California voters have rejected Proposition 15, a ballot measure that sought to make the biggest change to California property tax law in decades in order to raise money for local governments and education. The Associated Press said the measure had been defeated as vote-counting showed it failing, 52% to 48%. Proposition 15 would have altered property tax law enacted in 1978, when voters approved Proposition 13. The anti-tax measure set all property taxes in the state based on purchase price.
Under the latest proposed change, California businesses that owned more than $3 million dollars in commercial or industrial property would have been taxed based on current market value. Proposition 15’s failure represents a major defeat for unions representing teachers and local government workers that backed the measure.a It was expected to bring in between $8 billion and $12.5 billion in additional tax revenue by 2025, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. Currently, property taxes bring in about $65 billion per year. Most of the money would have gone to schools and local governments. Read more