Home News Ag Economics Almond Alliance of California Strongly Opposes Proposition 15 – “Split Roll” Proposal

Almond Alliance of California Strongly Opposes Proposition 15 – “Split Roll” Proposal

The Almond Alliance of California strongly opposes the Proposition 15 “split roll” proposal on the November 3, 2020 ballot. California Proposition 15 is the Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative. We believe a split roll proposal will hurt the business community as well as employees and consumers, thereby having a negative impact on our entire economy.

  • A “yes” vote supports this constitutional amendment to require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price.
  • A “no” vote opposes this constitutional amendment, thus continuing to tax commercial and industrial properties based on a property’s purchase price, with annual increases equal to the rate of inflation or 2 percent, whichever is lower.

“Split Roll” Will Hurt California’s Economy

An almost $11 billion split roll tax increase will prevent businesses from hiring new employees and, potentially, from keeping existing ones. The stability and predictability brought by Proposition 13 has allowed California businesses to compete nationally despite the high cost of doing business in this state.

What Is “Split Roll”?

A tax roll is the official list of all the properties to be taxed. “Split roll” means applying a different tax formula, either tax rate, reassessment frequency, or vote requirement, to commercial and industrial properties than that applied to residential properties. Proponents of a split roll would remove some of the protections of Proposition 13 (from 1978) from nonresidential properties in order to raise taxes.

How Will This Impact California Agriculture?

Although the revised initiative includes a small business and agricultural land exemption, the “split roll” still would be crippling to a significant portion of businesses. The agricultural exemption language only applies to the “land.”  The current tax law defines “real property” as land, improvements, and fixtures, which for farmers means that real agricultural property is defined as not only the land, but also fixtures such as irrigation systems, and improvements — barns, processing facilities, nut and fruit trees and vineyards once they reach maturity.

Under the California Constitution, vineyards are only exempt for the first three years after the season in which they are planted, and orchards are only exempt for the first four years after the season they are planted.  Other improvements would be subject to reassessment and would also require all food and agricultural processing facilities to be reassessed at their highest and best use.

The initiative would not require row crops, such vegetables and cotton, to be reassessed, as those are exempt under the California Constitution, but they will face higher property taxes when the crops go to packing facilities and processing areas.

Call To Action

Proposition 15 would expose California’s farmers and ranchers to steep property tax hikes on “all fixtures and improvements.” You would face tax increases on a wide range of farm and ranch property.

We ask you to:

  1. Vote No on Proposition 15;
  2. Please consider supporting our efforts financially with a donation to the fund to fight back against this initiative.

For more information on how you can help, please contact the Almond Alliance at (209) 300-7140 or email staff@almondalliance.org.

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