Maybe Proposition 13 really still is a third rail in California politics, one that no one dares touch for fear it means instant political suicide, just as surely as if through electrocution.
That’s about the only conclusion to be drawn from the way the Legislature has handled the possibility of fixing or changing parts of both the landmark property tax limitation measure and some of the regulations and definitions adopted in 1979 to standardize how it is administered.
There was plenty of brave talk about fixing Proposition 13 early this year, after Democrats acquired two-thirds majorities in both legislative houses. Some advocated a “split roll,” where commercial properties would be taxed on the basis of their market values while residential would continue to be based on 1 percent of the latest purchase price.
There was also Democratic state Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco purveying the idea of lowering electoral margins needed to pass parcel taxes for education from the two-thirds majority demanded by Proposition 13 to 55 percent, the level now required for school construction bonds...