During a recent Assembly hearing, legislators raised questions over the implications of a property tax initiative registered for the November ballot.

The measure would repeal parts of the tax rules established by Proposition 13 in 1978 and replace them with a split-roll tax. The move would generate more property tax revenue for the state, while exempting agricultural land.

Asm. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, who represents parts of the Sacramento Valley, asked how it would impact other property, such agricultural equipment.

Brian Mueller with the Legislative Analyst’s Office explained: “If those properties have a commercial use, then this measure likely would shift those properties to a market value taxation.”

Robert Spiegel, a policy advocate for the California Farm Bureau Federation, elaborated. It could include barns, vineyards, wineries, fences, irrigation systems, milking parlors and “even our mature fruit and nut trees,” he said.

The Farm Bureau opposes the measure, along with the Western Growers Association and a number of business groups.

“The split roll initiative also will result in higher taxes owed by the packing, processing and cooling facilities that are essential to the fresh produce business," said Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia in a statement in May on the initiative. “We will look to play an active role in helping California voters see the dangers in this initiative.”