The attacks on Proposition 13 began within a few days after its overwhelming passage by California voters on June 6, 1978. Over the last three and half decades, this landmark taxpayer protection has been assailed in the legislature, the courts and by ballot initiatives sponsored by tax-and-spend interests. These assaults continue to this day.
In a development that has surprised taxpayer advocates and the business community, a new attack on Proposition 13 is quickly gaining traction. Filed as an initiative with the sympathetic title of “Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act,” the proposal would impose a massive $6 billion property tax increase on both homeowners and business properties. Its primary backer is Conway Collis, a former member of the California Board of Equalization.
The fact that there is yet another attack on Proposition 13 is not much of a surprise. However, this proposal is as odd as it is dangerous. First, it is not being financed by the usual anti-Proposition 13 coalition of public sector unions and local government interests. Instead, the funding is coming from anti-poverty groups aligned with the Catholic Church, including the Sisters of Charity.
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