California manages with property tax cap; we can, too

A recent Herald’s editorial favors an increase in local governments’ annual property tax cap from 1 percent to 3 percent (“Local governments need a fair boost of their tax cap,” The Herald, Feb. 23)

But the proposed legislation omits one very importantI detail: The limit applies only to taxes, not to properties’ assessed valuations as well.

We well remember being almost taxed out of our property in California when assessed values increased one year, and tax rate percentages the next, sometimes both at the same time.

This led to a revolt by the taxpayers who, in 1978 passed Proposition 13, which not only limited the annual percentage tax increase to 1 percent, but also (very importantly) limited the assessed valuation increase to no more than 2% per year. The passage of Prop 13 made it possible for people, especially seniors on a fixed income, to remain in their homes.

California appears to have managed quite well under the tax limitations in Prop 13 for going on 45 years. Why can’t we, in Washington, try to do the same?

Frank Baumann


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