The Disproportionate Effects of Proposition 13

Evening Forum


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Passed by a landslide of California voters in 1978, Proposition 13 reassessed land values across the state, curbed property taxes to 1% of their assessed value and severely restricted how they could be increased in the future. While this “taxpayer revolt” has benefitted countless landowners, it has also contributed to more than four decades of deleterious impacts. Cities and counties that rely on property tax revenue to fund the services they provide, including K-12 education, have been forced to scramble for dollars elsewhere, such as increased sales taxes, shifting more of the tax burden onto those who are unable to own property. In addition, Prop. 13 continues to contribute to California’s endemic housing crisis by disincentivizing home sales, reducing housing turnover and encouraging valuable parcels of land to remain undeveloped. SPUR recently analyzed the impacts that the initiative has had on one particular city — Oakland — finding disproportionate burden of property tax strangulation on neighborhoods of color, and benefits for whiter communities. Come learn more about how Prop. 13 affects government, education and quality of life in Oakland.

Co-presented by New America.

+ Councilmember Loren Taylor / City of Oakland
+ Phil Levin / Tax Fairness Project
+ Ben Grieff / Evolve California
+ Liz Suk / Oakland Rising



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