Taxing the System: 25 Years of Proposition 13

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Twenty-five years ago this week, some two-thirds of California voters cut their property tax rates by 57 percent, but that-s not all that can be attributed to Proposition 13. The initiative has been compared to the Boston Tea Party, sparked a nationwide tax revolt, and helped put Ronald Reagan into the White House. It-s also been blamed for poor schools, collapsing freeways and the acquittal of OJ Simpson. Supporters call it the taxpayers- salvation. Opponents claim it spelled the end of effective local government. We review its history, its unintended consequences and its possible future, with Peter Schragg, whose Paradise Lost derives its title, in part, from what he thinks Prop 13 did to California, and Joel Fox, who helped campaign for Prop 13 and then spent 12 years as President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
  • Reporter-s Notebook: Journalist Debra Dickerson on Civil Rights, the End of Blackness
    She's a former reporter for whose books include An American Story and her forthcoming The End of Blackness. Tomorrow night, she-ll be at Z-calo, a public square lecture series presented by the downtown Public Library. A 12-year veteran of the Air Force, Debra Dickerson shares her well defined opinions on the military, civil rights and the country-s changing socio-political landscape.

Proposition 13

Debra Dickerson

Public Square lecture series



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton