Proposition 13 – 30 Years Later

Posted 1 CommentPosted in California, Proposition 13

Howard Jarvis, chief sponsor of the controversial Proposition 13, signals victory as he casts his own vote at the Fairfax-Melrose precinct.” June 1978. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

It has been 30 years ago today that California voters approved tax reduction initiative, Proposition 13.

Thirty years ago today, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13 as a way to keep seniors from losing their homes to skyrocketing property taxes. But the 1978 vote also ignited a revolution that dramatically changed the way people across America look at government and taxes.

The grassroots initiative has saved California property owners billions of dollars since it was passed, but the shackles Prop. 13 put on the ability of state and local governments to increase taxes could turn out to be its most important legacy. Even today, with the state facing a $17 billion budget shortfall, tax increases face certain opposition from many legislators and voters.

“Clearly, the Prop. 13 movement had the general attitude … that government and its ability to tax people isn’t to be trusted,” said Mark Baldassare, head of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. “That’s very much the theme that Ronald Reagan picked up when he ran for president in 1980, and it’s had a dramatic impact on national politics, particularly on the Republican side.”

Flap remembers the election well and was a California voter who voted to approve Proposition 13. Average Californians were struggling to pay their property taxes as each county trumped each other to reassess property and change the property tax rates to atone for spending mismanagement.

This fiscal mismanagement continues today with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s $17 billion deficit laden budget. God only knows what tax rates would be today if Proposition 13 had not passed and started a nationwide tax revolt.

California’s LEFT continues to rail against the measure even after thirty years. Look at the pieces at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times who both editorially opposed the June 1978 vote.

But, today’s polls show Californians still very much in favor of Proposition 13.

Across the state, 57 percent of voters said they would vote for Prop. 13 if it was on the ballot today while just 23 percent would vote against the measure. Support for the initiative was even stronger among homeowners, with 64 percent saying they support it.

About 79 percent of homeowners who bought their current homes prior to the passage of Prop. 13 said they support it.

“It’s always been popular,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of Field Poll. “And for many years, political insiders have considered Prop. 13 as a third rail of California politics. You just cannot touch it or if you do, you’ll be electrocuted. And this poll is another confirmation of that.”

The California Field Poll on Proposition 13 is here.

Key graphs:

  • Sixty-six percent oppose a plan to gradually raise property taxes of longtime property owners so that they would pay rates similar to those who recently bought homes.
  • Seventy-eight percent oppose amending Prop. 13 so that local governments can increase property taxes by more than 2 percent per year.
  • About 70 percent of voters strongly object to the idea of amending a provision in the Prop. 13 that requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase taxes.

Howard Jarvis with Proposition 13 started an era of limited government and tax limitation. It has also fueled a real estate boom in California over three decades.

However, California politicians have NOT learned the lessons of 1978. And, this will be to their political peril.

After thirty years, the “dream” of Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann lives on.


Mitt Romney Watch: Moving to California?

Posted Posted in California Republican Party, John McCain, Mitt Romney

John McCain and Mitt Romney

Senator John McCain and presumptive GOP Presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

While John McCain BBQ’s today at the family ranch in Sedona, Arizona and hosts among others Mitt Romney, it is “LEAKED” that Mitt Romney has purchased a home in La Jolla, California.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has reached a deal to buy a home in Southern California.

The unsuccessful Republican presidential contender is closing at the end of the month on a property in La Jolla, just north of San Diego, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom confirmed Saturday.

While California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is term-limited and must leave office after 2010, the spokesman denied any political positioning. Romney finance chairwoman Meg Whitman, the former chief executive of eBay, is also reported to be considering her own campaign for California governor.

“Gov. Romney has been looking at property on the West Coast because he has family in California, and because his wife, Ann, spends a good deal of time there riding horses,” Fehrnstrom said.

One of Romney’s five sons, Matt, lives outside San Diego, while son Josh lives in Salt Lake City.

Well, there certainly is a VOID in California politics and Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a MAJOR disappointment to California conservatives.

Mitt Romney re-invented the Utah Winter Olympics and companies while in the business world. Perhaps he can re-invent himself in the Golden State of California.

Only if the former Governor of Massachusetts can shed most of his image of flip-flopping and political opportunism will Romney become acceptable to the California GOP.

Mitt Romney

Graphic courtesy of Stop the ACLU

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John McCain in California Today

Posted Posted in Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain, President 2008

McCain in Miami

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gives a thumbs up as he drinks a coffee at Cafe Versailles on Tuesday, May 20, 2008, in Miami.

Senator John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for President has a one day swing through California which began last night with a fundraising event in Orange County.

Today there are stops planned in Union City and Stockton in Northern California.

While in the Bay area, McCain will attend a fundraising luncheon sponsored by ex-e-Bay CEO, Meg Whitman, a former Mitt Romney national fundriaisng chairwoman and aspiring 2012 California Governor candidate.

As McCain moves on to Stockton, he picks up the campaign dollars by attending an event at the home of GOP donor Alex Spanos.

McCain arrives in California today a definite underdog to presumptive Democrat nominee Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The latest PPIC poll (page 10 here) has :

If the general election were held today, likely voters would favor Obama over McCain by 17 points (54% to 37%), an improvement for Obama since March (49% to 40%). Likely voters favor Clinton over McCain by 12 points (51% to 39%), an improvement for her also since March (46% to 43%).

Flap has seen little excitement among California conservatives for the McCain campaign. McCain is a buddy of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who has mismanaged California’s budget, is proposing a disfavored lottery redistribution plan/tax increase and has talked about rebranding the GOP.

Team McCain will come to California to raise the big bucks from the high tech companies and defense contractors who have an interest in preserving good relations with the GOP in the federal government. But, don’t look for McCain to put ANY effort into winning California in the fall. California is a blue state and will not be in play for McCain.


Schwarzenegger Wants California Gay Marriages to Bail Out State Budget

Posted Posted in Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gay Marriage

Summaries of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised state budget proposal for the 2008-09 fiscal year lay on a table in Sacramento, California, May 14, 2008. Schwarzenegger unveiled on Wednesday a revised $144.35 billion budget plan for the state’s next fiscal year that proposes using state lottery revenues to back bonds whose proceeds would help close a $17.2 billion shortfall and build a rainy-day reserve.

Arnold is desperate to balance a budget he has mismanaged.

Will gay marriage help boost California’s economy? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes so.

In the wake of the state Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage, the Republican governor said Tuesday in San Francisco he hopes gay couples come to California for wedded bliss.

“You know, I’m wishing everyone good luck with their marriages and I hope that California’s economy is booming because everyone is going to come here and get married,” said Schwarzenegger, prompting laughs and applause, according to a recording.

But, is he REALLY serious?

Probably not. But making light of a major societal change and his budgetary problems may leave the Governator as the only one laughing in California.