The letter begins with “Dear Corrupt Mexican” and ends with “hurry up and die.” It’s signed “White Power.” The words were typed on a note card and sent to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s Capitol office earlier this year.
For Immediate Release
July 31, 2017
Make it Fair, a plan to close corporate and billionaire loopholes in Proposition 13 while protecting homeowners, generates widespread support
LOS ANGELES, CA — Demonstrating the grassroots momentum behind the campaign to reform Proposition 13, today, the Make it Fair Coalition announced that 85,575 people have signed up through online petitions and at the doors as supporters of the movement to close Proposition 13’s commercial property tax loophole.
Each year, MediCal, K-12 schools and vital local services are deprived of over $11 billion in necessary funding due to the commercial property tax loophole in Proposition 13, over 90% of which remains in the pockets of the millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations that hold commercial properties worth over $1 million. The Make it Fair amendment would work to fix this rigged system and bring fairness to our tax policy while strengthening protections for homeowners and residential renters.
The petition, directed toward the state legislature, says the following:
“I am asking you to support the Make It Fair proposal to reform Proposition 13. It would make California’s biggest corporations pay taxes on the actual value of their property, raising $9 billion for the state and local governments.
“The time has come to close the loopholes and take back the tax giveaways to help our local communities respond to the federal cuts and level the playing field so all commercial properties are assessed based on their actual value. The big corporations, millionaires and billionaires being asked to pay their share can afford it, and even after this measure takes effect California’s commercial property taxes will still be among the lowest in the nation.
“As a Californian who cares about my community and the prosperity of our state, I believe we must fix the commercial property tax system to ensure a level playing field and make big corporations and wealthy real estate investors pay their fair share. I ask that you please do everything in your power to support the Make It Fair Campaign.”
Announcing the results of the petition, Veronica Carrizales, Policy and Campaign Development Director of the California Calls Coalition, noted:
“Since the election of Donald Trump, and the very real threat that he could cut trillions of dollars in corporate taxes and cut trillions of dollars in vital services, we have found there is a renewed interest amongst all voter segments for closing the unintended corporate loopholes created by Prop 13. California’s ability to avoid cuts to MediCal, Obamacare (Affordable Healthcare Act), K-12 schools and other vital local services is dependent on our ability to close these loopholes. This is only the beginning, of what we believe will be an uprising against a rigged system.”
The petition urges lawmakers to:
- Assess commercial and industrial property at fair market value and close commercial property tax loopholes,
- Invest the resulting funds ($9 billion a year) in education and neighborhood services we all need and deserve including health access, housing, equity and quality of life;
- Protect homeowners and renters from any changes,
- Provide tax relief for small businesses, and
- Include accountability provisions so new funds are spent appropriately.
To view the petition, visit www.MakeItFairca.com/join.
For more information, visit www.MakeItFairCa.com
This past week was especially busy in Washington, as members of the House finished their business in D.C. before heading home to work in their districts for the month of August. With that in mind, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what I have been doing to improve the lives of those I have the privilege of representing.
Modernizing Our Nation’s Infrastructure
We have a long history in America of investing in our infrastructure, and these investments helped us grow and develop as a country. Yet, over the last 25 years we have been living off the infrastructure investments our parents and grandparents have made, and our infrastructure is now crumbling. This week I spoke on the House floor to urge my colleagues to come together and to work with the President to create a bipartisan plan that distributes infrastructure investment as fairly as possible, is cost effective, and does the most good in critical areas. This means that, in addition to other factors, we must make sure to increase opportunities in our nation’s rural communities, which too often get overlooked in infrastructure discussions. Without a smart, comprehensive approach to this issue, all Americans will be worse off, and we will continue to live off investments made in the past rather than investing in our future. While the decisions on where to invest can be challenging, it is vital that we approach this issue together. After all, no transportation system, energy project, or water infrastructure is Democratic or Republican.
To view my speech on the House floor, please click on the link below.
