September Editorial: Just say “NO” to Prop 15

Written By: President Jeff Carlton
Published: September 3, 2020

If ever there was something that would have a devastating and detrimental effect on Agriculture in Sonoma County and California, then Prop 15 is it.  Prop 15 seeks to remove some of California’s Prop 13 property tax protections for commercial and agriculture parcels.  Once that is gone, it will be very easy to repeal Prop 13 altogether, which Sacramento desperately wants. How else will they and other municipalities across the state fund their exorbitant pensions and mismanaged budgets?  Don’t be fooled. How many times has California passed tax measures or bonds that were supposed to prop up the schools?  Just like the lottery that was supposed to support them, Prop 15 will not either.  The money will be funneled to pensions while the family farms here suffer.  While many will be focused on the Presidential race, Prop 15 will be far more damaging to agriculture.

Sonoma County is an agricultural county, as has been said before, but sadly some here do not see it that way.  I for one was very disappointed that most of the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees voted to support Prop 15 last month.  In my opinion, it was a slap in the face to an industry that has supported them for many decades.  Also, as a graduate of SRJC, I am quite frankly, embarrassed.  If farmers and ranchers property taxes are doubled, tripled, quadrupled, or more, where will all the donors for the next Agstravaganza come from?  I would wager that the fundraiser would not exist anymore. The voters did approve the very large Measure H bond for the Junior College a mere 4 years ago.  When is enough, enough here in California?!

I suppose the majority will not truly care about agriculture until they go to the supermarket and all the shelves are empty.  By then it will be too late.  If you wish to join this fight to save agriculture in Sonoma County and California, please donate to the Political Action Committees devoted to defeating Prop 15.  The No on Prop 15 is a consortium of business from around the state.  The other group fighting against this harmful proposition is the Family Farmers Against Prop 15, started by the California Farm Bureau, Western Growers and the Ag Council.  Both are dedicated to educating the voters about the impact on farmers and consumers’ food prices, which would drastically increase.  I suspect many people don’t know the impacts of Prop 15, so please tell everyone you know how important it is to defeat this and save agriculture.

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