With 2.1 Million Californians Out of Work, a Property Tax Increase Is the Last Thing We Need

As we approach the 33rd anniversary of the
voters’ approval of Proposition 13, efforts to undo the initiative’s property
tax protections are getting more attention.

The biggest threat is AB 448, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano,
who announced last year that he would like to "nuke" Proposition 13 in its
entirety. His legislation would take a big step toward this goal by repealing
Proposition 13 protections for employers, even as the state struggles with a 12
percent unemployment rate.

Under Proposition 13, property is assessed based on the
acquisition value, and this value cannot increase more than 2 percent in any
given year, unless there is new construction or a change in ownership. When
property changes ownership, it is reassessed based on the purchase price.