November 17th, 2009


Prop 13 again!

A comment by "dave42" on this article is amusing to me.

"[Democracy] can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury." California will either overturn prop13, or it will fold in an economic collapse, with voters all the while insisting prop13 was not the problem. Prop13 might have worked, if it prevented legislators and voters from passing programs that cost money. However, since prop13 was enacted, voters and legislators repeatedly pass costly programs without the ability to pay for them. CA citizens think they can have their services without costs. Consider the current situation the beginning of a lesson in math and accounting.

I find it amusing because it draws attention to the discord between tax revenue and demand for funding. With property taxes fixed low by prop13, legislators didn't just sit back and tighten their belts, they instead started to drum up taxes by other means. So they hiked up income and sales taxes.

Prop13 supporters like to throw around a chart showing how the poor would have to start paying more property tax proportionally if 13 were to be repealed. But for every dollar they save in property tax, they are likely just losing it in sales tax. Where's the chart that shows how the poor are proportionally affected by sales tax?