PODCAST: After narrow defeat, Prop 15 supporters prepare to try again

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Proposition 15 has been defeated, but its supporters say they are not giving up on trying to change the way California levies property taxes.

The Associated Press projected this week that Prop 15 will ultimately fail, with 52 percent of voters rejecting it.

“Most people didn’t even think we had a shot of getting this close,” said Alex Stack with Yes on 15. “So when we look at this, it’s a small victory in the movement to make sure that corporations pay their fair share.”

Prop 15 aimed to undo parts of Proposition 13, a landmark 1978 law that capped property tax increases. Prop 15 would have relaxed those restrictions on commercial properties.

Prop 13 has long been considered the “third rail” of California politics – untouchable. But on KCBS Radio’s “The State of California” Wednesday, Stack says the unexpected level of support for 15 shows that is not as true as it used to be.

“It was a really, really close election. So I have no doubt that if we did this all over again we could take this home,” he said. “It’s really just a first step, and I’m sure there are going to be plenty of ideas as to how to move this on going forward.”

Opponents of 15 say that the 2020 election, with its record high voter turnout, was the measure’s best chance to pass. Three million Californians who voted for Biden still did not support 15.

But Stack thinks they can build momentum.

“Everybody’s putting their heads together to see what’s next. We’re not exactly sure what’s next, honestly. But based on this election result, there is strong public demand for making sure that a lot of the essential local services and students get the investments they need. So we’ll see what happens.”