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The Legacy of Proposition 13

Unintended Consequences: Power to the People ... and Sacramento

When California Proposition 13 was passed in 1978, it was portrayed as a populist anti-tax revolt. But instead of granting more power to the people, it stripped local communities of financial decision-making power and led to a decline in services and resources.

The Fairness of Proposition 13: Homeowners
Nancy Collett pays $5,000 less every year in property taxes than her neighbors who moved in 2006, simply because she has owned her home since Proposition 13 locked in assessments at their 1975 level.

The Fairness of Proposition 13: Commercial Property
A growing number of critics are part of a movement to change Proposition 13 in its application to commercial property by “splitting the rolls” and assessing commercial property at its market value on a periodic basis rather than only upon change of ownership.