Prop 13 Has Helped All Californians for More Than 40 Years

For more than 40 years, Prop 13 has provided property tax certainty to homeowners, renters and businesses. Under Prop 13, general property taxes for both residential and business properties are calculated based on 1% of the purchase price. Annual increases in property valuations are capped at 2% per year, which helps provide certainty to homeowners and businesses that they will be able to afford their property in the future.

Prop 13 also benefits renters, small businesses and all Californians by preventing skyrocketing increases in property taxes that get passed along to tenants and consumers in the form of higher rent and higher costs for goods and services.


Organized Efforts Are Underway to Destroy Prop 13

There are a number of serious, well-organized attempts to destroy Prop 13 and increase property taxes in California on homeowners and businesses.

Current attacks on Prop 13 include:

State and local ballot measures

that would increase property taxes on residents and businesses, including measures to tax business property at a higher level.

State legislation

that would make it easier to raise property taxes at the local level or increase the tax rate on homes or businesses.


attempting to make it easier to pass measures implementing higher local property taxes.

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Undermining Prop 13 Will Drive Up the Cost of Living

We should reject attempts to undermine Prop 13 that would impose higher property taxes on residents and businesses.

Undermining Prop 13 protections will:

Increase costs for all Californians.

Increased property taxes on businesses will just be passed along to all of us. We’ll be forced to pay billions of dollars more for rent, housing, groceries, utilities, restaurants, prescriptions, clothing, day care, health care and even gas – just about everything we buy or use will cost more!

Make our cost of living and tax burden even worse.

Californians are struggling to afford housing, food and transportation, and more people are living in poverty than any other state. Even worse, California has the highest state income and sales taxes in the nation. At a time when too many families are living paycheck to paycheck, we simply cannot afford higher property taxes and higher costs for the goods and services we buy.

Eliminate tax certainty.

Every Californian who buys a home should be confident they will not be forced out of their home later in life due to rising property taxes and every business deserves to know with certainty what their taxes will be so they can keep their doors open, meet payroll and continue to grow.

Hurt small businesses and cost jobs.

Many small businesses lease their stores, offices, and shops. Property owners will simply pass along higher property taxes to small businesses by raising rents – cutting into their ability to stay in business and increasing costs for all of us as small businesses pass along higher costs.

Disproportionately hurt low-income families.

Higher costs for housing, food and other goods and services disproportionately impact low-income families struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, the revenues generated from increased property taxes on homes or businesses will largely go to communities with the strongest economies and higher property values. Wealthy coastal communities will get the majority of new revenues, while Inland and Central California communities will be disadvantaged.


The Problem: Out-of-Control Property Taxes

In the 1970s, families, seniors and small businesses were faced with the possibility of losing their properties because they couldn’t afford 50-100% increases in their property taxes every year. Unpredictable property tax bills skyrocketed, often beyond owners’ ability to pay. As a result, many families were forced from their homes and small businesses were left with no choice but to raise prices on their customers.



Destroying Prop 13 Will Make California’s Tax Burden Even Worse

California has a $22 billion budget surplus and more than $20 billion in general fund reserves. At the same time, too many families are living paycheck to paycheck. Now is not the time to raise property taxes and increase costs on everything we buy and use.

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