Why Prop. 13 is more crucial than ever

Why Prop. 13 is more crucial than ever

Howard JarvisEvery year brings attempts to gut Proposition 13, the 1978 tax limitation measure. It limits yearly increases in property taxes to 2 percent of the assessed value, beginning when the property was purchased. The original rate is 1 percent of assessed value.

Thus, someone buying a $300,000 condo this year would pay $3,000 in taxes this year, but at most $3,060 next year.

New Jersey didn’t have an equivalent until recently. Here’s what’s happening:

The average property-tax bill in New Jersey, which already has the highest in the U.S., rose 1.7 percent last year, Governor Chris Christie said.

More than 80 towns, school boards and other local governments saw their taxes drop, while about 160 had increases of less than 1 percent, according to an e-mail from the governor’s office.

New Jersey’s property taxes, which are collected by local governments, increased about 7 percent annually in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before the rate began to slow. Christie, a second-term Republican, has controlled the growth after enacting a 2 percent annual cap. Still, the tax climbed to a record of more than $8,000 per household, from the previous high of $7,885 in 2012, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

“This is the lowest rate of growth in 24 years in this state,” Christie said yesterday at a town-hall meeting in Mount Laurel.

That’s only because home price increases slowed after the earlier peaks. But the taxes remain sky high. And you’re living in Jersey!


Write a comment
  1. Donkey
    Donkey 14 March, 2014, 15:19

    Remember the pols and RAGWUS feeders crying how they would be left destitute if Prop 13 passed, wasn’t true then and still isn’t true now! The RAGWUS feeders have created the uncontrolled growth of the cost of government in California, they are the cause, absolute! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. David in the OC
    David in the OC 14 March, 2014, 15:39

    I don’t trust California’s reckless political class to revise Prop. 13 in any way beneficial to the taxpayers, but it seems to me that there would be some wisdom in a property tax scheme that a) is established, collected and administered at the local or county level and not filtered through the state capital and b) has a hard cap on tax increases tied into the amount of tax and not the property value. I’m not sure if New Jersey’s system actually aligns with those goals, but it does sound like it. On point a, elected officials who set tax rates and spend property tax revenues are that much closer and responsive to the voters and taxpayers. On point b, Prop 13 has the strong benefit of preventing the state from taxing property owners’ unrealized gains, but it also forces those gains in their entirety onto new owners. It’s not like Prop. 13 has greatly impeded growth in the size and scope of California’s govt. Prop 13 also creates unintended consequences, like when the aging long standing homeowners of expensive sections of Los Angeles are protected from tax increases related to the growth of their homes’ values (no doubt enabled by land use restrictions), then argue that the Jumbo mortgages loan limits underwritten by Uncle Sam need to be increased so someone can borrow enough to buy them out. While at the same time the rest of us are paying for the worthless schools in LAUSD.

    Reply this comment
  3. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 14 March, 2014, 16:49

    So long as other taxes can be raised at will Prop 13 has no real effect on total tax stolen from the taxpayers. Prop 13 has changed how you get taxed, not how much you get taxed. It also hasn’t changed how municipal budgets are done: first, decide how much of a pay raise everybody is going to get, then figure out how large a budget is needed to support it. What they should be doing is what we peons do, which is figure out how much money you have coming in, *then* figure out what your take-home is going to be.

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 March, 2014, 10:26

      Prop 13 has changed how you get taxed, not how much you get taxed.

      True. Tax revenue went UP after Prop 13 despite a lowering of the homeowners taxes, because “fees” on everything were doubled, tripled, quadrupled.

      Examples; Community Colleges were FREE when I went to college, CSU was $150 PER SEMESTER. Now CC are $750 a semester and CSU is $4000 a semester.

      Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 March, 2014, 17:15

    Don’t you sick of being twisted into knots by these fantasy articles…..then doomer trolls whine, groan and moan.

    Children need educated. Security supports a civilized society. Infrastructure needs repaired and upgraded. This stuff is expensive and desperately needed.

    We need lots of new water distribution sources, diversified transportation sources and a clean enviro in a complex fast changing and mobile society…..

    Wake up. It is your choice: under a decaying bridge with the doomer trolls or out in the sunshine to a far better world for generations to come.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 March, 2014, 10:19

    Any extra taxes that MAY be collected from a revised Prop 13 would go STRAIGHT into the pockets of public employees, who are now comping more than TWICE the average private sector employee. We do not need anymore public trougher pension millionaires. And that is all it would produce, and for that reason alone I am against ALL revisions, even commercial property.

    Reply this comment
  6. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 March, 2014, 11:41

    Ah, what a joy it is to live in America–a country where you can whine all you want and not be punished, imprisoned, or poisoned! Write on your tablet every day a thousand times–“I love America”………………………

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 March, 2014, 12:22


    Don’t you want educated service workers who put soy milk in your latte instead of tomatoe juice? Gotta be able to read labels or discern product pictures.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 March, 2014, 12:23

    Emphasis on “tomatoe”.

    Reply this comment
  9. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 March, 2014, 15:59

    You have zero knowledge about the collective bargaining process BobSmith. After the expected budget-income is known, the two sides meet regarding the amount that is left, after all the fixed obligations are deducted, and then they bicker over how to split it up.

    Reply this comment
    • S Moderation Douglas
      S Moderation Douglas 16 March, 2014, 13:12


      I was about to say I have NO IDEA where people like Bob Smith get there information on government workers.

      Of course, the answer is right before our eyes: “public employees, who are now comping more than TWICE the average private sector employee.”
      Most state workers: 2007 through 2013….. NO COLAs.
      Most state workers: 18 to 24 months 15% loss to furloughs.
      Most state workers: 3% to 8% increase in pension deductions.
      Powerful Public Employee Unions = oxymoron

      Reply this comment
  10. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 March, 2014, 16:04

    Rex I agree that the private sector is getting screwed royally! A bus driver who must drive a hulking vehicle on freeways after dark and wrangle with unrully passengers along the way, makes about half of what I did serving a public that put me in no particular danger. That type-situation should change. But don’t blame public workers for the shame of what happens to be the private sector in America right now. You are working the wrong street Rex–get your brains in order.

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 16 March, 2014, 17:49


    Good to pity Poodle……he needs help in filling out his application for a government job with a great future……

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Tags assigned to this article:
John SeilerNew JerseyProp. 13Taxes

Related Articles

Jerry Brown, faux foe of regulation

April 13, 2013 By Chris Reed Jerry Brown has talked such a good game on regulations that he often gets

CA SEIU poised to break new ground on political thuggery

The California SEIU’s thuggishness is a matter of record. SEIU leaders think nothing of openly discussing their plans to monkey-wrench

East Coast front opens in Filner war on women

Wednesday was a very bad day for Bob Filner, who was purportedly in his third day of an intensive two-week