Opinion – Farm Bureau releases voter’s guide to November ballot measures

Reiterating its strong opposition to a ballot initiative that would establish a split-roll property tax, the California Farm Bureau Federation has announced positions on the other statewide measures to be decided this fall. The CFBF Board of Directors released a Voter Guide for the Nov. 3 general election.

The Farm Bureau was among the first organizations to oppose Proposition 15, which would create a split-roll property tax to reassess and raise taxes on commercial and industrial property. Although its proponents claim agriculture would be exempt, the measure would allow reassessment of agricultural facilities and improvements such as barns, dairies, orchards, vineyards and processing plants.

“In the middle of a pandemic that has severely disrupted our food-production system, Proposition 15 would impose a new tax burden on family farms and ranches,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Ultimately, those higher costs to the food system would lead to higher food prices. Make no mistake: A tax on farms is a tax on everyone.”

Among its other ballot positions, the Farm Bureau emphasized public safety by supporting Proposition 20, which would increase penalties for certain theft-related crimes, and opposing Proposition 25, which would abolish the state’s cash-bail system.

“Theft, vandalism, trespassing and other crimes remain chronic and growing problems in rural California,” Johansson said. “By passing Proposition 20 and rejecting Proposition 25, voters have an opportunity to reinforce protection for rural and urban communities alike.”

Here is the full list of CFBF ballot recommendations:

  • Proposition 14 —S tem Cell Research Bonds — Neutral;
  • Proposition 15 — Split-Roll Property Tax — NO;
  • Proposition 16 — Affirmative Action — Neutral;
  • Proposition 17 — Voting by Paroled Felons — NO;
  • Proposition 18 — Voting Age — NO;
  • Proposition 19 — Taxes on Homes, Inherited Property — Neutral;
  • Proposition 20 — Criminal Penalties — YES;
  • Proposition 21 — Rent Control — NO;
  • Proposition 22 — App-Based Drivers — YES;
  • Proposition 23 — Kidney Dialysis Clinics — Neutral;
  • Proposition 24 — Consumer Privacy — Neutral; and,
  • Proposition 25 — Cash Bail — NO.

The full Voter Guide may be downloaded from the CFBF website at cfbf.com/voterguide.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 34,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.