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.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING: Split-roll Property Tax Increase Will Raise Costs For State’s Farming Community And Ultimately For All California Consumers

SACRAMENTO, CA: Yesterday, the state’s largest agriculture group, the California Farm Bureau Federation, opposed the split-roll property tax ballot measure. The organization argued that if Proposition 13’s protections for agriculture are destroyed, it will increase costs for California farmers by taxing everything from almond trees to dairies at current market value. Backers of the proposed initiative, which is the largest property tax increase in California history, are currently collecting signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE NEW TAX ON AGRICULTURE:


Even the proponents of the measure admit it!

In their own words…“Commercial or industrial structures on agricultural land would be taxed at fair market value…for example, a dairy barn, food processing facilities, and wineries would be reassessed as they are commercial and industrial.”
Schools and Communities First, Agriculture Fact Sheet, September 2019

“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. 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.”
— Jamie Johansson, President, California Farm Bureau Federation

“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.”
— Rob Lapsley, President, California Business Roundtable and Co-Chair, Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes

In addition to the California Farm Bureau and other local farm bureaus, a list of all groups and organizations opposed to the split-roll property tax hike can be found here.

###


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.

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 www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

California Business Roundtable President Writes Open Letter to Governor Newsom, Asks To Support Job Growth Over New Property Tax Measure

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Stanford University-based Hoover Institution published an open letter in Eureka yesterday from Robert Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, asking Governor Gavin Newsom to oppose the $12.5 billion-a-year split-roll property tax hike that is headed to the November ballot. The letter urges Newsom to instead focus on strategies that will create long-term job opportunities for middle-class and blue-collar workers as an alternative approach to supporting the largest property tax increase in state history.

Read excerpts from Lapsley’s open letter, “A Suggestion for the Governor: The Best Way to Raise Revenue Is to Allow Businesses to Create New Jobs, Not to Support the Largest Tax Increase in State History” below:

“…why would anyone consider sponsoring or supporting the largest tax increase in state history? A tax increase that strikes at the heart of Proposition 13, the only taxpayer protections we have left in our state constitution?

“Sacramento public employee unions and the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative are planning to do just that—they are 100 percent committed to putting a $12.5 billion-a-year property tax increase on the November ballot…

“Just how will this property tax increase exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis? Simply put, there isn’t a business or resident that won’t pay more if businesses pay more in property taxes. The public employee unions insist they have carved out an exemption for small businesses, but most small businesses do not own the properties on which they operate. They pay rent under a standard lease that passes on the property taxes and maintenance costs to the business as a condition of their agreement. The higher property taxes on businesses both large and small will ultimately get passed on to all Californians.

“Governor, we simply ask that you do not go along with this tax increase—for the sake of California businesses and taxpayers who all stand to lose if we go down the ruinous road of higher property taxes.”

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 www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

###

Split-Roll Property Tax Measure Continues to Sink in Public Polls

USC Rossier School of Education Poll the Latest to Demonstrate Declining Support Among Voters

SACRAMENTO, CA – The USC Rossier School of Education released last week polling results on the $12.5 billion-a-year split-roll property tax hike showing only 45 percent of voters support the measure. This result comes as no surprise as the USC poll is the fifth independent public poll during the last 12 months to show that less than 50 percent of voters support the measure, marking a downward trend.

“As voters learn the truth about the attack on Proposition 13 and the $12.5 billion price tag in higher property taxes that will be paid by Californians each year, they are opposing the flawed initiative in droves,” said Rob Gutierrez, president and CEO of the California Taxpayers Association. “Passage of this flawed initiative will result in higher costs for consumers on everything we buy and use, including milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables, and daily necessities like gas and childcare.”

In November of 2019, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that only 46 percent of likely voters support the split-roll measure. An earlier poll by the PPIC in September 2019 found just 47 percent of likely voters support the tax hike. In July 2019, Change Research found only 39 percent of likely voters supported the measure and in January 2019, the PPIC announced only 49 percent of likely voters were persuaded by the measure.

Last fall, after the PPIC announced its September poll, Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO stated, “It’s a hard place to start from, and then add in the fact that it’s easier for people to vote ‘no’ than ‘yes’ and we know there’s a ‘no’ campaign.” Baldassare also said he consistently finds 60 percent of voters believe Proposition 13 is “a good thing.”

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 www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

###

Proponents of $12.5 Billion-A-Year Property Tax Hike Grasping at Straws Amid CTA Members Failing to Meet Signature Collecting Quotas and Public Polling Sinking Below 50 Percent

SACRAMENTO, CA – Amid recent press reports that California Teachers Association members are less than thrilled about gathering signatures to qualify the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike for the November ballot, proponents today are rolling out a series of “endorsements” from a number of people who have already stated their support for the measure, exposing increased desperation to show momentum for a measure that has repeatedly failed to reach majority support in numerous independent public polls.

