For Californians Proposition 13 can be a very touchy issue. The People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, a 1978 amendment to the state constitution restricts the amount of property tax that can be charged and how much it can increase each year. It also prohibits property values from being reassessed except when there is a change in ownership or when new construction is completed. The proposition also requires two-thirds majority approval in California’s legislative houses for future increases of any state tax including income tax.
Proposition 13 is very popular among homeowners as it keeps property tax obligations down. There is a fear that without it people on fixed incomes could be unable to afford their homes due to rising property taxes alone. Property values in many parts of California are considerably higher than the national average and have experienced rapid appreciation over the past few decades.
On the other side there are those who are concerned about the disincentive to change homes as property taxes could be considerably higher on a new home because value would be assessed at the change in ownership when compared to the previous home which may have been assessed years earlier. Opponents to Proposition 13 also worry that the decreased tax revenue to state and local governments has contributed to the budget crisis California is currently experiencing.
Whichever side of the debate you come down on it is clear that Proposition 13 greatly affects California homeowners, taxpayers, and citizens. Ask your elected officials where they stand when it comes time for state and local elections so that you can cast an educated vote concerning this issue.
The following California communities cracked the Top 25 of the Top 100 cities with highest median house values in the United States on CityData.com. In each of these areas, the median home price exceeded $1,000,000.
- West Santa Clara
- Rolling Hills
- Monte Sereno
- Los Altos Hills
- Portoloa Valley
The following California markets cracked Realtor.com’s list of 25 Top Turnaround markets:
- Oakland (#6)
- Bakersfield (#16)
- San Jose (#24)