When I was in college and struggling with tuition hikes because the California budget was in turmoil (sound familiar), I challenged the wisdom of Proposition 13* to my grandfather, Elvis Horn. He said, “Well, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. But lookit, if a fella came to you and said he was gonna cut your taxes by 90%, wouldn’t you vote for ‘im?” Well, 30 years ago, a lot of people felt the same way as my grandfather, and we have been living with the legacy of the Jarvis-Gann revolution for good and bad since then. I thought, for those of us who could use a refresher on how we got where we are today, that this article on the history and effects of Proposition 13 was a good review.
*Proposition 13 is the law that requires a 2/3 vote to increase taxes as well as the law that fixes property tax assessed values at purchase price plus 2% per year of ownership. It has been called “rent control for owners.”