Do you think that you pay too much money for taxes every month? Well, right now, tax payments are actually low compared to what they could be without Prop. 13. Prop. 13 is a law that precludes the government from raising taxes by more than 2% each year (Chu). The law was established on June 6, 1978. It was officially named the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation and it’s possible for people who inherit property to inherit this law. It was passed to help the poverty in the community. If people think that their taxes are high now, it is undeniable that they would consider their society unjust without proposition 13. Based on the examination of several articles, eliminating proposition 13 would bring a negative effect because it will cause everyone to pay a high amount for taxes and businesses will raise their product prices, but it could lead to a larger budget for schools.

Making Proposition 13 illicit would bring a negative effect because it will cause everyone to pay a high amount for taxes. For example, in the article Pros and Cons of Prop. 13 by Los Angeles Times, the writer explained that with Prop. 13, the tax increase every year could not go over 2% and they also told the reader about the taxes that some businesses had to pay. The author stated that, “Disneyland is assessed at a nickel per square foot, but if it were sold today, the new owner would be paying much more”(Los Angeles Times). This huge amusement park pays close to nothing for every foot square, if someone were to buy it this year, they would pay for the market value that it is now, which is a very large amount. If there was any change in ownership, this park would surely close down due to the high amount of money that the new owner would have to pay. Prop. 13 is an important part of financial stability in every community. This idea is introduced in the article What do you tell a new neighbor about prop. 13? Written by Howard Jarvis from the taxpayers association. His article talks about the presence of Prop. 13 in the community’s life and also explains that without Prop. 13, there would be no limit to annual increases. The author states, “the tax rate for all Californians is only a third of what it was. If you think things are bad now, multiply your tax bill by three and see what you get”(Jarvis). If people think that their tax payments are high now, they would be much higher if they got rid of this very beneficial law. The idea is not liked by the Oakland resident Josefina. Throughout the whole interview, Josefina had the immutable opinion that “People who have been in their homes for many years and have paid rent every month should be able to keep a steady price. If Prop. 13  is eliminated, everyone will have to pay a high amount for taxes, this way at least some people can pay less and be more financially stable”(Josefina). She believes that in order for every community to stay standing, Prop. 13 has to stay. Without it, everything will crumble to the ground, nobody will be able to sustain their families the same way and everything in this society will be dismal.

Not only would eliminating Prop. 13 bring a negative effect on individuals because their taxes will increase, but it would also hurt them because businesses will raise their product prices. For example, in the article Prop. 13 FAQS by Evolve California, the writer informs the reader that Prop. 13 is not just for homeowners, it also benefits commercial properties. The author states, “This aspect of the law has led to significant unintended consequences. For example, Chevron alone is saving over $100 million a year by benefiting from Prop. 13’s Corporate Loophole”(Evolve California). Without Prop. 13, wealthy businesses like Chevron would lose millions of dollars every year. If they lose this money on taxes, they will want to get it back through their products. Right now, Chevron’s regular costs $3.56, but if they lost the large amount of money that they are saving from taxes, that cost could go up by a plethora of money. Also, in an interview with Isabella, a nail salon owner, she stated that without Prop. 13, “I will either have trouble with money or I might have to close down”(Isabella). Isabella inherited her business from her mother and that causes her to pay a low amount for taxes. If Prop. 13 didn’t exist, she would be on the verge of shutting down, which means that she will either choose to shut down, or raise the prices so that she can keep her business in motion.

Although eliminating Prop. 13 would bring a negative impact on people’s property tax, others continue to argue that stamping out Prop. 13 would be the best solution for everyone because in the article Prop. 13’s Impact On Schools by  Megan Burke and others, the writers informed the community about how Prop. 13 has impacted schools negatively the most and its removal would support education. The authors explained that, “before Prop. 13, statewide the schools had a $9 billion budget. After Prop. 13 they lost $3 billion – a third of that – overnight”(Burke et al.). Prop. 13 was the reason why so many schools’ budgets were cut. Without the $3 billion dollars that they lost, many schools, mostly public schools, are getting an inadequate amount of materials and that means that they don’t have materials for every student that has enrolled. Also, without that money, schools are unable to evolve, which means that schools can only fit a certain amount of students and when those spots are filled, other children will have a harder time finding a school to go to. This is a huge impediment for the students because they will not get the opportunities that they need to succeed if they are not able to have the proper education. If Prop. 13 was eliminated, schools would get much more money that they are desperately in need of. 

After inspection of several articles, getting rid of Proposition 13 would be unfavorable because everyone will have to pay a high amount for taxes and product prices will be raised by their makers, but it could lead to a larger budget for schools.

Although it is really important for schools to have all of the resources that they need in order to educate the future generations of the world, without Prop. 13 bringing tax/financial stability onto the table, there will be no community for those generations to run.

Annotated Bibliography

Baldassare, Mark, et al. “Proposition 13: 40 Years Later.” Public Policy Institute of California, 2018, www.ppic.org/publication/proposition-13-40-years-later/.

This article talked about how Prop. 13 doesn’t let people raise the annual taxes increases by more than 2%. This article is credible because one of the authors is the president and chief executive officer and he has a lot of power and knowledge about taxes and laws. This article was also only written about a year ago, June 2018.

