Newsom has endorsed Proposition 15, a proposed tax increase on commercial property. Ag and business groups heavily opposing the November ballot initiative have shared their disappointment with the news.
Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said that farms are already “withering under a hostile and worsening legal and regulatory climate.”
“Prop. 15, if passed, will add even more fuel to the motivation to quit California,” he said.
California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson said Newsom is siding with unions over hardworking farmers.
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“Californians' grocery bills will increase, adding to the worries of people who already struggle to pay their bills,” he warned.
The No on Prop 15 campaign sees the proposal as a tax hike of $11.5 million, while proponents argue that revenue would support struggling schools. The ag community has been concerned that while the measure exempts farmland, it still covers property like barns, dairies, wineries and orchards.