Thursday, November 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Proposition 13 changes stymied by Democrats’ loss of supermajority

By
From page A9 | May 18, 2014 |

Next month marks the 36th anniversary of Proposition 13, California’s iconic property tax limit, and time has not healed its political wounds.

Conservatives still love it, liberals still hate it and it’s perpetual fodder for academic, journalistic and political cogitating.

Decades of polling tell us that voter support for Proposition 13’s property tax limits and high vote thresholds for other taxes remains strong – too strong, evidently, for a frontal assault by its critics, such as a ballot measure to repeal it.

Consistently, polling by the Public Policy Institute of California confirms, those who see Proposition 13 positively outnumber foes by roughly a 2-1 margin.

It’s fair to assume, however, that most legislators, who are overwhelmingly Democratic and allied with anti-Proposition 13 groups such as unions, would favor repeal or at least some major modifications. They have been trying, therefore, to chip away at its tax restrictions.

Several measures are floating around the Capitol this year to do exactly that, but most would require two-thirds legislative votes because they are either constitutional amendments or would raise taxes (the latter is one of Proposition 13’s barriers) and therefore are moribund.

Democrats won two-thirds supermajorities in both legislative houses in the 2012 elections, but by very narrow margins, and the Senate supermajority has since been erased. Democrats lost one seat in a special election last year and three Democratic senators who face criminal charges have been suspended.

Therefore, with Republicans firmly opposed to new taxes, moving any tax measure that requires a two-thirds vote is now impossible. That leaves Senate Bill 1021, which would expand use of “parcel taxes” by school districts, the only big tax bill still alive.

Unlike other property taxes limited by Proposition 13, which are based on value, parcel taxes are, under current law, fixed amounts on property regardless of size or value.

Two years ago, a state appellate court ruled that Alameda Unified School District illegally imposed nonuniform parcel taxes – higher levies on some commercial property than on residential parcels.

SB 1021, carried by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would overturn the decision and allow differential parcel taxes with two-thirds local voter approval.

Business groups oppose the measure, which requires only a simple-majority legislative vote, contending it could void income tax deductibility of parcel taxes.

The Senate approved the bill – barely – on a party-line vote last week, with several Democrats shunning it.

It’s far from a frontal assault but symbolically moves toward a “split roll,” long sought by Proposition 13 foes to remove its limits from commercial property.

Interestingly, polls indicate that a split roll is the one major change voters would support.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him as dwalters@sacbee.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JagMay 18, 2014 - 9:34 am

    Are the Democrats trying to run business out of California or does it just some naturally

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickMay 18, 2014 - 12:57 pm

    JAG I believe the democrats intend to run everyone out of the state. Let's run them out. Be sure too vote

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. PracticalMay 18, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    Yep. SB1021 is a huge job and small business killer. Quit growing government and start growing businesses.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. PracticalJune 26, 2014 - 7:53 am

    SB 1021 died yesterday in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. A huge victory for California's small businesses.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895June 26, 2014 - 8:03 am

    Mr.P: I can't tell from Walters column or the comments whether Alameda schools tried to have higher or lower parcel taxes on nonresidential parcels or whether SB1021 was for one or the other. What objection would there be to a measure that allowed LOWER parcel taxes on nonresidential parcels?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Groups distribute Thanksgiving food

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    County fair proposal, budget topics of scrutiny

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Police: Vehicle burglaries not new for Fairfield

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
     
    Fairfield police offer free gun locks

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Fairfield police investigate shooting

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Library schedules soap-making program

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

    Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Soroptimists seek award applicants

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

     
    Science comes to libraries – for all to see

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

     
    Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

    Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

    Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Nov. 24, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Weather for Nov. 26, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

    .

    US / World

     
    Anger at Ferguson case based on emotion, evidence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 11 Comments

    Tough to make a case against police in shootings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

     
    Protesters return to riot-scarred Ferguson streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

    Los Angeles freeway sign unveiled with typo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Heirloom ring flushed; sewer workers retrieve it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Ohio family recovers missing Sasquatch statue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Auction fetches $28K for 1st batch of new bourbon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    In Seattle, tofu turkeys get Thanksgiving pardons

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Agreement: LA jails to improve wheelchair access

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Window washer fights for life after 11-story fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Cosby philanthropy shadowed by sexual allegations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Oakland police arrest more than 40 protesters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

     
    Lawmakers target Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk fee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Arkansas, Mississippi gay marriage bans overturned

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
    Calorie count to appear with many prepared foods

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Activists: Syrian strikes kill 60 in IS-held city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    AP sources: Top candidate for defense job bows out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

    WWII Museum opening new pavilion in New Orleans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Police: Students ran high school prostitution ring

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

    Wet basements in Buffalo as flooding fears ease

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Soldiers to spend Thanksgiving in Ebola isolation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    2 teen female bombers kill more than 40 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    8 shoes of Holocaust victims stolen in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Official: Afghan president orders military review

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Nov. 26, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Nov. 26, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Horoscope for Nov. 26, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

    The man I’m seeing makes no effort to get to know my kids

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

     
    A do-ahead cornmeal biscuit to sop up your gravy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Fresh take on an herb-roasted Thanksgiving turkey

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Turn turkey leftovers into a healthy dinner salad

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    ‘Birdman’ leads Spirit Awards nominations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Vacaville Christian wins 3-0, advances to state quarterfinals

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Curry powers Warriors past Heat 114-97

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    49ers rookies shine in big roles, out of necessity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Cousins, Kings beat Pelicans 99-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Red Sox bring in Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    NFL, union discuss personal conduct policy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Bama, FSU, Oregon, Miss St keep playoff rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Messi sets European record with 74 goals

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Judge OKs Hernandez trial delay in 2012 killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Kurt Busch wins delay of Delaware court hearing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Giants third base coach Tim Flannery retires

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP source: Left-hander Jon Lester, Giants to meet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Pats are unanimous No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    New iPhones push Apple’s market cap past $700B

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Twitter lets merchants offer deals to its users

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    US economy posts even stronger growth in Q3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Thanksgiving travel woes? There’s an app for that

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    US home price gains slow for 10th straight month

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Barbie dethroned by Team Elsa

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Rain, snow could mess up Thanksgiving travel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Glenita Reyes McLaughliin

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

     
    Leslie “Esi” Gros

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5