Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is the latest Democratic lawmaker to call for a change to Prop 13. He wants to stop large companies from disguising changes in ownership that would normally trigger reassessments - something homeowners can't do.
Ammiano: "Well, I think we've
touched the third rail. And you know, my hair is curly and
I'm burning up but we're still alive. And I do think that we
will get sponsors, co-sponsors for this particular bill and for
many tweaks to Prop 13."
Other proposals would reduce the voter threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent for taxes that would go towards schools or libraries. And the idea of a "split roll" where commercial properties would be taxed at a higher rate than residential properties keeps popping up.
Prop 13 supporters are paying close attention. Jon Coupal with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says his organization doesn't think companies should use tricks to avoid reassessments. But he says the other ideas would do grave harm.
Coupal: "California is not a low
property tax state. We rank 15th out of 50 in per capita
property tax collection. So Prop 13 has not starved
California for education dollars and actually has worked well to
stabilize local government revenues."
A new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows the measure is still popular - 64 percent of likely voters say it's been mostly good for the state. Here's Poll Director Mark Baldassare:
Baldassare: "You have to be very
specific and targeted about what you want to say about Prop
13. Because overall, people think that what the voters did in
passing Prop 13 was a good thing."