Assemblymember Marie Waldron – As many of you know, I work hard in Sacramento to fight taxes, fees and overbearing regulations. Californians continue to suffer under our excessively high cost-of-living, partly a result of the highest income, gasoline and sales taxes in the United States. Fortunately, we have Proposition 13 to keep property taxes in check, but those protections are now in serious jeopardy.
Proposition 13, which limits yearly property tax increases to 2% for every property owner, remains one of
the main protections for California taxpayers. In 1978, Prop 13 was approved by an overwhelming margin
to end the system of rapidly increasing annual property taxes based on re-assessed property value. Efforts to undermine Prop 13 have become nearly an annual occurrence in Sacramento, and those efforts
achieved preliminary success this year with passage of Assembly Constitutional Amendment 13 (ACA 13).
ACA 13 would block a taxpayer protection initiative, already approved for the ballot, that overrides recent
court rulings and restores the 2/3 vote requirement for all local tax measures. It also allows local
jurisdictions to hold “advisory votes” on tax increases, which only need a simple majority to pass.
Everyone benefits from Prop 13, including owners of recently purchased property. Homeowners are
assured their taxes won’t increase simply because real estate speculation and bureaucratic barriers that
limit new housing have driven up property values. Tenants don’t see their rents increase to cover the cost
of their landlord’s escalating property tax bill, and businesses are able to plan ahead for growth and new
jobs knowing what their tax liabilities will be in future years.
Since ACA 13 would amend the state’s constitution by essentially repealing Proposition 13, the measure
requires voter approval. In the end, whether to add property taxes to our highest-in-the-nation gas, sales
and income taxes will be decided by voters, not the Legislature.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R- Valley Center, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California
Legislature, which includes the cities of Poway, Santee, portions of the City of San Diego, and most of rural eastern and northern San Diego County.