Castillo, Elizabeth, and Josefina. “Prop. 13 Interview.” 23 Nov. 2019.

I talked to a neighbor that has lived on this street for many years. Questions related to Prop. 13 were asked and taxes in general to get a better understanding of the different perspectives in our community. This person has lived in their home for 17 years which means that they have had tax stability and that her monthly tax cost is not as high as everyone else’s on the street.

Penner, Gloria, et al. “Prop. 13’s Impact On Schools.” KPBS Public Media, KPBS, 26 Mar. 2010, www.kpbs.org/news/2010/mar/26/prop-13s-impact-schools/.

This is an interview between Gloria Penner and Joanne Faryon. Penner is looking for the connection between Prop. 13 and the schools’ budgets. This article/interview is credible because Natalie earned a master’s degree in communications from San Diego State University. She also got a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati which shows that she got a great education and she is knowledgeable. 

“Prop. 13 FAQs.” Evolve, www.evolve-ca.org/prop-13-facts/.

This article was informing the reader about Prop. 13 and it stated that Prop. 13 did not just benefit homeowners. It also helps commercial property very much. This article is credible because it was published by a non-profit organization that helps fight for community rights and it started in 2011. 

“Pros and Cons of Prop. 13.” The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2009, 12 AM, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2009-aug-08-le-saturday8.s2-story.html.

This article explains that a property’s taxes only increase by more than 2% if the property changes owners. It also talks about how certain old businesses don’t have high tax charges. This article was published by a publishing company that has been around for more than 100 years.

“What Do You Tell A New Neighbor About Prop. 13?” Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, 2019,  www.hjta.org/propositions/proposition-13/what-do-you-tell-new-neighbor-about-proposition-13/.

This article discusses the presence of Prop. 13. It explains that Prop. 13 caused taxes to go down extremely and it talks about there not being a limit on annual increases without Prop. 13. This article is credible because it is recent – It was published in 2019. It also talks about Prop. 13 and how it benefits the people in the community. The publishers are a nonprofit organization.

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6 Comments
  1. Leni 4 months ago

    This is a good synopsis Elizabeth. I like how you discuss various viewpoints. I would like to read more about oppositional views along with the education issue. I see that you made links inside your writing. This is a good idea because it leads readers straight to the source without having to scroll to the bottom. Your blog encourages me to learn more about Prop 13.

  2. Ryan Mabie 5 months ago

    Elizabeth,
    Thank you for this interesting and informative blog post you have written. I learned a lot about Prop 13 while reading this. I thought you had a lot of good sources, which is always a must when writing an informative article because it is how authors gain credibility with their readers. The only suggestion I would have, and you do include this so this is a very minor suggestion, is to bring out more of the arguements for eliminating Prop 13. Being able to present opposing points of view and then use facts and logic to explain why that view might not be the best way forward, is an extremely strong position to have as an author. Great job overall.

  3. Carlysle Ann Young 5 months ago

    There us a new State Proposition 13 on the March 2020 Ballot that actually could cause seniors and others to lose their homes!!! It authorizes The State to take out General Obligation Bondsvin the amount of$15 B-b-b-billion dollars with a 35 Year estimated pay back! BUT that will also include an EXTRA $11 B-b-billion dollars in interest. (Deplorable for younger generations) Saddling CA Residents with a total $26 BILLION Dollars of ling term debt!
    A hidden feature, also raises the ceiling on the amount of debt that a Unified School District can borrow up to 4% of Local Property values! Thus
    Feature will be like handing a blank check to the Districts, and the money THEY borrow at huge interest rates, gets paid back via Property Taxes! I’m voting No on the New 2020 proposed Prop 13. I hope ABD pray they will retain the 1978 Prop 13 features that allow Seniors to remain under a low tax base! Even do, Special Districts such as schools or sanitary districts can still continue to levy our homes! There should be a Senior Exemption!!!

  4. Jacob 6 months ago

    Dear Elizabeth

    I think your post was very informational because it tells me about Propp 13 and how it lowers the amount of money we have to pay through taxes. A line that stood out to me was People who have been in their homes for many years and have paid rent every month should be able to keep a steady price because I believe this also and think this should actually come into effect.

    • Author
      Elizabeth 6 months ago

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. The part that stood out to me was that you agree with the fact that people who have lived in their homes while paying all of their rent should be able to keep a steady price. I have a question for you, what do you think about the fact that some people are losing their homes because of prop. 13? Look forward to hearing back!

      • Carlysle Ann Young 5 months ago

        Elizabeth you should be sure to specify WHICH Prop 13 you are referring to. The proposed @new” Proposition 13 is a Statewide Measure on the March 3rd Ballot but it is NOT beneficial to Property owners. The legacy 1978 Prop 13 DOES help Seniors stay in their homes because their property taxes are calculated based on their (usually lower) acquisition cost from when they purchased their homes. And there is a limit to the annual increase in the Ad Valorem assessment (2%) I hope they don’t monkey with that Feature! Commercial Properties perhaps should pay more over time, but they usually don’t sell as often as Residential Property does. That is the real reason that our public Schools stoped getting a decent annual increase, because the commercial properties such as Malls or Office Parks and warehouses don’t change hands very often ( just new tenants) so they never get reassessed! Vote No! on the new proposed 2020 March 3rd Ballot initiative. Taxed enough already!

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