From the moment it became clear last fall that Democrats won supermajorities of slightly more than two-thirds in both houses of the California Legislature, Proposition 13 has been in the political crosshairs.
That’s a sea change for the landmark 1978 initiative that limits property taxes to 1 percent of the 1975 assessed value or 1 percent of the latest sales price, allowing yearly increases of no more than 2 percent to adjust for inflation.
No one has seriously proposed going back to the pre-13 system of taxing properties based on their current market value, which often saw levies double or triple over the space of less than five years in times when housing and land prices mushroomed.
The change most commonly proposed is the so-called “split roll,” which would see commercial and industrial property taxed at a higher rate than residential. So far, no one has settled on what that new rate might be...