There were mathematical errors in J.J. Gasparotti’s “Charge It” column, regarding the abundant city coffers and how Proposition 13 has not caused any revenue loss to the City of Laguna Beach since it was passed in 1978.
California is the only state to provide this tax break. If it were such a revenue generator, one would surmise other states would pass similar measures. It has cost California schools, counties and cities billions of dollars over the years. In 2017, Los Angeles County was deprived $280 million in revenue due to Prop 13.
The Los Angeles Times obtained a decade’s worth of property records from 13 counties along California’s coast and compared with public data via Zillow.
The Times found the following irrefutable facts:
“Areas of Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach could have collected an additional $7 million and $5.5 million, respectively, in property tax receipts last year without the inheritance benefit.”
“The children of Lloyd Bridges had a $5,700 tax bill last year for their Malibu home now estimated by Zillow to be worth $6.8 million. If someone bought the home at that price today, they’d pay more than $76,000 annually in property taxes.”
J.J.—how many of these homes are in Laguna Beach? That would be $70,300 in additional revenue to Laguna Beach for one home.
“In Malibu, Hollywood Hills and Playa del Rey, more than 80 percent of owners report their inherited property is not their primary residence.” Absent homeowners are great for local restaurants and shops.
There is a reason why Laguna’s population continues to decline. It’s very difficult for anyone to afford a home due to Prop 13. Homes will continue to be trusted down forever, many will remain neglected and empty, and Laguna’s population will continue to atrophy, hurting the local economy.
Although the Supreme Court ruled in favor in Prop. 13, Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissenting opinion wrote the inheritance benefit, “establishes a privilege of a medieval character: Two families with equal needs and equal resources are treated differently solely because of their different heritage.”
Clay Nolde, Laguna Beach