As firefighters, we are all too familiar with the increasing ferocity of wildfires in our state. Wildfire season is longer, increasingly dangerous, and more difficult to manage every year. Each of us are away from our families and on the line longer than ever before. The 2020 lightning complex fires made it abundantly clear that we don’t have enough firefighters or resources to effectively respond and manage the new normal for wildfires.
Proposition 15 and Proposition 19 will provide new revenue streams to increase resources and staffing for fire protection.
What will Proposition 15 do?
Proposition 15 will reclaim $7-12 billion every year for schools and local communities, including fire departments and districts by closing the corporate property tax loophole. Only 10% of commercial properties in the state will pay 92% of the projected revenue. Corporations will still benefit from lower property tax rates than Texas or New York. This ballot measure will strictly maintain Prop. 13 protections for all residential properties, apartments, small business properties worth $3 million or less, and agricultural land.
Who’s for it: Teachers, Small Business Owners, Community Advocates, Interfaith Groups
Who is against: Large corporations that seek to maintain historically low tax rates and make record profits at the expense of school and public safety funding.
Why should firefighters support it?
- $7-12 billion will be generated in new revenue
- 60% of the revenue will go to cities and counties, including fire departments and fire districts to increase staffing and resources.
- 40% of the remaining funds will go to schools and community colleges
Why do we need both propositions 15 and 19?
Proposition 15 directly benefits fire departments and districts that are funded by property taxes. Proposition 19 gets money to rural and urban fire districts that don’t have a property tax share or rate. Both propositions are needed to increase funding for a majority of departments and districts across the state.