, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Fun facts about what prop 13's contributed to our housing crisis, as Republicans celebrate its 40th anniversary (1/6)
1. It capped property taxes so low (at 1%) that it made building more housing a money-losing proposition for most local governments (because the taxes from the housing don't cover the services required by its residents)
2. That led local governments to back-fill their budgets with regressive sales taxes, court and jail fees that trap people in debt cycles after a brush with the law, and building permit fees that make new construction more expensive.
3. It also led local governments to over-prioritize zoning for commercial malls and box stores and auto dealerships (because sales tax revenue nom nom nom), and corporate office parks (because they produce property taxes w/out much increase in demand for services).
4. Also, because prop 13 freezes tax rates until a property transfers OR adds new construction, it's created weird incentives against a) expanding existing residential buildings, and b) people with more house than they need cashing out to downsize.
5. But the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the majority of the tax savings haven't gone to homeowners. That's because corporations, unlike people, don't die. They don't move and change homes. So they don't get re-assessed. Many will keep paying 70s-era taxes basically forever. /end
(And the source for that graph is here: californiataxreform.org/s/system_failu… )
Prop 13's passage wasn't just about spiking property values and fixed-income seniors - it was also a racial backlash against court decisions forcing wealthy white suburbs to share their tax dollars with poorer inner-city schools 1/3 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serrano_v…
Many of the grassroots groups that campaigned to pass prop 13 had been formed a decade earlier, to pass a proposition (later overturned by the courts) to re-legalize racial discrimination in housing
For more on that period of backlash in California politics, and California's subsequent U-turn to bluest of blue states, strong recommend this new book from USC prof Manuel Pastor (just taped an interview with him that we'll air shortly): amazon.com/State-Resistan…
(This chart pretty much shows you the racial equity implications of giving tax breaks to homeowners -- white people are *far* more likely to benefit.) Data from the @uscensusbureau , charts from here: eyeonhousing.org/2019/03/homeow…
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