California votes to maintain property tax code in a rebuke to organized labor

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Organized labor in California lost big during election week after voters rejected Proposition 15, a revamp of the property tax code allowing local governments to reassess commercial and industrial properties every three years.

The decision could possibly save local businesses who were at risk of a tax hike during the COVID-19 pandemic which has already largely depressed the national and state economies leading to untold hardship for business owners.

Proposition 15 struggled to gain even 50% of the vote, falling short at 48 or 500,000 votes short of projected support. In particular, the legislation requires commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value.

California has capped property tax increases to 2% annually since 1978. However, the change would not have affected residential property owners. Looking at the turnout, it is no surprise that Prop. 15 generated substantial support in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area which largely voted for Biden.