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ACR-247 40th anniversary of Proposition 13.(2017-2018)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 247

Introduced by Assembly Member Acosta
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Baker, Bigelow, Brough, Chávez, Chen, Choi, Cooley, Cunningham, Dahle, Flora, Fong, Gallagher, Harper, Kiley, Lackey, Mathis, Mayes, Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Steinorth, Voepel, and Waldron)

May 31, 2018

Relative to the 40th anniversary of Proposition 13.


ACR 247, as introduced, Acosta. 40th anniversary of Proposition 13.
This measure would commemorate Wednesday, June 6, 2018, as the 40th anniversary date of Proposition 13, in recognition of the impact Proposition 13 has had on the State of California.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, On June 6, 1978, Proposition 13, officially titled the “People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation,” was overwhelmingly approved by California’s voters, establishing a 1 percent property tax cap and a two-thirds vote requirement for taxes approved by the Legislature, as well as for local special taxes approved by the voters; and
WHEREAS, Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13, California’s raging inflation had sent property tax bills in California soaring so high that some seniors on fixed incomes were forced to sell their homes, despite having paid off their mortgages, because they could no longer afford the property tax; and
WHEREAS, Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13, property tax assessments showed wider divergences than assessment disparities under the current acquisition-value system; and
WHEREAS, Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13, renters saw their rents increase when landlords saw their property taxes increase at a rapid rate; and
WHEREAS, With the approval of Proposition 13, real property values were adjusted to a base value equal to the 1975–76 assessed value of real property, thereby introducing an objective standard upon which real property would be taxed and ending the previous subjective standard for assessment that led to the property tax abuses that occurred in the 1960’s and 1970’s; and
WHEREAS, With the passage of Proposition 13, taxpayers, for the first time, were provided a measure of certainty with respect to their property taxes; and
WHEREAS, According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the revenue from the 1 percent property tax has increased at an average annual rate of 7.3 percent from 1979 through 2012, faster than personal income tax revenue growth, and overall property tax revenue increased by 1,000 percent between 1978 and 2012; and
WHEREAS, In the 40 years following the passage of Proposition 13, a family who has owned their home ten years has saved an average of $60,000 on property taxes, proving that property owners benefit from these protections; and
WHEREAS, In the landmark case Nordlinger v. Hahn, the United States Supreme Court ruled nearly unanimously to uphold Proposition 13’s acquisition value based system under the equal protection clause; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 13 has led to revenue stability for local governments, which have seen a nearly $40 billion increase in revenue since 1978; and
WHEREAS, The concept of revenue volatility surrounding both income and sales tax revenue to the state and local governments is a major flaw in California’s tax system; however, Proposition 13 has rendered California’s property taxes a stable and predictable source of public revenue even during economic downturns and has provided a major benefit to local governments in California; and
WHEREAS, In the last three-year recession, property tax was the only major revenue category to show a revenue increase; and
WHEREAS, This stability is important for local government in light of California’s ongoing unfunded pension liability crisis, and the fact that property tax revenue represents 60 percent of a municipality’s average annual revenue; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 13 does not create inequity between different classes of property, as the assessed valuation of commercial and business property has increased at a faster average annual rate than the assessed valuation of residential property; and
WHEREAS, Since the passage of Proposition 13, various polls continue to show that a split-roll alternative, which would alter the existing system so that one or more categories of non-residential property on the local assessment roll would not be subject to the “acquisition value” system established by Proposition 13, is not as popular as to the current system; and
WHEREAS, Increased property taxes would be a disincentive for first-time homebuyers and stand as a barrier to the growth of our housing market; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 13 incited a nationwide tax revolt at the state and local levels; within five years of passage, nearly one-half of the 50 states implemented similar limitations on the government’s ability to raise revenue and nearly all of these tax-limitation measures remain the law of the land today; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 13 has become a nationwide symbol for a taxpayer revolt and for citizens exercising control and power over their governance; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 13 remains just as popular with voters today as it was when it was approved, with numerous recent surveys citing over 60 percent support; and
WHEREAS, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, marks the 40th year following the voters’ approval of Proposition 13; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring,That in recognition of the impact Proposition 13 has had on the State of California, formally commemorates Wednesday, June 6, 2018, as the 40th anniversary date of Proposition 13; and be it further
Resolved,That the Assembly reaffirms its support for Proposition 13 and the benefit that it provides to individual homeowners and to the state’s overall economy; and be it further
Resolved,That the Chief Clerk will transmit copies of this resolution to the Governor of the State of California, and to the author for appropriate distribution.