Wow, this is pretty definitive: With all kinds of California newspapers bashing Proposition 13 (often inaccurately claiming that it has starved the state budget -- which has skyrocketed since 1978 even as compared to inflation), 63 percent of California voters are telling Governor Jerry Brown to keeps his hands off the venerable property tax reform.
The Field Poll today found: "(63% to 29%) voters say that if Prop. 13 were up for a vote again today they would endorse it. By a five to four margin (50% to 41%) voters also oppose the idea of amending Prop. 13 to permit business and commercial property owners to be taxed at a higher rate than residential owners." That's another wow.
Now where is Brown going to get the cash he wants to bail out his battered ship, a ship that Brown said he would have no problem righting if only elected governor again?
Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field write in their prepared statement today that:
When voters are reminded of the initiative and asked how they would vote if it were included on a statewide election ballot today, they back it by about the same margin as they did more than thirty- three years ago.
This must make California's big media power brokers feel emasculated, angry, helpless and even whiny.
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In the past couple of years, there have been dozens -- make that thousands -- of newspaper editorials and "news analyses" decrying the 1978 property tax revolution in California. Just Google "Prop. 13" and "reform."
But the huge sea of Californians hasn't budged, almost to a person.
Why? Because baby boomers remember their grandparents and parents facing the forced sale of their homes in the face of shockingly huge property tax increases under -- none other than 1970s Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown has a huge hill to climb here. It's very, very hard to say how he should go about doing that -- but it's worth noting that everything he has said so far has fallen flat with Californians.