Myths and Facts: “Schools and Communities First” ballot initiative

Schools and Communities First (SCF) will help reclaim over $12 billion every year for K-12 schools, community colleges, and local communities by closing a loophole that corporations have been using for decades to avoid paying commercial property taxes at their market value.

  • Estimates show that Los Angeles County schools and services would receive approximately $3.4 billion every year, helping to fund some of the recent teachers’ strike victories like lowering class sizes and improving funding for special education.
  • SCF does not tax homeowners, renters, or agricultural land.
  • SCF will tax large corporations that are not paying their fair share of property tax — companies like Chevron, Disney, and Amazon. For example, Chevron “saves” over $100 million in state property taxes. That is $100 million not going to any public schools or vital services that the company benefits from every day
  • There are strict accountability and reporting requirements so that the money goes directly to our students and communities with the most needs first.
  • SCF will not eliminate Prop. 13 protections for renters, homeowners, or any residential properties.
  • This is not a Prop. 13 repeal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does SCF work? How is it possible that this initiative could raise $12 billion a year for public schools and vital services?

Currently large corporations and commercial properties are paying way below the “market value” in property taxes, thus denying the state of California approximately $12 billion per year. This is $12 billion LOST from public schools and vital services. The Schools & Communities First initiative (SCF) is designed to ensure that large corporations and commercial properties are reassessed every year and charged the appropriate “market value” in property taxes, thus reclaiming $12 billion in state revenue.


Will my landlord increase my rent due to higher property taxes generated by SCF?

  • ALL residential properties are exempt from any increases in property taxes
  • NO homeowner, NO renters, NO landlords will be negatively impacted by SCF


How much of the SCF reclaimed $12 billion will go directly to public education?

The initiative will ensure that the state allocates at least 40% of SCF funds collected to public education. The other 60% will go to local communities to pay for vital services such as fire services, parks, libraries, health clinics, housing, and emergency medical services. LA County is estimated to receive approximately $3.4 billion a year for schools and services.


How do we really know it will go to K-12 public schools?

The initiative requires annual public reporting of how the funds are distributed and spent, so the public can hold elected officials accountable. It is up to us to hold our School Boards accountable to ensure that our students with the most needs can benefit.


How will SCF funds be distributed?

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) guidelines will be followed to ensure the funding is distributed to school districts with students with the highest needs.


Who is EXEMPT from SCF?

  • ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES ARE EXEMPT – Homeowners, renters and landlords are protected


Who opposes the Schools & Communities First initiative?

The opposition to SCF is funded by deep-pocketed special interest groups, including the Business Round Table, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and California Taxpayers Association. Together with large corporations and wealthy investors, they have continued to enjoy vast profits at the expense of our public schools in California. They will stop at nothing to defend their unfair corporate protections offered to them by Proposition 13.


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