After recent conversations with a couple of fairly young people who had just bought homes, I was surprised to learn how little they knew about Proposition 13 and why it was overwhelmingly passed by voters long ago.
I was also surprised that they thought it didn’t apply to them. Of course, it does! And after about 10 years in their new home, they will be very glad to have the protection.
If real estate taxes are based on values, it’s impossible to budget future income to support it. The situation is even more difficult for seniors who have no way to pay tax increases.
Problems are worse or more complicated if it was a family business, a rental or a farm.
Some people are pushing to change or do away with the protection that is relied upon by so many of us.
The Prop. 13 on the March ballot is asking for a huge amount of bond money. It seems to say repayment is from the General Fund. Although sadly, past experience shows ballot writers frequently hide some ugly details. Plus, there is a SCA 5 (Senate Constitutional Amendment) being discussed, perhaps already put up for a vote, that attacks Old Prop. 13 from another angle.
But the biggest threat is coming in November. As a senior, this really scares me. I think it’s important for all seniors to be aware. Not only would it be devastating to me, I believe it is unnecessary. There are already ways to add certain fees and bond issues on the annual tax bill, just as our school bond was last year. That should be sufficient without beginning the slippery slope on the way to elimination of this important benefit.