Proposition 13, overwhelmingly approved by voters in 1978, turned out to be not a mere voters’ initiative, but a cultural symbol defended by some and despised by others.
By placing a property tax cap on certain properties, Proposition 13 significantly reduced sources of revenue for a state that considers taxes lifeblood itself.
Never mind that the state devised a myriad other sources of revenue, and today stands #11 out of 50 in level of taxation – the focus remains on the loss of property taxes resulting from Proposition 13. Never mind that a 1976 court decision removed fiscal responsibility from school districts – the narrative remains that Proposition 13 destroyed local control of schools.
Because Proposition 13 enjoys some fierce defenders, the opposition has settled for incremental jabs rather than outright repeal. A significant blow will be attempted in the November 2020 election. The proposal would leave the cap on residences but remove it from commercial and industrial buildings in what has been called split-roll property tax assessment.
The California teachers’ union and others who view Proposition 13 as abhorrent are building a campaign war chest to support the 2020 proposal. Their narrative remains as it was in 1978.
The Just Vote No Blog recommends an article on California Political News and Views that provides a different narrative – Proposition 13 News: Split-Roll Proposal, Again.
If voters are to vote wisely, they need to acquaint themselves with the opposing views inherent in all proposals.