Back in 1978, Proposition 13 was sold to us as a way to keep us old folks from losing our homes to high taxes — and we bought it.
Well, because, on average, homes in California are bought and sold every five years, and the new tax is based on the sale price, old folks are losing our homes at practically the same rate as before.
How about non-residential properties? Hardly every five years. When is the last time the Bank of America or Wells Fargo sold its bank and moved into a new one with higher taxes? Does anyone doubt the B of A in downtown Santa Barbara is paying more than the mandatory 2% increase each year since 1978?
So while residential taxes have gone up at about 6% a year due to price increases, since 1978 – the same rate as residential values (plus the mandatory 2% increase) — commercial property taxes have gone up at only 2% per year, as required by Prop. 13, thanks to almost zero ownership changes.
No, Prop. 13 wasn’t set up to save our old folks from becoming homeless. It was set up to keep property taxes on business establishments from raising any faster than 2% per year.
Prop. 15 on the November ballot will help correct this unfair system of Prop. 13.
It establishes a “split roll” system that will tax commercial and industrial properties differently from homes, and will return some fairness to California’s tax laws.
Vote “Yes” on Proposition 15.