LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California voters have rejected Proposition 15, which sought to increase funding for public schools and community colleges by changing the way commercial and industrial properties are taxed, the Associated Press projected Tuesday.
With 90% of precincts reporting, the measure was losing by a margin of 51.77% to 48.23% — a difference of more than 553,681 votes.
“Nobody said it would be easy, but the Schools & Communities First coalition took on this fight for the right reasons – to address our state’s most pressing challenges and inequities by investing in Californians,” Alex Stack, Yes on 15 spokesperson, said. “Against all odds, Prop. 15 made history by taking on the status quo to ensure California becomes a more prosperous and equitable state for everyone.”
If passed, Proposition 15 would have adjusted the original 1978 California Proposition 13 by basing property tax rates on current market value for commercial properties valued at more than $3 million, rather than using the purchase price.
The measure would have generated up to $11.5 billion in revenue per year, with funds earmarked for schools and local government.
Both sides put plenty of money into campaigning for and against Prop. 15. As of June, supporters had spent over $20 million and those fighting against the proposition had spent over $5 million.
Opponents said the measure would have lead to increased costs of goods provided by impacted businesses, while supporters said it would have closed what they called a “loophole” and provided schools with needed funding.