California’s Prop. 15 would raise taxes on commercial buildings

It’s one of the hottest issues on the November ballot — but it is often misunderstood. Proposition 15 promises the biggest change in property taxes in 40 years. The measure would raise up to $11.5 billion for schools and local governments, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.Prop. 15 would […]

It’s one of the hottest issues on the November ballot — but it is often misunderstood. Proposition 15 promises the biggest change in property taxes in 40 years. The measure would raise up to $11.5 billion for schools and local governments, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.Prop. 15 would increase property taxes on commercial and industrial buildings worth more than $3 million by assessing them at how much they could be sold for now — instead of the original purchase price. “We need an educated population,” said Carol Moon Goldberg of the California League of Women Voters, which is supporting Prop 15. “We need good sound infrastructure and services in order to build our future, in order for California to retain its status as the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world.”Prop. 15 promises big dividends for cities and counties, which would collect about 60% of the extra revenue.Carol Kocivar of the California State PTA, another advocate for Prop. 15, said the new revenues would go to “after-school programs, it will help pay for libraries, pay for recreation and parks. It will pay for social services for elder folks. It will pay for homeless services. It’s going to be used to meet the needs of families and communities, and I think that’s very important.”Prop. 15 would lower taxes on business equipment such as machines or equipment, but small businesses have argued they will be forced to pay more in higher rents to landlords. They also insist that consumers will have to pay more for goods and services. “So, we talk about this being a property tax increase,” said Rachel Michelin, head of the California Retailers Association, an opponent of Prop. 15. “I look at it too as a consumer tax increase because we’re going to end up paying more for many of the things we use on a daily basis — groceries, medicines, energy, day care, assisted living for our parents.”Many farmers worry that Prop. 15 would become a big tax on agriculture and lead to higher food prices. “It’s really the consumer who’s going to end up paying several hundred dollars more a year on average for their food prices,” said Shannon Douglas, vice president of the California Farm Bureau, an opponent of Prop. 15. “Because as everybody along the line takes those increases, they’re able to pass that on to the consumer and that’s going to be a very negative thing for many families in California.”Homeowners are currently protected by Prop. 13 from big tax increases – but opponents insist that will change if Prop 15 passes. They believe that Prop. 15 has a hidden agenda.“I absolutely believe you open the door a little bit on Prop. 13, they are going to swing it wide open in future elections,” Michelin said.“My response is Prop. 15 is on the ballot, and voters will have the final say on that,” Moon Goldberg said. “If there is something that relates to homeowner’s property in the future, the voters will have the final say on that as well.”Both sides are digging in and putting millions into their campaigns.The “Yes on 15” campaign has raised more than $41 million so far, with the California Teachers Association leading the way at $11.7 million, according to the nonpartisan group Voter’s Edge California.Meanwhile, the “No on 15” campaign has raised nearly $34 million, according to Voter’s Edge California, most of it from business support groups like the California Business Roundtable at $13.2 million. Both sides have campaign ads up and running.Yes on 15 campaign ad:No on 15 campaign ad:While the two campaigns are miles apart on messaging, both agree that Prop. 15 is an important issue for California voters to decide. If Prop. 15 passes, it would go into effect starting in 2022. However, properties used by small businesses with 50 or fewer employees would see those changes in 2025.

It’s one of the hottest issues on the November ballot — but it is often misunderstood.

Proposition 15 promises the biggest change in property taxes in 40 years. The measure would raise up to $11.5 billion for schools and local governments, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Prop. 15 would increase property taxes on commercial and industrial buildings worth more than $3 million by assessing them at how much they could be sold for now — instead of the original purchase price.

“We need an educated population,” said Carol Moon Goldberg of the California League of Women Voters, which is supporting Prop 15. “We need good sound infrastructure and services in order to build our future, in order for California to retain its status as the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world.”

Prop. 15 promises big dividends for cities and counties, which would collect about 60% of the extra revenue.

Carol Kocivar of the California State PTA, another advocate for Prop. 15, said the new revenues would go to “after-school programs, it will help pay for libraries, pay for recreation and parks. It will pay for social services for elder folks. It will pay for homeless services. It’s going to be used to meet the needs of families and communities, and I think that’s very important.”

Prop. 15 would lower taxes on business equipment such as machines or equipment, but small businesses have argued they will be forced to pay more in higher rents to landlords. They also insist that consumers will have to pay more for goods and services.

“So, we talk about this being a property tax increase,” said Rachel Michelin, head of the California Retailers Association, an opponent of Prop. 15. “I look at it too as a consumer tax increase because we’re going to end up paying more for many of the things we use on a daily basis — groceries, medicines, energy, day care, assisted living for our parents.”

Many farmers worry that Prop. 15 would become a big tax on agriculture and lead to higher food prices.

“It’s really the consumer who’s going to end up paying several hundred dollars more a year on average for their food prices,” said Shannon Douglas, vice president of the California Farm Bureau, an opponent of Prop. 15. “Because as everybody along the line takes those increases, they’re able to pass that on to the consumer and that’s going to be a very negative thing for many families in California.”

Homeowners are currently protected by Prop. 13 from big tax increases – but opponents insist that will change if Prop 15 passes. They believe that Prop. 15 has a hidden agenda.

“I absolutely believe you open the door a little bit on Prop. 13, they are going to swing it wide open in future elections,” Michelin said.

“My response is Prop. 15 is on the ballot, and voters will have the final say on that,” Moon Goldberg said. “If there is something that relates to homeowner’s property in the future, the voters will have the final say on that as well.”

Both sides are digging in and putting millions into their campaigns.

The “Yes on 15” campaign has raised more than $41 million so far, with the California Teachers Association leading the way at $11.7 million, according to the nonpartisan group Voter’s Edge California.

Meanwhile, the “No on 15” campaign has raised nearly $34 million, according to Voter’s Edge California, most of it from business support groups like the California Business Roundtable at $13.2 million.

Both sides have campaign ads up and running.

Yes on 15 campaign ad:

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No on 15 campaign ad:

This content is imported from YouTube.
You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

While the two campaigns are miles apart on messaging, both agree that Prop. 15 is an important issue for California voters to decide.

If Prop. 15 passes, it would go into effect starting in 2022. However, properties used by small businesses with 50 or fewer employees would see those changes in 2025.

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