As the Bay Area's top-in-the-nation home prices surged even higher during the pandemic, most buyers who managed to score a house are also likely paying far higher property tax bills than their neighbors who paid less for comparable homes and have owned them longer. That "double whammy" caught the attention of Bay Area resident Phil Levin, who created the interactive data website Tax Fairness Project to explain the complexities — and point out the disparities — in how homeowners benefit from Proposition 13, California's landmark tax law. Approved overwhelmingly by voters during a housing bubble in 1978 when assessments were skyrocketing , Prop. 13 caps property taxes to 1% of a home's assessed value at the time of purchase, and limits annual increases to 2%. Properties are reassessed for tax purposes only when they change hands. Prop. 13 continues to enjoy support among California voters. A 2018 Public Policy Institute of California survey found that 40 years after its approval, 57% of Californians felt the initiative was mostly a good thing for the state, with support particularly strong among older residents (66% age 55-plus), Republicans (71%) and homeowners (65%). A sweeping 2020 measure that would have removed its tax protection… Read full this story
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