Proposition 13

PROPOSITION 13….Via Calblog, I discover that not only is today the anniversary of D-Day, it’s also the anniversary of Proposition 13, which instituted California’s famous property tax limits.

Prop 13 is a pretty good example of the law of unintended consequences. It did reduce property taxes, and thus reduced a considerable load of middle class anxiety caused by skyrocketing property values, but it also transferred a lot of power from local cities and counties to the state as local property tax revenues dried up. Prop 13 isn’t the only culprit in this shift, but Sacramento has a lot more power in local affairs today than it did 25 years ago. That’s something that conservatives, at least, ought to be wary of.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation