Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
There’s no doubt that the November ballot will be the most consequential election in our lifetime. And while all eyes will be on what happens in Washington, D.C., there’s a measure on the California ballot that could further devastate small businesses.
The California Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business and taxpayer groups are leading an effort to defeat the split-roll property tax measure, Proposition 15.
Prop. 15 is a $12.5 billion tax increase — the largest in state history — that would raise property taxes on commercial businesses. This end-run around Prop. 13 has been in the works for ages, and now voters must decide if they are ready to hurt small businesses and female- and minority-owned businesses with this tax increase. These are the groups identified by the CalChamber that would see the biggest harm from increased property taxes.
Prop. 15 will also trigger higher property taxes for agriculture-related improvements, affecting dairies, processing plants, fruit and nut growers, wineries and vineyards. Does your job depend on ag? Do you like eating? If so, Prop. 15 should give you cause for concern.
It would also trigger higher property taxes for all active solar energy systems, including solar farms that sell electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
To contribute to the No on Prop 15 campaign, visit noonprop15.org.