California Proposition 13 (1978)

California Proposition 13 (1978)

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Proposition 13 (officially named the People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation) was an amendment of the Constitution of California enacted during 1978, by means of the initiative process. It was approved by California voters on June 6, 1978. It was declared constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Nordlinger v. Hahn, 505 U.S. 1 (1992). Proposition 13 is embodied in Article 13A of the Constitution of the State of California.

The most significant portion of the act is the first paragraph, which limited the tax rate for real estate:

Section 1. (a) The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the full cash value of such property. The one percent (1%) tax to be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties.

The proposition decreased property taxes by assessing property values at their 1975 value and restricted annual increases of assessed value of real property to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2% per year. It also prohibited reassessment of a new base year value except for (a) change in ownership or (b) completion of new construction.

In addition to decreasing property taxes, the initiative also contained language requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates. It also requires a two-thirds vote majority in local elections for local governments wishing to increase special taxes. Proposition 13 received an enormous amount of publicity, not only in California, but throughout the United States.

Passage of the initiative presaged a "taxpayer revolt" throughout the country that is sometimes thought to have contributed to the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency during 1980. However, of 30 anti-tax ballot measures that year, only 13 measures passed.

A large contributor to Proposition 13 was the sentiment that older Californians should not be priced out of their homes through high taxes. The proposition has been called the "third rail" (meaning "untouchable subject") of California politics, and it is not popular politically for lawmakers to attempt to change it.

Read more about California Proposition 13 (1978):  Background, The Measure, Outcome, Aftermath, Amendments To Prop 13

Other articles related to "13":

California Proposition 13 (1978) - Proposed Changes - Base Value Changes During Falling Prices
... Prop 13currently increases the base value by 2% every year, regardless of whether house prices are falling or inflation is negative ... It has been proposed to modify prop 13to not increase the base value in any year where the assessed value is less than the base value ...

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