Does Prop 13 need Reform?

Kevin O’Leary has an outstanding piece in Time.com on Prop 13.  It’s worth a read.

Howard Jarvis

Howard Jarvis

Has Prop 13’s time come and gone?  I get the idea that its designed to help homeowners keep property taxes in check, but is Prop 13 more like using stragulation as a means of holding your breath?

From the story:

“In Washington, the Reagan-Bush era is over. But in California, the conservative legacy lives on.

Before Prop 13, in the 1950s and ’60s, California was a liberal showcase. Governors Earl Warren and Pat Brown responded to the population growth of the postwar boom with a massive program of public infrastructure — the nation’s finest public college system, the freeway system and the state aqueduct that carries water from the well-watered north to the parched south. When Ronald Reagan was governor, he actually raised taxes. Then Proposition 13 shot the tires out of Pat Brown’s liberal state. Liberal legislative leaders such as Willie Brown and John Burton jury-rigged repairs and kept the damaged vehicle running for 30 years. Now Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger says there is no choice but to complete the demolition by slashing essential services.

The governor has addressed the need for shrinking the state, saying, “We have to go and make certain cuts in health care. We have to make certain cuts in education, in higher education, in all these various different programs, in prisons, law enforcement and so on.” But Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a nonprofit advocacy group, says, “These are no longer cuts. These are amputations, and the question is, Which limb are we cutting off today?”

What comtinues to be lacking is any meaningful plan by Republicans and Conservatives to right the ship of state.  Tax cuts — like the Bush tax cuts — failed to stop the financial meltodown last fall nationally, so I’m not so sure a tax cut is going to be the solution to our problems in California.  What’s the plan?

  4 comments for “Does Prop 13 need Reform?

  1. WL
    June 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Milton Friedman said you could not have open borders in a welfare state. The reason behind his comment is that the welfare state would go bankrupt as border jumpers swarmed in to get the freebies, such as free educations, welfare benefits, Obamacare if that passes, and $40k per year per illegal prison inmate. No wonder California is bankrupt! If Friedman is right, California has two options – cut off freebies / welfare for illegals or tax native Californians out of their homes by getting rid of Prop 13.

    Looks like you go for the solution of taxing Californians to pay for the freebies for illegals. This California fiscal disaster could have been avoided if Prop 187 had been defended by Gray Davis when he was Governor, rather than cutting a backroom deal – good riddance to bad rubbish!

  2. duplojohn
    June 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Dan,
    I’m not sure where you grew up. But I remember the ad’s for/against PROP 13 clearly.

    I remember my parents divided over it. I also recall the big aurguement against it was there would be NO MONEY left for public safety. None for healthcare for the poor, none for the mental health (nevermind Reagan had abandoned that group…..).

    My point is is that maybe there is room to revisit this. I am a San Francisco Demecrat. But, even I get a little pissed when the car tax goes up and they don’t fix the roads.

    I’ll be happy to pay IF IN FACT I GET WHAT I PAY FOR.

    Today, it seems everyone else gets what I pay for.

  3. d'Anconia
    July 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hey Dan pretty sure you’re all alone on this one. Few mindless souls left in California right now who think that taking MORE taxes out of our wallets is the way to go.

    Thankfully.

  4. cook
    July 1, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    But the state collects way more in property taxes anyway. And any shortfall, if there ever was any, was made up in higher sales, exise, and income taxes.

    If the property tax was doubled, whould the other taxes be repealed? Or would the taxpayers just pay more for less?

Comments are closed.