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Controller Dead Wrong on Property Taxes

California’s State Controller, Betty Yee, normally displays a measured, albeit liberal, view of California fiscal affairs. While viewed as reasonably competent and not given to hyperbole, her recent statement in a local government blog was one she must have known to be flat wrong.

The blog, called County Voice, is disseminated by the California State Association of Counties. In it, Controller Yee pushed her vision of California tax reform – something about which she has written frequently. Yee, like most policy leaders both liberal and conservative, has recognized that California’s tax structure is broken. In fact, Yee is correct when she writes “our system leaves the state budget prey to boom-and-bust cycles, in turn disrupting funding of essential public services.”

While the real cause of California’s fiscal distress is that political leadership lacks the will to save money during the boom times, most agree that revenue volatility is a real problem that needs to be addressed.

However, after her observations about California’s volatile and highly progressive tax structure, Yee said this about property taxes: “Meanwhile, in the nearly four decades since the passage of Proposition 13, revenues from the property tax—as well as the sales tax and corporation tax—have diminished.”

To read the entire column click here http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/controller-dead-wrong-on-property-taxes/

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