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California's Proposition 13 Retrospective - The Impending Fiscal Collapse of the State

The Legendary, Hard-Core Right-Wing Polemicist
Howard Jarvis.

Initiative passed with 64%, June 6, 1978.

"Tax revolution" for American history...paved with Hell for everyone not of the rich, privileged and vainglorious.

The funeral process begins for California state, died of terminal fiscal illness, age 159 since admittance to the Union in the mid-19th century. 31+ years on the death bed.

The homeowners who voted for the bill, now middle-aged and elderly, have mortgaged California's future for today's convenience. Greed and selfishness won, oblivious to the dire consequence a single generation later. Chickens come home to roost.

I made the effort to acquire TIME magazine June 1978 issue on 'Jarvisism' (irrational & "unintentionally" self-destructive attitude towards the moral and social necessity of taxation) and library archive xerox copy of MONEY January 1994 cover story "The Tax Revolt that Wrecked California."

The articles may be read in conjunction with incompetent and traitorous Governor Schwarzenegger's recent defensive commentary that uncurbed open & illegal immigration ("paid under the table"; tax evasion by employers and migrants; abuse of the welfare, health care & education system paid for by resident legal citizen taxpayers) is not to blame for the out-of-control deficit.

Link to uploaded document at Scribd (80 Megabits PDF)

Wikipedia entry on Prop 13 in PDF


Articles published by the now-defunct L.A. City Beat, January 23, 2008; special issue on Prop. 13 aftereffect epidemic commemorating the 30th anniversary of the tax law (amended California state constitution, Article XIIIA) passed on June 6, 1978.

The Crushing Blow of Howard Jarvis

The Anti-Tax Psychosis

The origin of the mantra: 'I'm mad as hell'

The environmental cost

The biggest loser: schools

Wal-Mart vs. the poor

The tale of a Ventura homeowner (on the disproportionate property tax 'competition')

Cal-Tax Research, November 1993: Proposition 13: Love it or Hate it, its Roots Go Deep

PBS' The Merrow Report on Special Challenge of Prop. 13 - "First to Worst" (television episode)

May 31, 2009 column by the author who wrote The Tax Revolt that Wrecked California - The Late, Great State of California

May 30, 2009 column by Peter Schiff: Obama Should Tell California to Drop Dead

Revolt R.I.P.?

TIME magazine, Monday June 16, 1980

If the the kids can't read, what is the use of library books?" harrumphed California's aging (77) grinch, Howard Jarvis. An interesting question, but not much of an argument for Proposition 9, Jarvis' new plan to cut state personal income taxes in half. Two years ago Californians rousingly approved Jarvis' Proposition 13 to cut real estate taxes an average of 57%. This time his tax-cutting plan met strong opposition from civil service unions and other civic organizations, which argued that it would benefit the rich and cut government services to the poor. Result: Californians last week voted down Prop. 9 by 61% to 39%. Does this mean the tax revolt is over? Not likely. Noting that Californians had enjoyed $26 billion in tax reductions over three years, Governor Jerry Brown declared, "This is not the end of the tax revolt. It's a pause."

The guilty party

The late co-author of the initiative Paul Gann and late Howard Jarvis celebrating the passage of Prop 13.

Still alive - responsible for role in drafting Proposition 13, university professor & former Reagan economic policy advisor ("supply side economics" theory) - one of the few assholes who is instrumental in the fiscal implosion of California:

Arthur Laffer


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