“Voters already know that the $12.5 billion-a-year split-roll property tax hike will fall on the backs of California families with increased prices for everything they buy and use,” stated Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. “Destroying Prop 13 and increasing taxes on business means higher costs for a gallon of milk, groceries, gasoline, restaurants, prescriptions, clothing, daycare, health care and more. California already has among the highest cost of living and now is not the time to make things worse.”

Today’s announcement by split-roll proponents isn’t their first attempt to keep their measure afloat. In August of last year, proponents admitted their first split-roll measure was fatally flawed after spending $3.5 million to qualify the measure in 2018. Now, the proponents, who are determined to destroy Prop 13 at any cost, could be spending double that amount to qualify a measure that consistently tests under 50 percent in independent public polls.

In November of last year, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that only 46 percent of likely voters support the split-roll measure, the lowest the measure tested all year, marking a downward trend. Earlier polls in September found just 47 percent of likely voters support the tax hike, and in January, PPIC announced only 49 percent of likely voters were persuaded by the measure.

“Again, and again, public polls show that Californians oppose the largest tax increase in state history, and we don’t blame them,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “California already has the highest state sales, income and gas taxes, pushing families and businesses out of state in droves. The split-roll property tax will only make things worse, and Californians know that if this measure passes, proponents will come after Prop 13 protections on their homes next.”

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

###

ICYMI: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Warns, “California is on the verge of another taxpayer revolt”

$12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike will result in more voters, businesses moving out of state

SACRAMENTO, CA – Last week, Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, wrote an opinion piece for The Daily News cautioning legislators that Californians have had enough and are on the verge of another taxpayer revolt. Coupal warns the $12.5 billion-a-year split-roll property tax hike that is currently gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot will increase prices for consumers and drive up costs for the goods and services we buy every day. Coupal argues the property tax hike, which is the largest tax increase in state history, will make life more difficult for California families and small businesses, pushing many to move out of state. His op-ed ran in all 11 of the Southern California News Group newspapers.

Read excerpts of Coupal’s op-ed, “Another California tax revolt,” below:

“Sadly, California politicians have forgotten about the taxpayer revolt that occurred just over four decades ago. The Golden State now has the highest gas tax, state income tax and state sales tax, which has translated to the highest percentage of population living in poverty and nearly the highest cost of living in the country.

“This time, instead of tossing tea into the harbor or heading to the polls to vote for change, Californians are revolting by voting with their feet and moving out of state…

“Despite all this, Sacramento politicians and special interests are pushing for higher taxes even after the Legislative Analyst projected a $7 billion budget surplus for the year 2020-21...

“And, if that’s not bad enough, an initiative collecting signatures to qualify for the November 3, 2020 ballot would raise property taxes by $12.5 billion a year.

“The measure would remove Proposition 13’s protections for commercial and industrial properties and tax them based on their current market value, rather than the purchase price.

“Ultimately, higher taxes on businesses mean higher costs for everything we buy, including rent, groceries, gasoline, restaurants, prescriptions, clothing, daycare, health care and much more…

“It is clear that California is on the verge of another taxpayer revolt. Whether it is voting against higher taxes at the ballot box or packing up their bags and moving out of state, California families have had enough.”

Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes, a coalition of businesses, taxpayers, homeowners and renters, has been fighting to protect Proposition 13 and oppose a split roll for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.

###

$12.5 Billion-A-Year Property Tax Hike Continues to Sink Under 50 Percent Support in Public Polls

Largest Tax Increase in California History Has Tough Road Ahead

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released the results of a recent public poll showing that only 46 percent of likely voters support the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike that is currently collecting signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot and a strong 45 percent of likely voters oppose the measure. This marks the third PPIC poll this year to find less than 50 percent of California voters support the split-roll measure, a clear indication that the largest tax increase in state history is on a downward trend and has a tough road ahead.

“It’s clear that proponents are out of touch with reality. California already has the highest cost of living in the nation, and we shouldn’t do anything to make it even more expensive to live here,” stated Rob Lapsley, President of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. “Destroying Proposition 13 and increasing taxes on business means higher costs for everything we buy including rent, a gallon of milk, groceries, gasoline, restaurants, prescriptions, clothing, daycare, health care and more.”

“We’re thrilled that California voters can see through the smoke and mirrors. Despite what proponents say, the $12.5 billion-a-year tax hike will fall on the backs of small businesses,” said John Kabateck, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business and co-chair of Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. “Nearly 78 percent of small businesses do not qualify for the so-called ‘small business exemption’ because they rent and the increased property tax bills will just get passed onto them as part of their lease agreements, making the cost of doing business even more expensive.”

“The proponents of the largest property tax increase in California history have a tough road ahead if they cannot manage to secure even 50 percent support one year out from the election,” said Robert Gutierrez, president of the California Taxpayers Association and co-chair of Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. “The reality is the split-roll measure is the first step in repealing Proposition 13 and increasing property taxes on homeowners, and we are prepared to wage an aggressive campaign to defeat the measure.”

About Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes
Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes is a broad-based coalition of homeowners, taxpayers and businesses opposing the $12 billion split-roll property tax measure headed to the November 3, 2020 ballot. Learn more about the campaign at: www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org

###