Weak Attacks on Proposition 13 Fail Again

Two-thirds of California voters consistently tell pollsters that they think Proposition 13 is a good thing, but even with more than 40 years of constant support, Proposition 13 is still attacked by people who are mad that it’s so effective at protecting taxpayers.

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Photo courtesy Franco Folini, flickr

Every argument against Proposition 13 boils down to one thing: Control. They may mask it in buzzwords like “economic dynamism” and “equity,” but the reality is that they think they know how to spend your money and use your land better than you do.

California has the highest or near highest tax rate in every category except property taxes and even then, the state is 14th in property tax collections per capita, according to the latest data from the Tax Foundation.

In fact, county assessors are reporting sizeable growth in the value of taxable property. Locally, Riverside County reported growth of 9.26%, reaching a net total of $369 billion in taxable property. San Bernardino County reported a historic high of $288 billion in value, representing a 9.3% increase from last year. Orange County reported a 6.37% increase, to $721.25 billion. In Los Angeles, the county assessment roll grew by a record $122 billion (a 6.95% increase that brings the roll to $1.89 trillion in total net value) during the past year.

Similar gains are happening statewide. Here is just a sampling: Contra Costa County, 7.79%; Sacramento County, 8%; San Mateo County, 8.34%; Santa Clara County, 7.46%; Ventura County, 7.3%; and Yolo County, 7.23%; Marin County, 6.55%; Amador County, 7.03%; Butte County, 6.81%; Humboldt County, 4.73%; Imperial County, 5.6%; Mendocino County, 2.41%; Modoc County, 4.6%; Napa County, 7.12%; Placer County, 9.2%; Santa Cruz County, 6.33%; Sierra County, 6.37%; and Stanislaus County, 6.82%.

While this is likely welcomed news in the county halls of administration, before Prop. 13 it would have been met with great anxiety among homeowners. That’s because before Prop. 13, property tax assessments were based on current market value and property was regularly reassessed. Some property owners saw their assessments jump 50 to 100% in just one year and their tax bills jump correspondingly — even if the gains in value were only on paper. People were losing their homes to higher taxes.

Click here to read the full article at the Daily Breeze


  1. The problem is the liberal voters, many who do not own any property and feel unable to ever own, see that abolishing Proposition 13 means property values will do a deep dive. Probably at least 20% of properties would go into foreclosure due to inability to pay the $20K in taxes every year on properties reassessed at $1.5-$2 million, or be sold at bargain rates because so few could afford the taxes. Maybe they would become more housing stock where the politicians can hide the homeless. Those who own property need to maintain constant vigilance as there are many new owners who do not have the benefit of Prop 13 and are jealous that they have to pay so much while others pay so little (comparatively).

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