Forever GI Bill Passes in the House
Last Monday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, the largest update to the G.I. Bill since the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008. The bill is referred to as the “Forever GI Bill” due to its elimination of the 15 year deadline by which veterans must use their education benefits. In addition, the legislation increases the amount that dependents of veterans can receive in education benefits. The Forever GI Bill also extends benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill to all Purple Heart recipients and to reservists and National Guard members who served next to active duty troops, but who themselves were not technically active duty troops. This bill’s passage showed us how Congress can and should work: together in a bipartisan fashion. I hope to see the Forever GI Bill pass in the U.S. Senate and be signed into law so our veterans and their families can get the benefits they deserve.
House Agriculture Committee Hearing on Renegotiating NAFTA
This week the House Agriculture Committee met to discuss how to protect and promote agriculture during the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is clear that NAFTA needs to be upgraded and modernized to better reflect the needs of the American people in the 21st century. With that in mind, we should not forget that the agriculture industry has been one of the bright spots benefiting from the economic agreement. California agriculture exports have increased three fold over the last decade, in large part due to NAFTA. California has more at stake than any other state in any renegotiation of NAFTA, given our integration into the international market. Let’s not forget that currently around 22% of agriculture exports from our state go to Canada and Mexico. This is why, as a member of the Agriculture Committee, I made sure to bring California agriculture to the forefront of the committee’s hearing on NAFTA. Any renegotiation of this trade deal needs to keep in mind a “do no harm” mantra, especially when it comes to agriculture.
Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed thousands of young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to pursue the American dream by granting them a period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. This week I spoke on the House floor about the importance of maintaining this program. We should not penalize those who were brought to our country in pursuit of a better life – as immigrants have done throughout our history – and we should always try to keep families together whenever possible. For these reasons, I urge the Administration to stand with me in protecting DACA.
Returning to Responsible Governing
This past week the House passed the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which contains four of the twelve appropriations bills the House is required to pass each fiscal year to fund the government. I voted against this legislation because this bill represents a broken process and a departure from how Congress is supposed to work. With just 13 legislative days left until the end of the fiscal year, the House still must pass several critical bills, including Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization, National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization, and legislation raising the debt ceiling and funding the remainder of the government. Government should not operate this way, on deadline driven legislation. This course of action leads to bad laws and bad results for the American people. As always, I stand ready to work with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to get Congress working properly again and to deliver the results the American people deserve.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter update. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any federal issues of your concern. To stay up-to-date on the work I am doing in Congress, please visit my website at costa.house.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter here. You can also follow my work and events in our Valley on my Facebook pageand twitter account.
Member of Congress
Join us forForthcoming Events!
The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
We just finished the second leg of my Summer Road Trip across California. From Alpine to Inyo, and Kern to Calaveras, it has been truly inspiring meeting with incredible Democrats at each stop!
I ended this leg of our trip in San Joaquin County, where I had a great time meeting with Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and discussing local issues like economic development, quality higher education, and reducing crime — and I’m so proud and excited to announce that he has endorsed me for Lt. Governor!
If elected, I look forward to working together to grow Stockton’s economy, help develop a new CSU for Stockton, and bring good paying jobs to Stockton and the Central Valley.
As I continue my Summer Road Trip up California’s North Coast and on to the Inland Empire, here are a few more highlights from the second leg of my trip:
In El Dorado County, I met with representatives of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok and toured the tribe’s Health and Wellness Center, which serves over 35,000 people each year — including many members of the area’s underserved who have nowhere else to go. As Lt. Governor, I will do all I can to expand access to quality and affordable health care for everyone in our state.
In Inyo County, I visited the Manzanar National Historic Site, one of ten U.S. concentration camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly interned during the last three years of World War II. It stands as a profound reminder of what can happen when we let prejudice and fear consume us. As Lt. Governor, I will stand up to hate in all its forms.
In Mariposa County, I visited an emergency shelter set up by the Red Cross for those affected by the Detwiler Fire. There, I had the opportunity to meet with county residents like Vynomma Brown and her grandson, Nate, who were forced to spend the night away from their homes, not knowing if their home would still be there tomorrow. As California’s next Lt. Governor, I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure we’re thoroughly prepared for future disasters like this.
In Kern County, I had a moving and memorable visit to the César E. Chávez National Monument and later the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta fought for fair treatment of farmworkers like my father, when he first arrived in America and worked in the fields. As your next Lt. Governor, I am committed to ensuring that all Californians have a voice.
Hope to see you on the road!