Education Last in Line for Prop 15’s Massive Property Tax Increase

Flawed measure makes false promise to improve education

SACRAMENTO, CA – Citing language from the initiative that specifies any new tax revenue derived from Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, must first pay administrative costs, backfill taxes to the state General Fund, and refund taxpayer appeals, opponents to the flawed measure are once again pointing out another in a series of false promises by proponents. Based on the initiative’s language, the measure funds education third, if not fourth in line, leaving only a fraction of the leftover tax revenue for education.

“Once voters read the fine print of Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in state history, they will see that education is far from the measure’s top priority,” said Gloria Romero, former Democratic State Senate Majority Leader. “As someone who spent my legislative career focused on education, it’s clear Prop 15 will only perpetuate a broken system with no reforms to improve the quality of public education being provided to our students. The proponents behind Prop 15 want you to think their measure is all about education, but the truth is they put education last in line.”

Before funding education, Prop 15 specifies that the new tax revenue must first pay administrative costs, backfilled taxes to the state General Fund, and refunds for appeals. In total, the measure earmarks about 70% of Prop 15’s tax revenues to state and local governments to spend however they want, and education only gets the leftovers. Even worse, Prop 15 has no safeguards to ensure the new education funding is spent in classrooms and will not allocate funding equally to all school districts.

“Prop 15 is just another blank check to the same broken system that will let local politicians spend our hard-earned tax dollars on outside consultants or administrator pay raises and pensions,” said Minnie Hadley-Hempstead, president of NAACP Los Angeles Branch and a retired public school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

As further evidence of Prop 15’s misplaced priorities, the California School Board Association has declined to endorse Prop 15.

“Prop 15 may be touted as a silver bullet for California’s schools, but nothing could be further from the truth. About 70 percent of the money will go towards other purposes. Prop 15 asks Californians to pay billions more in taxes, yet it puts education last. That’s a bad deal for our kids,” said Stephanie McKenzie, a public school teacher and councilmember for the City Marysville.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that Prop 15 will not be fully implemented until 2025, which means it will have almost no impact on short-term budgets for public education.


No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, 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