The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced today that it will launch its extensive statewide radio campaign against Proposition 15 beginning on Monday. The ads will run in every major media market in California through election day. HJTA’s ad campaign will help to ensure that voters are aware of the serious threat that Proposition 15 poses to the enduringly popular Proposition 13, the 1978 initiative that limited increases in property taxes.
Proposition 15 would require the reassessment to market value of properties in California that are used for commercial or industrial purposes, with few exceptions. Proposition 13 limits increases in assessments to no more than 2 percent per year until there is a change in ownership.
California businesses would have to pay an estimated $9-12 billion per year in higher taxes. Even the Los Angeles Times editorial board acknowledged, “There’s no way of getting around the fact that Proposition 15 would have substantial costs, likely in the form of job losses, higher prices for consumers and steeper monthly costs for businesses that rent space. It may also discourage investment in commercial and manufacturing properties….”
Proposition 15 would raise the cost of living in California, which already has the nation’s highest poverty rate when the cost of living is taken into account.
HJTA’s campaigns have proven effective in the past. In March, a statewide education construction bond that was coincidentally designated “Proposition 13” was defeated at the polls despite a $10 million advertising campaign by proponents and support from state elected officials including Gov. Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
“We defeated that ill-advised bond with $250,000 in radio advertising,” HJTA President Jon Coupal said. “Outspent 40-1, we were still able to get our message to voters: Government is wasting their money and trying again to raise taxes.”