Plug pulled on California property tax measure

Proponents of a measure to raise billions of dollars for anti-poverty and children’s programs through higher taxes on commercial properties stopped collecting signatures for the November ballot and said Wednesday they will try again another year.The “Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act,” backed by several Southern California nonprofit groups, sought to impose a surcharge of up to 1 percent on real estate with assessed values more than $3 million.Proponents said the surcharge would raise an estimated $7.7 billion, with almost all of that coming from commercial properties.“The 2016 ballot has become too crowded with too many revenue raising measures on it,” one of the proponents, former Board of Equalization member Conway Collis, said in a prepared statement. “Consequently it makes more sense to qualify early for a later ballot.”He said proponents will also work to “see if there are any modifications to our approach that should be made before it is refiled.”The measure would have funded full-day preschool for all 3- and 4-year-old children of families living below the poverty line, among other programs. It would have faced a difficult challenge from anti-tax groups who viewed the measure as an assault on Proposition 13, California’s landmark property tax-limiting measure.Other tax measures also are possible for the ballot. Voters could decide to increase the tobacco tax by $2 a pack and make permanent a temporary increase in the income tax. Read more here:…

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