Mark Lacy, president of the California Cattlemen’s Association, penned an opinion piece in the San Joaquin Valley Sun opposing Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history. Lacy cited concerns that the $11.5 billion-a-year property tax measure will devastate family-owned ranches and ultimately lead to higher prices for meat, cheese, eggs and produce for California families.
Read excerpts from “Fewer choices, higher prices are headed your way unless Prop. 15 is defeated” published in the San Joaquin Valley Sun below:
Grocery bills will get more expensive, the cost of living will rise, ranchers will go out of business and our state’s economic recovery will move at a glacial pace.
“These would be just some of Proposition 15’s devastating impacts. As a rancher, I urge California voters to reject Prop 15 in November.
“Otherwise, every Californian will pay for the largest property tax increase in California history, even as we deal with COVID-19 and an unprecedented economic crisis.
“Ranches in California are family businesses. Ranches across the state are currently tended by fifth- or sixth-generation ranchers carrying on the family tradition of providing responsibly-raised, nutritious beef to California consumers…
“Prop. 15 will devastate farmers and ranchers by increasing property taxes on agricultural buildings and improvements, including basically everything that is required to move food from farm to fork. Structures like barns and feedlots will be heavily taxed; even fruit trees and grape vines will be subject to higher property taxes.
“The result is that families throughout California will pay more for meat, cheese, eggs, produce and virtually every other agricultural product at a time when many can least afford it.
“Proposition 15 will even increase property taxes on solar panels and methane digesters, effectively punishing farmers and ranchers for proactively undertaking responsible environmental stewardship…
“California ranchers and farmers could lose as much as $8.6 billion in 2020, according to a study by the California Farm Bureau Federation…
“The prospect of eliminating agriculture’s Prop 13-guaranteed tax protections could not come at a worse time. Prop 15, unless defeated, will be the final blow to many ranchers, farmers and our employees.”