Perspectives of the Property Tax Forty Years after Proposition 13
30 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019
Date Written: March 1, 2019
We use results from the December 2016 CalSpeaks Survey to assess citizen understanding about how the property tax functions and the distributional impact of the tax. Key issues include (1) do California citizens today understand the provisions of Proposition 13 and the implications for how the property tax operates in California, and (2) given that knowledge, what is the perspective of California residents about the income incidence (progressivity) of the property tax. The survey results reveal weak current understanding of the tax rate limitations of Proposition 13 and a resulting overestimate of actual property tax payments. Only about one third of residents believe that the property tax is progressive (i.e. a greater percentage of income for a typical high-income person), with robust evidence that greater knowledge of the basic elements of Proposition 13 (fixed rate and method of assessment) increases the likelihood of belief that the property is progressive.
Keywords: Property Tax, Perception, Progressivity, Proposition 13
JEL Classification: H71, H27, R51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation