With 99% of precincts reporting, it appears California voters have rejected Proposition 15, a massive property tax increase. Americans for Tax Reform opposed this measure.
Joe Biden, Kamala, Harris, and the California Democratic Party endorsed Prop. 15, which would have raised taxes on California employers by as much as $12 billion annually by removing the Prop. 13 property tax limit for commercial properties.
California’s Proposition 13, passed by voters 42 years ago, limits the annual rise in the taxable value of a property, both personal and commercial, at 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is smaller. Prop. 15, if approved, would’ve removed this protection for California businesses worth more than $3 million by forcing it to be taxed at market value every year. Passage of Prop. 15 would’ve meant billions of dollars in higher property tax bills for Golden State businesses at a time when many are already struggling amid the current recession.
Prop. 15 was marketed as a way to raise taxes on large corporations, but the additional costs would’ve been passed along to small businesses who rent. As John Kabateck at the National Federation of Independent Business explains, “the majority of small business owners, upwards of 80%, rent their property. That cost is passed on directly from property owners.”
Even if Joe Biden emerges victorious, it’s evident from the 2020 election results that there is no mandate for the massive tax increases that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are proposing. That much is clear based on both the outcome of US Senate races and blue state tax hikes like Prop. 15 in California.