Prop. 15 Fails: Voters Reject Largest Tax Hike in California History

Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, was declared defeated yesterday evening by a margin of more than 550,000 votes.

The defeat of Proposition 15 ends an attempt by public employee unions to dismantle major portions of Proposition 13, the most important tax protection measure left in the highest tax state in the country overwhelmingly passed by voters more than 40 years ago.

“California voters understood the very real threat Proposition 15 presented to small businesses, farmers and consumers,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “Voters in California smartly recognized that enacting the largest tax hike in California history would have been devastating to jobs, our economy and California’s future competitiveness.”

Zaremberg also thanked CalChamber’s members and especially small business employers and local chambers of commerce for stepping up to add their voices to the large coalition that educated voters about the many flaws of a proposed $11.5 billion per year tax increase.

“CalChamber members, the state’s small business employers and our network of local chambers of commerce were a powerhouse in this campaign. They deserve our thanks and appreciation for their hard work and engagement, making sure that their customers, clients and affiliates understood what passing Proposition 15 would mean for our economy. Small businesses put a face on the reality of higher taxes in California and helped voters clearly understand that the measure would lead to higher costs and fewer jobs in their towns and cities and in our state,” he said.

The No on Prop 15 committee was led by a bipartisan coalition that included the CalChamber and was one of the most diverse coalitions ever assembled. The coalition included social justice and civil rights organizations including the California State Conference of the NAACP, California State National Action Network, Latino groups, veterans, local chambers of commerce, private sector labor unions and hundreds of small businesses across California.