By Marie Waldron
As your Assemblymember, I work hard in Sacramento to fight taxes, fees and overreaching regulations. During my 14-years on the Escondido City Council, I never supported a tax increase and continue to support hardworking families and businesses.
Fortunately, Proposition 13, which limits yearly property tax increases to 2 percent for every property owner, remains one of the main protections for California taxpayers. In 1978, Prop 13 was approved by an overwhelming margin to end the system of rapidly increasing annual property taxes based on re-assessed property value.
Unfortunately, efforts to undermine Prop 13 have almost become a yearly occurrence. Whether through attempts to lower voter approval thresholds for local tax increases from two-thirds to 55 percent, or by new efforts to increase commercial property taxes by “split roll.”
Everyone benefits from Prop 13, even for recently purchased property. Homeowners are assured their taxes won’t increase simply because real estate speculation has driven up property values. Tenants don’t see their rents increase to cover the cost of their landlord’s escalating property tax bill, and businesses are able to plan ahead for growth and new jobs knowing what their tax liabilities will be in future years.
California already has the nation’s highest gasoline taxes, and costly sales and income taxes. We should be encouraging business formation and job creation, not adding new taxes that drive businesses and jobs out of state.
Even Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledges this. As he stated in his budget conference this week regarding Prop 13, “The fact is there is more property tax collected than ever.” That’s a good sign signaling that Prop 13 has worked to increase state revenues while protecting taxpayers.
Proposition 13 ensures prosperity for all. I will continue to stand firm in my opposition to any efforts that undermine this important protection for California taxpayers.
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron represents the 75th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.
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