California’s Proposition 13 Needs Reform
Howard Jarvis lied to us in 1978. He convinced us to vote for Proposition 13 by telling us that it would protect homeowners from rising property taxes. He failed to tell us that corporations would also get the same benefit. And, since residential properties change hands and are reassessed more often than commercial properties, after 40 years of this corporate loophole, 72% of California’s property tax revenues come from homeowners; corporations supply only 28%.
That means that big landowners like Disneyland, Chevron and Wells Fargo all pay property taxes that reflect 1978 property values, while they use their properties to make BIG money at 21st Century rates. Result: Impoverished schools, infrastructure and public services.
Since it was enacted in 1978, California’s property tax revenues have dropped precipitously. Despite the fact that California is a wealthy state, Proposition 13 has impoverished us. After 40 years of Prop 13, our schools rate 44th in the country. One in ten of California’s bridges is structurally unsafe. Our public services are anemic, and climate change will demand more firefighting and disaster recovery than ever before. If this loophole is closed, L.A. County alone will benefit by over $3 billion a year. It can be fixed. Without impacting residential property taxes.
Progressive Californians are working on an initiative for next year’s ballot. It will propose that our property tax rolls are split; corporate properties should not be taxed at the same rate as residential. Corporate landowners are fighting this initiative. They will lie. They will say that this effort will hurt homeowners and small businesses. They will invest big money into the battle. Californians need to be clear-eyed, and fight back with the truth.
Join the fight to reform Proposition 13.
Donate to Evolve California, the organization that has
taken on this challenge.
Let’s get Prop 13 reform on the ballot.
WE must make California
financially strong again. For our future.