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The Debate Over Prop 13

Los Angeles

Is it time to change Prop 13? You know, that landmark property tax reform initiative that's been under constant attack since its passage in 1978. We're gathering top experts to debate the hot topic during Bisnow's Construction & Development and the Battle of Prop 13, Thursday, March 5, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, starting at 8am.

Among our debaters will be Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association president Jon Coupal, whose group is dedicated to protecting Prop 13. HJTA is comprised almost entirely of homeowners, but Jon tells us it has defended all aspects of Prop 13, which will be a good basis to launch into a discussion on split-roll. Jon says it was clear to voters in 1978 that Prop 13's protections would apply to all real estate. Californians are rightly concerned about job creation, he notes, and he sees no groundswell to remove the protection for commercial property.

Jon says the per-capita tax burden in California from all sources is much higher today than it was in 1978, even accounting for inflation. Since this Monday was Presidents Day, we asked what the founding fathers would've thought about Prop 13. Given the country's foundation in tax revolts (that whole thing in Boston Harbor), Jon thinks they'd be very pleased with Prop 13 and the citizen activism it reflects, with ordinary citizens taking control of their own lives. See Jon and Gina Rodriguez of the California Tax Payers Association debate against Kirk Stark of the UCLA School of Law and Lenny Goldberg from the California Tax Reform Association at our Construction & Development and the Battle of Prop 13 event, Thursday, March 5. at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, starting at 8am. Sign up here.