Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton says California voters probably aren’t in the mood to raise taxes

SACRAMENTO, CA – Last week, esteemed Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton predicted that backers of the largest property tax hike in state history have “a tall hill to climb” to win approval from California voters. Skelton points out that voters resisted new and higher taxes in the March Primary Election, before the COVID-19 economic downturn and now have even more reason to oppose tax hikes.

Not to be deterred by an unprecedented economic crisis and record numbers of unemployment claims, proponents submitted petitions last week to qualify their $12.5-billion-a-year property tax hike measure for the November ballot. Unless defeated by voters, the measure’s higher property taxes will add more uncertainty to small businesses already struggling to stay afloat. It will also increase the cost of living for all Californians for everyday necessities like groceries, fuel, utilities, day care, and health care when they can least afford it.

Read excerpts from Skelton’s column, “With coronavirus on their minds, California voters probably aren’t in the mood to raise taxes” below:

In the March 3 primary, 61% of all local bond and tax measures failed. Combine that fact with the current virus-induced economic coma, and it would seem to doom any November ballot proposition that seeks to raise taxes — or squeeze money out of anybody…

That property tax hike always had a tall hill to climb. And it’s even steeper now…

But many voters have buyer’s remorse about the gas levy, and their grumpiness is rubbing off on other tax proposals…

That’s another reason why you’d think sponsors of the business property tax hike might back off trying to sell their measure until the next election in 2022. But they’re not…

The odds are heavily with the “no” side. By November, voters are likely to be even more sour.

###

ABOUT CALIFORNIANS TO SAVE PROP 13 AND STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES
Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

Proponents of California’s Largest Property Tax Increase Submit Signatures, Determined to Increase Cost of Living for All Californians

SACRAMENTO, CA – In the face of an unprecedented economic crisis, backers of the largest property tax increase in state history submitted signatures today to qualify their second flawed measure for the November 3, 2020, ballot. If passed, the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike will destroy long-standing Proposition 13 protections for businesses and farmers, while raising the cost of living for every Californian.

“After spending more than $3 million to qualify their first flawed property tax hike, proponents have spent millions more to qualify a second, equally flawed measure. It’s clear that the public employee unions behind the largest property tax increase in state history are willing to spend and do whatever it takes to raise the cost of living for working families,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes.

“A tax increase this large will harm all California families; there is no doubt about it,” said State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “For parts of the state like mine where so many families are struggling with California’s cost of living, there could not be a worse time to pass the largest property tax increase in state history.”

In February, the California Farm Bureau Federation announced its opposition to the November property tax increase measure, as it will destroy Proposition 13’s vital protections for farmers and raise property taxes on agricultural fixtures and improvements, including barns, dairies, wineries, and mature fruit trees, nut trees, and vineyards.

“No matter what proponents tell you, everything it takes to move my fresh oranges from farm to fork will see higher property taxes. That means groceries will cost more for every family in California,” added Eric Bream, a citrus farmer from Lindsay, California.

“There isn’t a consumer in the state who won’t face higher costs for everyday goods and services under this massive property tax hike,” said Pat Fong Kushida, president and CEO of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. “Mom and pop small businesses – from dry cleaners and hair salons to grocery stores and clothing shops – will bear the burden of higher property taxes and be left with no choice but to increase costs for consumers, lay off their employees, shut their doors or move out of state.”

During the last 12 months, five independent public polls have consistently shown that less than 50 percent of likely voters support the tax hike, marking a clear downward trend. In January, a USC Rossier School of Education poll found only 45 percent of likely voters would support the measure and in November of 2019, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) said that number was 46 percent. An earlier poll by the PPIC in September 2019 found just 47 percent of likely voters supported the tax hike. In July 2019, Change Research pegged support at 39 percent and in January 2019, the PPIC announced only 49 percent of likely voters were persuaded by the measure.

 

###


About Californians To Save Prop 13 And Stop Higher Property Taxes
Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes, a coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

Southern California News Group Editorial Board Says Initiative to Destroy Prop 13 is “Catastrophically Misguided”

SACRAMENTO, CA – Last week, all eleven of the Southern California News Group newspapers published an editorial opposing the proposed $12.5 billion-a-year property tax increase measure headed to the November ballot. The measure, unless defeated by voters, will be the largest property tax hike in state history and will add increased uncertainty to California businesses already struggling to keep their doors open. Ultimately, the measure’s higher property taxes on businesses will raise the cost of living for all Californians as prices will increase on everything they buy and use including groceries, fuel, utilities, day care and health care.

Despite tremendous challenges businesses large and small are currently facing, proponents are pressing forward, recently reporting a massive $2.5 million donation from SEIU California State Council.

