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The SF Business Times reports that changes may be afoot for California's Prop 13. Prop 13, as you may recall, essentially freezes a property owner's tax bill to approximately the level it was when the property was purchased. It was put in place to assure people that as property values soared, they would not be forced to move.
The problems this creates is that adjacent homeowners pay for the same government services, but some homeowners pay 15 to 20 times what their neighbors do. Indeed, those that are getting the lower tax bill are causing those that come later to pay artificially high tax bills to make up the difference. The other consequence is more about the housing crisis - many seniors, how would like to move to lower density, smaller, cheaper housing can not afford to do so. Some tweaks to the law have allowed some seniors to move to some counties.
A new ballot measure (has the signatures, but not on the ballot at this writing) would allow California homeowners 55 or older to sell their home and maintain their current tax base provided by Prop 13. These homeowners would be allowed to do this as many times as they wish within the state.
The theory here is that those who retire would like to downsize and move further away from the hustle and bustle of their working lives, freeing up housing for those who need to live amongst the hustle and aforesaid bustle.
The SF Business Times reported that the housing crisis in the Bay Area could well get worse. Over 20 years, it is possible that 2 million more people will be added to our little haven, making the Bay Area larger than NYC. None of the Bay Area counties are producing enough housing to meet this demand.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments are working on the possibility of state legislation that would tax businesses to pay for housing. Already some Bay Area cities are considering additional taxes on businesses to pay for housing as well as transportation costs. The reasoning is that the businesses created the problem and should be a part of the solution.
Seattle has tried this, but abandoned the idea after some heavy-hitter businesses (Amazon, Starbucks) balked at the idea. Rather than cities levying additional taxes, some have suggested a regional tax so that towns with no businesses but lots of residents also pay their fair share in solving this regional problem. This would also eliminate the potential for companies to play cities off each other by threatening moves - the famous "race to the bottom" that plagues many states.