Prop. 13 and our failure to communicate

Public Affairs Consultant specializing in Issue Advocacy and Strategic Communications

Michelle Steele’s response to my post yesterday asking why Speaker Bass has placed Prop. 13 off limits for discussion about fiscal reforms reinforces two common perceptions among folks in my age group:

  • Republicans love gag orders
  • Baby boomers, now that they’re the status quo, don’t like being challenged by younger generations

Yesterday, I asked why Prop. 13 is off limits for discussion in Speaker Bass’s task force. Ms Steel responded “because it works.”

I am fully aware and appreciative that Prop. 13 protects homeowners from escalating property taxes. My question is why my generation of home buyers has to pay so much more in property taxes for homes that are typically smaller than the homes we grew up in. That question was not addressed and since we’re not allowed to discuss Prop. 13, I suppose it will go left unanswered.

California’s fiscal situation is shameful. Spending has increased 40 percent in just five years, and our taxes are already among the highest in the nation. California is losing its competitiveness to keep jobs here while our middle class slowly shrinks. I am glad that Bass is looking carefully at these problems.

I don’t think we need more studies, but it that’s what it will take to right this ship then Bass’s task force should get to work now—and not be told that sacred cows like Prop. 13 (and Prop. 98) are off the table.

The status quo is not acceptable.

p.s. I loved Howard Jarvis in his cameo appearance in the 1980 movie “Airplane!”

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