Read excerpts of the Southern California News Group editorial, “Split roll measure a bad idea in good times, now even worse” below:

An initiative that would change Proposition 13 to require nearly all business properties to be regularly reassessed to market value has run into the hurricane of coronavirus. What was already a bad idea is now catastrophically misguided…

If or when the commercial property market rebounds, unlimited increases in property taxes would impede economic growth and could drive some businesses to leave the state, taking jobs with them. If values stay depressed, the disruptive change to Proposition 13 would raise far less revenue than predicted.

This is a no-win proposal. The best thing the proponents of the split roll initiative could do right now is withdraw this ill-advised measure.

###

ABOUT CALIFORNIANS TO SAVE PROP 13 AND STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES
Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes, a coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

Visalia Times-Delta: “Farmer: Proposed changes to Proposition 13 could devastate family farms”

Largest property tax hike in California history will hurt farmers, raise the cost of living for all Californians


SACRAMENTO, CA
– The Visalia Times-Delta published an opinion piece last week by Eric Bream, a third-generation farmer from Tulare County, explaining how the proposed $12.5 billion-a-year property tax measure headed to the November ballot will hurt farmers and result in higher grocery bills for California families. With the state facing economic uncertainty and disruption in international food supply chains, the focus on affordable California-grown food has never been more important and the measure will just add additional barriers from moving food from farm to fork.

Read excerpts from Eric Bream’s opinion piece, “Farmer: Proposed changes to Proposition 13 could devastate family farms below:

Not only will the farming community directly suffer if the ballot initiative to raise property taxes by up to $12.5 billion annually passes, but the tax hike will also hurt all Californians by increasing the state’s already high cost of living.

…the measure is an attack on farms, the fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products we produce and will ultimately translate to more expensive grocery bills for California families.

…this new state ballot measure will destroy Prop 13, raising property taxes on agricultural improvements and fixtures. That means higher property taxes for structures necessary to perform the tasks involved with bringing food from farm to fork, including processing facilities, dairies, wineries, and packaging and distribution centers.

The property taxes on these structures will dramatically skyrocket if the initiative passes. In addition, fruit and nut trees and grapevines will be taxed at full market value after they reach maturity. Even irrigation systems, fences, silos, storage sheds, feedlots and wind machines will face higher property taxes!

Without a doubt, the measure will be the largest property tax increase in California history. And farmers and consumers are the ones who will be paying it…

Now is not the time to pass the largest property tax increase in California history on the backs of hardworking farmers and families trying to put healthy food options on the dinner table.  

###

ABOUT CALIFORNIANS TO SAVE PROP 13 AND STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES
Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes, a coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

The Business Journal: “Farmers Fear Property Tax Changes Under Split-Roll Initiative”

Farmers and consumers will be hurt by $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike


SACRAMENTO, CA
– The Business Journal published an article this week exposing a major flaw in the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax measure proposed for the November 3, 2020, ballot. Specifically, the measure will destroy long-standing Proposition 13 protections for farmers and ranchers, resulting in skyrocketing property tax bills. If approved by voters, the measure will hurt all Californians, who will pay higher prices for everything they buy – from a gallon of milk to fresh state-grown produce.

The California Farm Bureau Federation, which represents nearly 34,000 farmers and ranchers across the state, opposes the largest property tax hike in California history due to its negative impacts on agriculture—contrary to the Attorney General’s official title and summary, which inaccurately claims the measure will exempt “agricultural properties.”

Read excerpts from The Business Journal’s article “Farmers fear property tax changes under split-roll initiative” below: 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated in the title and summary of the chief purpose and points that exempted from the changes would be “residential properties; agricultural properties; and owners of commercial and industrial properties with combined value of $3 million or less.”

It turns out, the “split roll” initiative…will apply to certain agricultural properties.

While the split-roll measure will not be applied to the land or soil itself, it will be applied to any structures or improvements…

John Roeloffs, owner of J R Dairy in Tipton that covers about 1,000 acres in Tulare County, has been working on his family’s dairy farms since he was a young boy…

“We’re always trying to innovate to keep it in the black, and now they’re going to start taxing our innovations,” Roeloffs said. “That will make things really hard. My property taxes are already huge, and now I’m going to have more.”

According to an “Agricultural Land Fact Sheet” released by Schools and Communities First campaign, a coalition in support of the initiative, “a dairy barn, food processing facilities, and wineries would be reassessed as they are commercial and industrial.”

…The consumer will eventually end up paying higher prices in the grocery store, [California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie] Johansson added. He also said that it could undo efforts of buying from local farmers because crops from the state could be more expensive than ones coming from other states or foreign countries.

###

ABOUT CALIFORNIANS TO SAVE PROP 13 AND STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES
Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes, a coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.