Through Thick and Thin, Support for California’s Proposition 13 Hasn’t Waned

Since its passage 40 years ago, the controversial legislation has remained consistently popular with Californians.

1 minute read

September 18, 2018, 9:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

South San Jose houses

SchuminWeb / Wikimedia Commons

Matt Levin takes a closer look at how support for Proposition 13 in California has fared over the years. While there has been no shortage of criticism about the legislation and its impacts, a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California shows robust support for Prop. 13, with 65 percent of likely voters reporting they think it has been “mostly a good thing.”

While there have been some dips in support over time, this is the same percentage of voters who approved of Prop. 13 when it passed in 1978. Even housing prices have surprisingly not helped move the gauge much, reports Levin. And while the survey found some differences by party affiliation, age, income, and status as a renter or homeowner, a majority held strong across all groups.

In addition, a proposal that would change how Prop. 13 operates has lost support. A "split-roll" property tax system, which would tax commercial properties at current market value, will possibly be on the ballot in 2020. Levin reports that 60 percent of respondents supported this initiative in 2012, but this year that number has dropped to 46 percent.

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