IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Monterey County Herald Editorial: Proposition 13 still in focus

On Friday, the Monterey Herald editorialized in support of Proposition 13, discussing how maintaining Proposition 13 continues to save Californians millions of dollars in taxes when compared to the rest of the country. The editorial pointed out that without Proposition 13, Californian’s property taxes would be double what they are today. Passed in 1978, Proposition 13 put an end to continually increasing property taxes, helping California families stay in their homes and small businesses keep their doors open.

Below are excerpts from the Monterey Herald’s editorial, “Proposition 13 still in focus”:

“As if the rest of the end-of-the-year bills aren’t enough, homeowners this week had to pay up on their first installment of their property taxes, which even in the post-Proposition 13 era remains a significant source of revenue for local governments and schools.

Passed by voters back in 1978, Proposition 13 remains a source of controversy, with critics continuing to threaten challenges. Some are discussing the idea of a ballot initiative of some sort for 2016, although it’s likely that any major change is likely to fail.

By the time the second installment comes due in April — another poorly timed due date — California’s homeowners will have forked over $55 billion or more in property taxes. 

That sounds like a lot (and it is), but we can only imagine what it might have been had Proposition 13 not come along. A recent study by the financial website WalletHub said that California’s property tax rate ranks it 17th lowest in the country, at least as far as the average amount is concerned.           

If Proposition 13 hadn’t come along when it did, some sort of property tax reform would have had to be put in place. A study at UC Davis some years ago, according to the Sacramento Bee, estimates that property taxes would be double what they are today had not Proposition 13 passed.

Prior to 1978, property was periodically reassessed to reflect market value, and that would have forced untold older residents on fixed incomes to sell their family home. A look at high tax-rate states like New Jersey, and that’s exactly what some homeowners are facing.

 …Proposition 13 has been a favorite whipping boy for some big spenders in Sacramento. We don’t see it that way. Californians still pay high taxes in other formats — think income taxes. No tax scheme is entirely fair, but since 1978, property owners at least know what they’re facing in taxes.”

Read the entire article on the Monterey Herald’s website: http://www.montereyherald.com/article/NF/20151210/LOCAL1/151219962