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No Prop 13 Battle On November Ballot


California’s political “third rail” will remain unchanged for at least another two years.

Although Proposition 13’s property tax limits have long been highly popular, anti-poverty advocates had hoped to qualify a November ballot measure that would have raised taxes on properties worth more than $3 million.

But initiative backers realized that wouldn’t be feasible. They say they collected 550,000 voter signatures but likely would have needed another 300,000 – an expensive and challenging task in the limited time available to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

They say they hope to try again another election year.

The proposal, which would have funded anti-poverty programs like early education and welfare, would have faced strong opposition from business and taxpayer groups.

Proposition 13 has long been popular with voters. It's often called California’s political third rail: You touch it, you die.

But supporters felt the measure was polling well and insist they sidelined their effort only due to logistical challenges.

There will still likely be two other tax measures on the November ballot: a tobacco tax increase, and an extension of the Proposition 30 income taxes on the wealthiest Californians that voters approved back in 2012.

 Election 2016

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio