Schools & Communities First

The Schools and Communities First Initiative–otherwise known as the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020–is meant to raise and direct funds to public education and services.

The purpose of the measure is to invest in our future, grow our economy, provide a better qualify of life now and in the future, do a better job of investing in our schools, community colleges and local communities, and do more to encourage small businesses and start-ups by requiring commercial and industrial properties worth over $3 million–owned by the largest corporations and wealthiest investors–to be taxed based on their current market value.

Residential properties, small businesses, and agricultural property would NOT be affected. Homeowners, renters of residencies, small business owners, and owners of agricultural land, or protected land (e.g. parks and preserves) would not be affected.

While virtually every other state assesses commercial and industrial property based on their fair market value, California allows commercial and industrial property taxes to go many years, even decades, without reassessment. This unusual system is prone to abusive tax avoidance schemes by large investors and corporations, which diverts funds away from schools and local communities, contributes to the shortage of affordable housing, and distorts business competition, and disadvantages business start-ups.

If, with this measure, we reformed California’s underassessment problem on business properties, California would still rank among the lower states for business property taxes in the nation because of the California Constitution’s provisions related to the 1% limitation property tax rates.

To learn more, visit

To read the full text of the initiative, visit