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I don't get it. Posted on 01/12/2003.

The State of California is suffering a $34.6 billion shortfall. And yet, in all the news and analysis I'm reading, no one mentions repealing Proposition 13. Why?

3 comments so far. Add a comment.

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A Proposition is an intitiative placed on the ballot by the People, and if it succeeds, then it was voted for by a majority of the electorate. It is the People's Choice, so how can it be repealed? It can only be superceded by another proposition that is legally so drafted as to effectively contravene Prop 13. But I doubt that there is a politician in California who would help draft and promote such a proposition.

However, an aggressive demagogue might take up the challenge. A demagogue can usually be recognized as someone tries to sway the masses emotionally by focusing on one issue as the solution to all their problems. The Jewish Solution of Hitler is, of course, an historic example of that technique.

Howard Jarvis's tax revolt of 1978 was a more recent example.

The implication of your reference to Prop 13 looks like another good example of an emotional suggestion that the simple repeal a controversial - but not demonstratively harmful - Proposition, would have a significant impact on the overall California economy. I don't think so, but you may be right.

California is somewhat economically altered since 1978, especially in the areas of aerospace, cyberspace and living space. How would you re-structure property taxes to accomodate these changes? How much more - or less would be collected by the Counties to whom they are paid? And just what effect would this changed amount have on the California Budget shortfall?
Posted by BJMe @ 01/12/2003 12:31 PM PST [link to this comment]

Raising property taxes may not present a significant hardship to renters or relatively affluent homeowners, but there actually are plenty of homeowners who are just scraping by - people for whom increased property taxes equate to an increased risk of losing their homes (at sheriff sale/auction).
Posted by Brian @ 01/12/2003 06:15 PM PST [link to this comment]

More discussion about insanity in the California budget at Scott Rosenberg's blog. Scott asks why people aren't talking about the contribution of the Enron-fueled energy crisis on the budget shortfall.
Posted by Adina Levin @ 01/13/2003 06:59 PM PST [link to this comment]

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