Tell Us: Could Property Taxes Be More Fair in California?

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A home in San Francisco's Mission District. (Jeremey Raff/KQED)

TELL US BELOW: How can our property tax system be more fair to all Californians?

KQED wants to hear your views on California's state property tax system that was set by Proposition 13 back in 1978.

Vote on your peers' statements about how they would make the law more fair, or submit your own idea. The more you speak, the better we can understand where we find agreement. Give it a try. Join the conversation. Need more background on Proposition 13? Keep scrolling.

How much people pay in property taxes is a question some in California might consider taboo.

Last year, KQED gathered neighbors from a single block in Oakland to ask them just that, and the answers were striking.

For one man who bought his house in 1976, the answer was $1,800. For a woman who bought her house in 2016? It was $13,000.

The reason for this variance: Proposition 13. That's the voter-led initiative passed in 1978, which tied property tax rates to the purchase price of a home or business, and limited how much tax bills could grow. It substantially changed California by slashing revenue that cities, counties and school districts use to operate.

This is all timely, because in November, you and other California voters will decide whether the tax cap should be lifted for certain commercial properties. This is called the “split roll” initiative and, if approved, it would deliver revenue for cities, counties and school districts.

Still, many believe Proposition 13 would continue to create unequal tax burdens, even if the split roll initiative passes. Others say it protects people on fixed incomes who bought their homes decades ago, and who would be financially incapable of paying current property tax rates.

So... how do you think our property tax system could be more fair to all Californians?

KQED journalists will moderate the submissions. They will read each statement submitted and use journalistic ethical standards to offer quality control and civility for the experiment. Offensive and racist language will not be tolerated.