Higher taxes threaten family farms and ranches
» September 7, 2006 «
Farm Bureau releases ballot positions, urges rejection of tax measures
Concerned about higher taxes and increased government mandates, the largest organization representing California farmers and ranchers urges voters to reject four tax increases on the November ballot.
In releasing its positions on the 13 statewide measures before voters this fall, the California Farm Bureau Federation focused on four initiatives that would raise taxes, often to spend the added tax money on specific, mandated programs. Farm Bureau urged voters to reject Propositions 86, 87, 88 and 89.
California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said Proposition 88 would be especially problematic for family farmers and ranchers.
"Proposition 88 creates a new, statewide property tax charged against most parcels of land in the state," Mosebar said. "Many farms and ranches are made up of several neighboring parcels, meaning that family farmers could see sharp increases in their tax bills."
Mosebar said higher taxes undermine California farmers' ability to compete with farmers in other states and nations. He noted that Proposition 87, which would add new taxes on oil produced in California, would discourage oil production here, increase dependence on foreign oil and raise farmers' and consumers' already-high energy costs.
Farm Bureau also opposes two other tax increases on the November ballot: Proposition 86, to raise tobacco taxes, and Proposition 89, which would increase taxes to pay for public financing of political campaigns.
The organization announced support for four measures to invest in public facilities: Proposition 1A (transportation funding), Proposition 1C (housing), Proposition 1D (education facilities) and Proposition 1E (levee and flood-control investment).
Farm Bureau said it recommends a "no" vote on Proposition 90, an initiative to change rules regarding property acquisition by government agencies.
"Farm Bureau has always stood up for the rights of property owners and we're very concerned about abuses of the government's eminent domain powers. But Proposition 90 is not the answer," Mosebar said. "It threatens farmland-protection measures and ?right-to-farm' laws that prevent leapfrog development and protect family farms and ranches."
The organization's complete list of ballot recommendations:
|Proposition 1A: Transportation Funding Protection||YES|
|Proposition 1B: Highway, Road, Air Quality, Port Bonds;||(Neutral)|
|Proposition 1C: Housing and Emergency Shelter||YES|
|Proposition 1D: Public Education Bonds||YES|
|Proposition 1E: Disaster Preparedness/Flood Prevention Bonds||YES|
|Proposition 83: Sex Offender Penalties||YES|
|Proposition 84: Water Quality, Flood Control, Habitat, Parks Bonds||(Neutral)|
|Proposition 85: Waiting Period, Pregnancy Termination||(No Position)|
|Proposition 86: Cigarette Taxes||NO|
|Proposition 87: Oil Taxes||NO|
|Proposition 88: Property Tax for Education Funding||NO|
|Proposition 89: Public Funding of Political Campaigns||NO|
|Proposition 90: Government Acquisition of Property||NO|
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farmers and ranchers on behalf of more than 88,000 members.
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