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Voting measures to watch in California

Here are the proposals to know:

Proposition 15: It may seem obscure, but the question of whether to change the way certain commercial property taxes are assessed is actually one of the most controversial questions facing voters in California. That’s because Proposition 15, if passed, would change the rules dictated by the 1978 ballot measure that many call a third rail in California politics. This measure, Proposition 13, effectively capped property taxes and put California on its current path.

Supporters say a move to create a so-called shared role, or create a separate tax assessment for commercial properties, would really be closing an unfair loophole for businesses, which have long benefited from artificially low property taxes. , while local governments and school districts have been denied the funding they need to provide adequate services.

Opponents say it would raise taxes in the midst of the economic crisis, when businesses cannot afford the hike.

Read more of the state voter guide and The Los Angeles Times.

Proposition 16: The problem with California’s voting proposals is that many of them aim to undo the work of past measures. (See Proposition 15 above.) Proposition 16, which state lawmakers have voted to put on the ballot, falls squarely into that category.

In 1996, Californian voters declared a ban on the use of race, sex or ethnicity in college admissions or in public markets. Proposition 16, in a year that has been defined by calculations of racial inequity in all facets of American life, would reverse that ban.

Supporters include state lawmakers and leaders of prestigious California public universities, who say data shows the ban has helped prevent historically underserved groups, such as blacks, Latin Americans and native Californians , to obtain equitable access to education and work.

Opponents argue that giving any group preferential treatment in the allocation of resources is nothing more than discrimination by another name.

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