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May 19, 2020

Western Growers Opposes “Split Roll” Calif. Ballot Initiative

IRVINE, Calif., (May 20, 2020) — Western Growers will oppose the “split roll” initiative set to appear on the California ballot in November 2020. Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement following the decision of the Western Growers board of directors:

“By repealing Proposition 13’s protections for restaurateurs, farmers, and other business property owners, the split roll initiative would add to the already-painful number of businesses closing forever in the wake of the COVID-19 economic shutdown. For those hanging on, this initiative would increase the attractiveness of locating their businesses to other states and countries.  

“Regardless of the current crisis, the split roll initiative represents bad public policy. If passed, commercial and industrial properties will face unpredictable, potentially massive annual tax increases as our economy begins to recover. This is terrifying for every business owner struggling to pay bills and make payroll. 

“The split roll initiative also will result in higher taxes owed by the packing, processing and cooling facilities that are essential to the fresh produce business. Farmers with permanent crops, such as tree fruit, grapes and tree nuts, would be hit with higher taxes on those investments, as well. 

“We will look to play an active role in helping California voters see the dangers in this initiative.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers (WG) represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. WG members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations WG members have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on the association’s Twitter and Facebook