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An initiative to amend Proposition 13, a taxation measure passed by the California State Legislature in 1978, has reportedly collected enough signatures to guarantee its inclusion on the November 2020 ballot.
The California Property Tax Transfer Initiative was sponsored by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) and, according to the group, has already garnered the required minimum of 585,407 signatures needed to get the initiative in front of California voters in 2020.
According to the California Secretary of State’s office via Ballotopedia, the California Property Tax Transfer Initiative would “allow homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer the tax-assessed value from their prior home to their new home, no matter (a) the new home's market value; (b) the new home's location in the state; or (c) the number of moves. The ballot initiative would also allow the transfer of tax-assessed values from a prior house to a new house for contaminated or disaster-destroyed properties, no matter the new home's market value or the new home's location in the state…”
The Peace and Freedom Party has long endorsed the idea of a split-roll tax to address the inequities of Proposition 13. Below runs a piece from The Partisan #17, published in mid-2003, about Proposition 13 and its effects on California residents in its first 25 years of existence, effects which have only been magnified in the 21st century.
by Marsha Feinland
The erosion of public services since 1979 directly follows the passage of Proposition 13 in June 1978. The initiative cut local property taxes by nearly 60%, capped property tax rates at 1%, and prohibited all reassessment of California property except for an annual 2% inflation adjustment, although it allowed reassessment upon sale of the property. Any further taxes levied on the value of property were prohibited.
The proponents of the law cited an unfair burden on homeowners whose homes increased in value because of runaway housing inflation while their ability to pay the accompanying higher taxes was limited. The real winners, however, were corporations occupying or owning vast amounts of property. Their taxes stay low even as their stockholders change continuously.
This is why many proponents of fair taxation call for a "split-roll" tax, which would maintain the tax limitation on residential property while allowing taxes on corporate property to rise with its value.
On the eve of his 93rd birthday, Howard Keylor was honored on December 9, 2018, for his inspiring leadership in the struggle for social justice. The event took place in the Henry Schmidt Room of ILWU Local 10 in San Francisco. The Henry Schmidt Room was an appropriate location because union dockworkers have met there to organize protests against militarism, racism, classism and anti-unionism.
More than 100 people attended the tribute, including many who are members of the Peace and Freedom Party. Eric Bergman, co-chair of the PFP Alameda County chapter, read aloud the first paragraph of the PFP tribute to Howard Keylor during the open mic session; click here for the full text.
San Francisco Chronicle coverage of the event, entitled “A longshoremen legend in SF honored for a lifetime of standing strong”, may be read via the link. For video coverage, click here.
Did you think that the Delta Tunnels project was going out with Governor Jerry Brown? Nope – Senator Dianne Feinstein is keeping it alive. She has joined with Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy to attach an extension of the Water Infrastructure Improvement act for the Nation (WIIN) as a rider to the spending bill needed to prevent a government shutdown.
On December 6, Restore the Delta and Food and Water Watch organized a protest against this deal at Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco office. Activists from the Sierra Club, Golden Gate Salmon Association, the Peace and Freedom Party and others joined with the two sponsoring organizations in a small but spirited demonstration.
After raising hopes of new progressive policies during the election, our newly elected Governor now claims to be a fiscal moderate. Gavin Newsom now says, “All of this will be whittled down and we will live within our means.” What does he mean?
The “this” he refers to is more preschool opportunity for poor kids and more money for education in general. “This” also means more health care for those left out of the current inadequate US healthcare system. Those are just some of the things he wants to whittle down.
And just what does Newsom mean when he says “our means?” Our means are the financial limitations imposed on California by all the tax loopholes for the rich and all the corporate giveaways that promise jobs and a better economy, yet never live up to their promises.
What we really need is not to be whittled down, but to expand our means by eliminating all those loopholes and all the corporate welfare. And especially the real estate tax loophole that allows large corporations to receive Prop. 13 tax breaks forever while private homes lose their Prop. 13 status when they change hands, which corporations never do. Then “living within our means” can mean a better life for all Californians.
The President’s threat to close our southern border is not only heartless and draconian, it’s exactly the kind of action that has lead to so many undocumented people living in the U.S.
Before 9/11, and before all this racist hysteria about our porous borders, many, many migrant laborers easily crossed the border each year to work seasonal jobs in the United States. And when those jobs were over, they returned to their families and their homes south of the border. When the border became harder to commute across, many migrant workers found it much more difficult to come north for those jobs. Some gave up, but many chose to just stay here. They became undocumented. Families, if they couldn’t get across the border, were split up. Tightening up the border may have kept some people out, but it also kept many people in.
No citizenship requirement for driver’s licenses also meant that we had licensed, knowledgeable drivers on the road. There are no good reasons to require proof of citizenship in order to get a drivers license. Passing the tests should be enough.
Let’s welcome immigrants, let them become full citizens, and join with them to fight for our common interests: productive jobs, a clean environment, peace, and an America that lives up to the promise engraved on the Statue of Liberty.
The Peace and Freedom Party has taken positions for or against a number of bills in the 2017-2018 session of the California legislature. This article lists our current positions with links to relevant documents.
Spread the word about the Peace and Freedom Party. Encourage your friends to register Peace and Freedom, join the supporting membership program, and get involved.
Here are some introductory handouts you can download and print for distribution. For a more extensive archive of our literature, click here.