Clearing up the confusion around Prop 13 on the 2020 ballot
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Voters are confused by the designation of a proposition for a state school bond issue being called Prop 13. This Prop 13 has nothing to do to at all with the reform of the original property tax , Prop 13, passed by voters in 1978 to cap property tax increases.
The Prop 13 on the 2020 ballot has nothing to do with the reform of the original property tax , Prop 13, passed by voters in 1978 to cap property tax increases.
Every couple of years the proposition numbers are reused. In this instance, Prop 13 was a memorable proposition and the Prop 13 on the ballot in 2020 is tricking some voters into thinking they are related to on another. Rather than avoid the obvious confusion, the folks who run ballot measures somehow did not see the possible problem.
How or why they did not see it is unknown, but confusion abounds.
To end the confusion:
This year’s Prop 13 calls for a $15 billion bond to build schools, brick and mortar, not educational funding. After interest, the total cost is expected to be around $27 billion.
Now, local school districts will also have to issue bonds to raise matching funds for most of this, so Californians property taxes can be impacted eventually. These bonds go out for over 30 years, until they are completely paid off.
That is the Prop 13 that you will see on the 2020 ballot.
If you vote yes, you are in favor of $15 billion to fund construction of school buildings. But, the actual cost will be closer to $27 billion.
The history lesson on the Prop 13 from 1978 goes back to when a man named Howard Jarvis was so fed up with inflation rates in the 1970s and how Sacramento decided to use those funds. As a result, Jarvis proposed a 1% cap on property tax evaluation based on actual home value. Jarvis then declared that there should never be more than a 2% increase in any given year.
The voters approved Jarvis’s proposal by well over two thirds of the majority needed and it saved California homeowners an estimated $528 billion dollars.
Today, a home worth $500,000 would have a property tax bill of about $14,700. Our average state tax is around 2.67%.
Without Jarvis and Prop 13 in 1978, taxes in California would be even more unbearable than they currently are across the board.
There are efforts to reform the Prop 13 from 1978 and remove caps for commercial and industrial properties in order to increase tax rates on their owners. This proposal will have to go onto some ballot, and advocates may get the revision approved to be on the 2020 November ballot.
KUSI News will continue to follow the story and update our audience with any new information.
Hopefully the confusion is gone.