California farmers announce new ag coalition and campaign against Prop 15
SACRAMENTO – California’s leading agricultural organizations, including California Farm Bureau, Western Growers and the Agricultural Council of California, representing farmers and ranchers of all types across the state, announced a new coalition and campaign against Prop 15, the higher property tax measure.
“Prop 15 does not exempt agriculture — it hikes taxes on fruit trees, nut trees, grape vines, dairies, irrigation equipment, barns and much more,” said Jamie Johansson, president of California Farm Bureau. “California’s family farmers were hit hard by the current COVID-19 crisis. Prop 15’s tax hike on our livelihoods is the last thing we need.”
“California’s farmers and ranchers are already at a competitive disadvantage with those in other states and countries with far lower tax and regulatory costs,” said Dave Puglia, president and CEO of Western Growers. “Our farmers pay the highest taxes and highest wages in the nation. They simply cannot keep bearing ever-increasing taxes and red tape. Californians are proud of our farmers and ranchers and the nutritious and affordable food they produce. Another large tax increase on farmers is not sustainable. Californians should reject Proposition 15.”
Prop 15 proponents claim they exempted agriculture, but they included a fatal drafting error which exposes agricultural “fixtures and improvements” to higher taxes if the measure passes. The independent, nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst’s Office and the California Assessors’ Association have each independently confirmed this flaw will expose farmers to higher taxes.
“Prop 15 is bad for California farmers and bad for California consumers,” said Emily Rooney, president of the Agricultural Council of California. “Prop 15’s taxes on agriculture property aren’t just going to hit farmers — they’re going to land hard on California consumers, many of whom are already struggling with the cost of living in this state.”
The new coalition — Family Farmers Against Prop 15 — is growing rapidly as more people in the ag community hear about the fatal flaw in Prop 15’s language. The coalition is planning a campaign educating voters throughout the state about Prop 15’s impact on farmers and consumer food prices.