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Richard Rider

Prop 15 is clearly the first step toward totally gutting Prop 13 — “for the children”

Liberal California columnist Joe Matthews just wrote his typical “mo’ money” column. Already Joe is unhappy that, according to him, “only” four billion dollars of Prop 15 loot will end up going for education. He wants a breathtaking FIFTY billion for education — money coming from totally “reforming” (actually gutting) Prop 13. But he never explains why we need more education spending.

As a simpleton, Joe doubtless equates more spending on education with education improvement. But there’s little evidence that there’s such a correlation. Indeed, quite the contrary.
To begin with, the extra education funding is for the benefit of the school EMPLOYEES — not the students. CA teachers are already the highest paid in the nation — according to THEIR national labor union. CA teachers also arguably have the best benefit package — notably the pensions. Where’s the correlation of spending with results, Joe?

Liberal New York state spends over 50% more per student than California. Yet NY delivers the same abysmal academic results as CA. Progressives HATE it when confronted by such facts.

No California teacher is fired for subpar performance after only two years on the job. They get tenure, though it’s not called that. Moreover, teacher pay is based solely on seniority and degrees — not on effectiveness. Higher pay will not improve their performance. Unions rule in CA education. A massive increase in education spending is not needed to meet a growing student population. The actual number of school age children (and college age young adults) has been dropping in CA every year since 2004! Very few are aware of this trend.
Without providing any facts, Joe is saying that we pay WAY too little property tax in California. Joe seldom provides facts, because facts disprove his liberal claims. Here — let me help: While our CA property tax RATES are lower than the national average, our CA tax BILLS are much higher than the tax that the other states levy. Indeed, even with the protections of Prop 13, the median California homeowner pays over 65% more property tax than the median homeowner in the other 49 states.  

Joe claims that gutting Prop 13 (his goal) will “produce” $50 billion. No, Joe. It will CONFISCATE $50 billion from businesses, homeowners and renters in CA. It will PRODUCE zippo. Apparently Joe thinks our sky-high CA cost of living is too low.

Here’s a stunning result that’s coming if Joe’s Prop 13 bogus reform is fully implemented — returning us to his halcyon days just before Prop 13 passed: Assuming that the median San Diego home is worth $550,000 (lower than the current estimate), after the reform, the median homeowner will pay $14,500 annually in property tax. Plus all the local property tax assessments. Currently the median homeowner tax is a hefty $6,800. Hence the homeowner will owe on average over $640 extra in property tax — EVERY MONTH! 


As I mentioned above, the $550,000 figure is lower than current values. The median California home is worth $586,659 in October 2020, according to Zillow.  In my San Diego County, the median home value is now $632,264.

In spite of all these facts, I expect that in this decade, Prop 13 WILL be essentially overturned by clueless California voters, brainwashed by our liberal MSM and progressive “education” establishment.  We’ll learn the harsh realities only AFTER we lose all the Prop 13 protections.  The outflow of CA wealth and businesses will only accelerate, further reducing the need for education spending (but the education funding will continue to rise).  This outflow will reduce the number of taxpayers remaining in CA to pay the bills for our de facto California aristocracy — the state and local CA public employees.