According to the California State Registrar, all the votes are in for Proposition 15 and it has been decided that it will not pass. The margin was close, with 51.7% of people voting no and 48.3% of people voting yes.
Proposition 15 is an anti-tax initiative that decides how much school funding and resources are given to local communities and cities. It is directly involved with Proposition 13, which was approved by a two-thirds majority in 1978.
Those who want the amendment to pass are education advocates, county and city government interests, while those who oppose it are big business and anti-tax groups.
According to EdSource, passing Prop. 15 would “create a ‘split-roll tax,'” which would change the way Prop. 13 assesses commercial and industrial properties. The way that residential and agricultural land are assessed would not change or be re-assessed.
Schools, community colleges, county, and local governments would benefit as billions of dollars would be dispersed among them. In short, commercial, industrial properties valued over $3 million would be reassessed and taxed more.
40 percent of that tax revenue would go directly to California K-12 schools and community colleges. The other 60% of Prop. 15 revenue would go to cities, counties and special districts to give local communities desperately needed resources.
A false notion about this prop is that it would raise property taxes for all businesses, when small businesses would actually receive a tax cut. Any business valued at less than $3 million with less than 50 employees would be relieved of all personal property tax.
In a recent debate, sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of California, California Teachers Association Vice President David Goldberg said this prop is “the single biggest tax cut for small business in a generation.”
Prop 15. would raise figures between $10.3 billion and $12.6 billion a year, according to USC Dornslife. Since the proposition reassesses only commercial and industrial properties, it exempts all residential properties and agricultural land, maintaining Prop. 13 protections for homeowners, renters and agricultural ventures.
Some believe that it could be of some benefit, but not by amending the whole initiative.
Lawrence Stone, county assessor for Santa Clara, stated that “trying to fix 42 years of inequity with a single ballot measure that is convoluted will fail in implementation.”
What this means is that the property tax of businesses that are valued over $3 million and have over 50 employees would not have their property taxes reassessed. This is a big win for big business owners and a tough loss for schools and local communities.