News & Updates - Backers of proposed tax on mansions end their ballot campaign

Backers of proposed tax on mansions end their ballot campaign

Sacramento Business Journal, February 25, 2016

A ballot measure campaign to levy new taxes on high-end homes has been suspended, its supporters announced Wednesday.

Backers of the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, which sought to chip away at Proposition 13 by raising taxes on homes worth more than $3 million, announced an end to their campaign after concluding the effort would likely fail.

Campaign strategist Bill Carrick, who helped lead the effort, said supporters of the measure determined that gathering the needed 585,407 signatures to qualify for the Nov. ballot posed too great a challenge.

And even if the measure did qualify, it may have been squeezed by a range of other tax measures, said Carrick. Other potential ballot initiatives include an tobacco tax, a $15 statewide minimum wage and an extension of the Proposition 30 taxes on high earners.

“We essentially got caught up in the chaos of all these ballot initiatives out there,” he said.

Backers of the mansion tax are now setting their sights on the 2018 general election, Carrick said. Their initiative would raise $7 billion in total government revenue to fund public assistance programs, including publicly subsidized childcare.

Opponents of the proposed tax were pleased by the news.

“We have dodged a potentially huge tax increase,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, an advocacy group of major employers.

The roundtable and its allies had opened two campaign accounts in preparation of a multimillion-dollar fight against the property tax measure.

Lapsley said the business-backed opposition would now focus on other fiscal measures headed for the ballot, including a $15 minimum wage and Proposition 30 extension. In the next couple of months, the landscape of viable ballot measures would become more clear, he said.
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