May 20, 2013
David Crane in Bloomberg today argues for Jerry Brown, California’s governor, to work to repeal Proposition 13, the hugely popular initiative that limited increases in real estate taxes to 1% on pre-Prop properties. The map above shows the scale of the vote for Prop 13, something Jerry Brown is well aware of since he opposed Prop 13 as the Golden State’s governor back in 1978. The approving vote was a tidal wave, and it is hard to believe Governor Brown will try to swim against this tide a second time in his long career.
A house does not generate revenue, but a farm does. The farm house is a working business which can tap a revenue stream to pay property taxes; the residential home cannot. When inflation (government-created) in the 1970′s sent property values and taxes skyrocketing, people saw their annual tax bills increase beyond their mortgage payments, effectively impoverishing many homeowners. Prop 13 was the taxpayer’s revolt against government-inflation generating increased government-revenues at the expense of the family home. Mr. Crane, economic advisor to former Governor Schwarzenegger, wants this taxpayer revolt reversed, and bravely volunteers Governor Brown to lead the charge against Prop 13.
Mr. Brown has been down this anti-taxpayer road before, and he still has the scars. He is much too bright a politician to make the same mistake twice.[Email comments welcome: duoism(at)sbcglobal.net]