California Split Roll Ballot Measure Destroys Prop 13 Protections for California Farmers, Threatens Rural Communities

By Katy Grimes at the California Globe

February 20, 2020

Agriculture was always considered sacred in the eyes of California’s property taxing agencies, and especially under Proposition 13. But that could change with the split roll property tax ballot initiative in November 2020.

Prop. 13 was a 1978 ballot initiative to cap property tax increases for residential and business properties and provide certainty, so property owners would not be taxed out of their homes and businesses.  Passed by 65% of California voters in 1978, Prop. 13 put a Constitutional cap on annual property tax increases. Prior to passage of Prop. 13, many seniors and those living on fixed incomes were forced from their homes because of skyrocketing property tax increases. According to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, author of Prop. 13, some properties were reassessed 50 – 100% in just one year.

The 2020 ballot initiative misleadingly called the “California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020,” known more commonly as the “split-roll” tax initiative, would reassess properties and hike taxes on all commercial and industrial properties, including manufacturing plants, retail stores and malls.

The split-roll property tax measure will also remove Prop 13’s protections for California farmers, triggering annual reassessments at market value for all agriculture-related facilities and improvements.

Read more at The California Globe

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