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SR-39 (2017-2018)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Resolution No. 39


Introduced by Senators Morrell, Anderson, Bates, Cannella, Fuller, Gaines, Moorlach, Nguyen, Nielsen, Vidak, and Wilk

May 08, 2017


Relative to the 39th anniversary of Proposition 13.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SR 39, as introduced, Morrell.

WHEREAS, On June 6, 1978, Proposition 13, officially titled the “People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation,” was overwhelmingly approved by California’s voters, reducing property tax rates on homes, businesses, and farms, and capping the rate of increase in the future; and
WHEREAS, Home and business ownership are a bedrock of the American dream; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 13 makes it easier for all people, regardless of life circumstances, to achieve this dream; and
WHEREAS, Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13, California’s raging inflation had sent property tax bills in California soaring so high that many families had to sell their homes because they could not afford to pay their taxes; and
WHEREAS, Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13, small business owners facing fast increasing property taxes were forced to lay off their employees or close their businesses if property tax increases made their businesses unprofitable; 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 passage of Proposition 13, taxpayers, for the first time, were provided a measure of certainty with respect to their property taxes; and
WHEREAS, In the 10 years following the passage of Proposition 13, incomes in California grew 50 percent faster than in the nation as a whole, and jobs grew at twice the national average; and
WHEREAS, Following the passage of Proposition 13, California’s budget climbed from $55 billion in 1980 to $97 billion in 1992—a 75-percent increase above inflation; and
WHEREAS, In the 38 years following the passage of Proposition 13, the average homeowner and the average small business have saved tens of thousands of dollars annually in property tax payments, money that was put back into the economy to create jobs and foster economic development; and
WHEREAS, Since the passage of Proposition 13, proposed alternatives to Proposition 13 would have had a variety of unwelcome effects, including substantial tax increases for low-income and elderly homeowners; and
WHEREAS, Increased property taxes would be a disincentive for first-time homebuyers and stand as a barrier to growth of our housing market; 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, Proposed alternatives to Proposition 13 that would increase property taxes on California businesses would also affect the ability of employers to hire or retain California employees; and
WHEREAS, Proposed alternatives to Proposition 13 would also negatively affect renters who would see their rents increased if their landlords experienced property tax increases; and
WHEREAS, Since the passage of Proposition 13, voters have rejected, by wide margins, changes that would have businesses pay property taxes at a higher rate than those imposed upon residential owners, as evidenced by the defeat of Proposition 167 in 1992; and
WHEREAS, The volatility of 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, Friday, June 6, 2017, marks the 39th year following the voters’ approval of Proposition 13; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate, in recognition of the impact Proposition 13 has had on the State of California, formally commemorates June 6, 2017, as the 39th anniversary date of Proposition 13; and be it further
Resolved, That the Senate 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 Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the Governor of the State of California, and to the author for appropriate distribution.