ICYMI: State’s Farmers and Ranchers Would Be Hurt by Prop 15

Newspapers from California’s Farming Communities Overwhelmingly Oppose Massive Tax Increase

SACRAMENTO, CA – Despite false claims from Prop 15’s proponents that farms are protected, newspapers across California representing rural, agricultural communities are urging their readers to vote no on the largest property tax increase in California history. These papers join the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Cattlemen’s Association, Western United Dairies, California Citrus Mutual, California Fresh Fruit Association, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Western Agricultural Processors Association and local farm bureaus across California in opposing the $11.5 billion-a-year property tax increase that would devastate family farms and increase the cost of food for families.

“It’s clear that Prop 15’s authors went out of their way to deceive voters about the tax hike’s impact on farmers and ranchers,” said Shannon Douglass, a Glenn County farmer and 1st Vice President of the California Farm Bureau Federation. “While agricultural land isn’t taxed, every structure on that land is – barns, processing plants, mature fruit and nut trees, grape vines – with the end result being that everything from farm to table will cost more money.”

Read excerpts from the newspapers below:

Chico Enterprise-Record:

“The proposed law also poses a major threat to agriculture, although it claims to exempt farming from the tax hike. However, every reference to agriculture in the text specifically mentions just the land as being exempt. As buildings, machinery and equipment are considered taxable property, it sure seems like reassessment of barns, processing plants, and conceivably even orchards would be allowed. The state Farm Bureau Federation is understandably opposed. So are we.”

Modesto Bee:

“…this isn’t the right time. Property owners could simply pass on tax increases to their tenants, causing even more business closures and job losses when we’re already at a tipping point due to COVID-19.”

Fresno Bee:

“Property owners could simply pass on the tax increases to their tenants, causing even more business closures and job losses.”

Bakersfield Californian:

“…Proposition 15 will kick California businesses while they are down and likely will result in even more job losses.”

Lake County Record-Bee:

“The higher taxes in many cases would be passed on to the tenants of those commercial and industrial property owners. In short, it’s a tax on businesses, often small businesses, at a time when they can least afford it.”

Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“…nothing in Proposition 15 stops commercial landlords from passing the cost to tenants, including small business owners. Indeed, many business leases include charges for property taxes.”

Redlands Community News:

“Many property owners would pay more and would pass much of those increases to their customers or to their tenants, who would pass the increases on to their customers — meaning us.”

Oroville Mercury-Register:

“Prop. 15: No”