Home > Uncategorized > Proposition 13 Lives On… and so do the Limited Funds for CA Schools, Services, Safety Nets… and Children

Proposition 13 Lives On… and so do the Limited Funds for CA Schools, Services, Safety Nets… and Children

November 11, 2020

I missed the results of Proposition 15 in California following the election and was sad to read that CA voters failed to pass it. Designed to modify the Proposition 13 property tax cap enacted in 1978 by increasing taxes on properties owned by corporations, the NYTimes reported that Proposition 15 got 48.2% of the vote despite the support from popular political and high tech leaders. Here’s the meat of the article by Conor Daugherty: 

Proposition 15 would have raised $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion a year for public schools, community colleges and city and county governments, according to a nonpartisan state agency. Proponents had promoted the measure as a needed investment in public services when the economy and budgets are under stress. The measure had won prominent endorsements, including those of Gov. Gavin Newsom, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a Californian. The campaign was also backed by several public employees’ unions and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organization founded by Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

Opponents, including business associations and large property owners like the Blackstone Group, said the measure would hurt small businesses and open the door to raising taxes on residential properties as well.

Both sides spent heavily. Proponents raised $67 million and opponents raised $75 million.

Even though this proposition would have shielded residential property and  most small businesses from higher taxes and shifted the burden onto “corporations that control huge parcels of real estate“, it did not pass muster with CA voters. This result and the down ballot underperformance by Democrats leads to one conclusion: voters disdained Donald Trump but still revere Ronald Reagan’s mantra that “government is the problem”. 


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