California Farmers Announce New Ag Coalition to Campaign Against Prop 15
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
SACRAMENTO, CA - As the country hits the crunch time of studying for November’s voting, Family Farmers Against Prop 15, a new coalition of nearly 20 organizations representing California ag operators, is looking to get the word out about potential harms posed by the higher property tax measure.
“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.”
Western Growers is one of 18 ag bodies and farm bureaus calling for a vote against Prop 15.
Each of these associations argues that Proposition 15 exposes agricultural “fixtures and improvements” to higher taxes if the measure passes, despite proponents of the act saying agriculture was exempted.
“Prop 15 does not exempt agriculture—it hikes taxes on fruit trees, nut trees, grapevines, 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.”
According to a press release, the independent, nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst’s Office and the California Assessors’ Association have each independently confirmed the flaw, exposing 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 coalition, which currently includes several of the state’s leading ag organizations and continues to grow, is planning a campaign to educate voters throughout California about Prop 15’s impact on farmers and consumer food prices. To learn more, click here.
We will continue to report on this and all other developing stories that could hold sway in the produce industry, so stay tuned.