Leadership

“Proposition 13Õs Effect Was Delayed, But Trouble Now Looms in California”

Issue 4 and Volume 135.

Proposition 13’s Effect Was Delayed, But Trouble Now Looms in California features Staff Correspondent When Proposition 13 was passed by California voters in 1978, there were predictions of gloom and doom by public officials. Fire, police, parks, libraries, street sweeping, health and other local and regional government services would be decimated, they said. Employees would be laid off by the hundreds, if not thousands. But it didn’t happen, at least not then. Generous state bailout grants were available. California had not indexed its income tax and, with inflation booming and with federal grants through CETA and other programs, there were huge surpluses in the budget. These were returned to counties, cities, schools and special districts so no one in government worried. The taxpayers who saw their property taxes permanently cut were delighted. No employees lost their jobs, the fire departments more or less had business as usual. Time bomb ticking…

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