Prop 13 Declared Innocent

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You hear it all the time: California’s in such a mess “because of Proposition 13.”

You probably wonder how that initiative, passed way back in the ‘70s, could be so key.

Well, it was the first of a long line of voter-instigated tax limitation measures, and it made politicians ache with frustration. Politicians LIKE spending money; Proposition 13 limited, somewhat, their greedy quest for ever more money to spend.

But did it really unbalance California fiscal policy?

Chris Reed, writing in the San Diego Union-Tribune, explains how nutty this charge really is:

[S]ince shortly after Prop. 13’s adoption, property tax revenue increased by 579 percent. That is not a typo. It went up 579 percent.

During the same span, population went from 24 million to 38 million — an increase of 58 percent.

Reed checked his numbers against the inflation rate, and found that “property tax revenue has increased by more than triple the combined rate of inflation and population growth.”

He did a little more checking and learned that property tax revenues went up faster than any other major revenue source!

So Prop 13 simply cannot be the reason for California’s impending bankruptcy. Though the measure limited tax rate growth, and helped homeowners, it did not unbalance the budgets.

Humungous increases in spending did. Politicians need look no further than their own projects.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jun
    11
    10:30
    AM
    Rick Rund

    GREAT job on truthful report on Prop 13…..As a Californian our problem IS NOT caused by Prop 13 “tax” limitation…..SPENDING…..PROGRAMS.

  2. Jun
    11
    10:33
    AM
    Kyla Beckham

    Paul:
    You are absolutely right. During the boom in housing unless you were over 55 and could transfer your tax base all the increase in prices were evaluated at the new home price. Sellers who sold their house at $350,00 and bought $600,000 their taxes had a huge increase in their taxes.
    This claim is just a lie used by the lawmakers in Sacramento to try and repeal prop 13 so they can spend more money…pure and simple.
    The liberal congress has spent outrageously and never want to cut back on spending but increase taxes.
    Also taxes collected by the counties are remitted to the State Congress who doles it how to the counties as “they see fit”.
    I just moved out of CA to get away from this crasies in Sacramento. Out of every six moves in CA, 5 are moving out while 1 person is moving in.

    I pity the taxpayers who will bear a great portion of the taxes that will increase.

    At this the Voters reject the attempt to raise taxes but stopped the Congress in Sacramento from. giving itself raising during budget deficits.

    The average lawmaker in Sacramento make $212,000.

    IT is a real tragedy but that same philosphy of progressism is what the Obama Adminstration wants to impose on the rest of the states.

  3. Jun
    11
    11:21
    AM
    Hank Fields

    So, whats new. Thay’re politicians. However my thanks for a good job of investigation and reporting

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