Divide and Conquer: the process of breaking up a large concentration of power into smaller ones that have less power and then prevent those smaller groups from joining together to fight back, or, the recent attempt at pitting homeowners against business and commercial property owners to try and take apart Proposition 13.
Sadly, there are those who feel that even though we are ranked as some of the most taxed individuals in our nation, California taxpayers still aren’t sending enough of their money to Sacramento. They want to see our property tax ranking move up until we reach #1. Although they will start by chipping away at it one piece at a time, the ultimate goal is to see Proposition 13 go away completely.
Recently, the Orange County Taxpayers Association partnered with the respected opinion research firm of Probolsky Research to survey taxpayers in Orange County. We asked if they supported or opposed keeping Proposition 13 in place without any changes. With a margin of error of +/- 5.8%, three quarters or 76% of those surveyed supported keeping Proposition 13 in place without any changes. Interviews were conducted on both landline and cell phones and were offered in English and Spanish.
We are pleased that Orange County taxpayers understand the importance of preserving and protecting Proposition 13 as passed by California voters over 30 years ago.
Even with Proposition 13 in place our property tax rate ranked as the 19th highest nationally as of July 2013. One could only imagine where we would rank without Prop 13 in place. All homeowners in California are protected whether they purchased their home in 1978 or yesterday. In addition to protecting seniors on fixed incomes there are many young homeowners who would not be able to afford to keep their homes if their property taxes were based on an arbitrary subjective value a County Assessor might come up with every year. Especially given the volatile real estate market here in California.
OCTax will continue to fight any effort to weaken Proposition 13 and will stand with the vast majority of Orange County taxpayers who agree that we are taxed enough and that the protections Proposition 13 gives property owners and taxpayers need to stand without change.
By Carolyn Cavecche, President & CEO of Orange County Taxpayers Association