Like death and taxes, well, especially taxes, the only thing I've felt sure about is that Proposition 13 would never be touched.
The 1978 ballot initiative championed by the late Howard Jarvis caps property taxes at 1 percent of a home's purchase price, and taxes can only growing 2 percent a year (until you sell the house, then the process starts over at the new purchase price for the new buyer). For example, if you buy a home for $200,000, your property tax will start at about $2,000. Ten years later, while the house may be worth $400,000, your property tax bill will only be about $2,400.
Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow at Chapman University and a well-known public policy expert, thinks it's time to tinker with Prop 13. Kotkin says our property taxes are too low, and our income taxes are too high, helping and hurting the wrong people. "Who is hurt by the high income taxes?" he asks. "The entrepreneurs, the young couples who are raising children. Who benefits from Prop 13? The elderly, the retired and the property owners. So you end up with a kind of rent-tier society which is really everything that California should not be." Kotkin says California should be "an entrepreneurial society that encourages people to go out and make money and do it in a responsible way." But he fears the legislature would prefer to just gut Prop 13 and raise property taxes (political suicide) without lowering income taxes at the same time.