, health, and labor organizations, plus the ACLU and League of Women Voters.

A “yes” vote would require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price.

A “no” vote would continue taxing commercial and industrial properties based on a property’s purchase price , with annual increases equal to the rate of inflation or two (2) percent, whichever is lower.

Generally referred to as the Schools and Local Communities Funding Act, it would create a “split-roll property tax” where commercial properties valued over $3 million would be reassessed every three years at market value. Smaller businesses, farming properties, and residential homes would be exempt and remain under the existing framework.

  • Proponents claim the change could produce up to $12 billion annually – 60% earmarked for local governments and 40% for education. According to a study by the University of Southern California, schools and cities could benefit from the new revenue stream as soon as fiscal year 2021-2022.
  • Opponents of the ballot measure include the anti-tax group Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association – claiming the new tax burden would kill Main Street and the small businesses that survive the pandemic-induced shutdown; and, the California Retailers Association – property owners will raise rents if the measure is approved, meaning businesses will pass on costs to customers. Other opponents include the California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation and California Bankers Association.

If time allows, we’ll also discuss a possible local ballot measure Benicia voters may see – whether existing provisions in Benicia’s cannabis ordinances should be reconsidered. Pursuant to an earlier request from Council Member Tom Campbell, proposed language for a ballot measure on cannabis in Benicia is being developed, though no specific text has been made public. Council will likely take up this discussion and proposed ballot measure language at a July Council meeting. Any vote taken in Nov. 3 would not change existing ordinances. But, of course, the voting results could be used as “support” for changes recommended by a future Council.

I hope you can join us and share your comments and questions with us on June 9 at 7:00 pm. Let’s Zoom Again, together!!!  (If you want to attend but are not currently on our email list, see the first two paragraphs at top above.)

IMPORTANT: if you are a member of PDB, January was the month to renew your annual dues (unless you joined since October, 2019, in which case your initial membership and dues count for 2020).  PLEASE PAY TODAY!