California Tinkering with Prop 13

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"It's a cold day in Hell... Pigs are flying somewhere." That's the reaction of a Republican Assemblyman to the prospect that Proposition 13 might finally be amended, 36 years after California voters started a property tax revolt that went nationwide. A committee of the State Assembly has passed a bill to modify implementation of the landmark property tax law that any politician fears to touch — especially in an election year. Recent polls show new concern about how businesses use it to avoid paying taxes. Cynics say support for modest change is designed to ward off real reform. Homeowners won't be affected — yet. But some Prop 13 diehards worry that, "the camel's nose is under the tent." The California Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have dropped their opposition.  But the signal that matters most comes from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, named for the man who led the property tax revolt in 1978.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgLater, on To the Point, six decades after Brown versus the Board of Education, American schools are still segregated by race. What happened to all those court orders and so-called "forced busing?" Is the real cause of school segregation discrimination in housing and income inequality?


Banner image: The pool area of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, whose recent sale used a Prop 13 loophole to avoid higher property taxes




Warren Olney