California Farm Bureau Federation Opposes $12.5 Billion-A-Year Split-Roll Property Tax Measure

Measure destroys Prop 13 protections for California farmers, threatening rural communities

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Farm Bureau Federation, which represents nearly 34,000 farmers and ranchers across the state, today announced its opposition to the proposed $12.5 billion-a-year split-roll property tax hike. Backers of the proposed initiative, which will be the largest property tax hike in California history, are currently collecting signatures to qualify it for the November 2020 ballot. If approved by voters, the measure will destroy Proposition 13’s protections for California farmers, not only hurting rural communities but also all Californians who will pay higher prices on everything from a gallon of milk to fresh state-grown produce.

“It’s unusual for the Farm Bureau to oppose a measure at this early stage, but our board of directors is very concerned about the impact this initiative would have on rural California,” said Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation. “Although its backers claim agricultural land would not be affected, the initiative would trigger annual tax reassessments at market value for agricultural improvements such as barns, dairies, wineries, processing plants, vineyards and orchards. The split-roll measure would increase the tax burden on California farmers at a time when family farms and ranches already face threats to their water supplies and rising costs to comply with the state’s employment and environmental regulations.”

Recently, the proponents of the largest property tax increase in state history admitted in their own materials that “a dairy barn, food processing facilities, and wineries would be reassessed,” which will greatly increase the burden that farmers face daily. According to the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, California ranks the highest for taxing family farms, with an average of $17,299 paid per farm.

“The California Farm Bureau Federation’s endorsement today underscores a critical flaw in this initiative,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. “Whether on a tree or vine, at a dairy or at a processing facility, every fresh fruit, vegetable and gallon of milk we buy at the grocery store will cost more under this property tax initiative. At a time when families are already struggling to make ends meet and provide healthy, farm-to-fork options for their families, we simply cannot afford the largest property tax increase in California history.”


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