Public Support fro Split-Roll Initiative Is Sinking, Poll Finds

Only 47 percent of likely voters support the split-roll property tax measure qualified for the November 2020 ballot and 45 percent oppose the measure, according to a Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll released October 2.

The measure has dropped a total of seven percentage points with likely voters since the PPIC asked the same question in April.

Among all respondents – including those not considered likely voters – the split-roll initiative was supported by 57 percent and opposed by 34 percent, with 9 percent saying they don’t know whether they support or oppose the measure. The poll’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percent.

Politico reported that the poll “suggests trouble ahead” for the initiative, adding that it “has dipped below 50 percent even before facing a serious opposition campaign – and without any mention in the survey question that the initiative would alter Proposition 13, a landmark law most voters typically associate with popular residential tax protections.”

“It’s a hard place to start from, and then add in the fact that it’s easier for people to vote ‘no’ than ‘yes’ and we know there’s a ‘no’ campaign,” PPIC President Mark Baldassare told Politico.

Baldassare said PPIC polls consistently find that at least 60 percent of voters believe Proposition 13 is “a good thing.”

The question asked by the pollster was: “As you may know, under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What if there was a state ballot measure to have commercial properties taxed according to their current market value and direct some of this new tax revenue to state funding for K-12 public schools? Would you vote yes or no?”

CalTax President Robert Gutierrez, who co-chairs Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes (the campaign against the split roll), cautioned that while the poll results are good news for taxpayers, a strong opposition campaign still is needed.

“Proponents of the measure intend to spend several million dollars on misleading advertising as the election approaches, and taxpayers cannot afford to sit on their laurels,” Gutierrez said. “Last month, one of the split-roll proponents made a number of false claims during testimony to a state agency, even claiming that the initiative doesn’t include a tax increase. The only way to counter this sort of deception is with a strong campaign to educate voters about the importance of preserving Proposition 13 protections for homeowners and businesses.”

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