Opportunity Arises to Revise California's Prop 13

Proposition 13 has long been associated with California's budget woes and "fiscalization of land use" policies. Meant to apply primarily to residential property, commercial property owners have benefited more. 'Split role' could correct the problem.
April 29, 2009, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The landmark 1978 measure (known as Proposition 13) imposed a tight limit on property taxes, which previously had been the chief support for schools and local governments, and had the indirect effect of shifting much of that burden, especially for education, to the state.

"There's almost no chance that Proposition 13's limits on residential property taxes would be touched". However, a strategy known as "split roll", whereby residential and commercial property are evaluated differently, has been a longstanding favorite amongst reformers.

"One section of Proposition 13 requires taxable values to be upgraded when a parcel changes ownership. Homes almost always change hands in one sale, but business property is most often transferred incrementally, as ownership of corporations changes through stock sales. And unless more than 50 percent changes hands in one transaction, Proposition 13's reassessment provisions are not triggered.

It's still not likely to happen, but as the state's budget crisis deepens, even the politically unthinkable surfaces."

Thanks to Roundup

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Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 in Sacramento Bee
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