Carl Stempel

Voters support changes to Prop 13, according to Cal State East Bay faculty research

  • April 14, 2014

A survey of California voters conducted in January has found that a majority do not approve of major parts of the landmark Proposition 13 tax initiative of 1978 that reduced property taxes for the state’s homeowners and business property owners, while limiting future increases to property taxes.

“Our poll found that a strong majority of voters support changes to Prop. 13’s rules for assessing commercial and business property taxes,” said Carl Stempel, lead investigator for the research survey and a professor of sociology and social services for Cal State East Bay. “It also found substantial disapproval of Prop 13’s method of assessing homeowners’ property taxes.

“However, a clear majority want to keep the two-thirds supermajority requirement for passing local tax measures,” said Stempel, who worked on the research with CSUEB faculty colleagues Patricia Jennings and Susan Ingram.

Often referred to as the “third rail of California politics,” Prop 13 allowed for commercial property to be reassessed to the sale price when property changes ownership. But commercial property transactions were structured to avoid reassessments, according to Stempel.

“After hearing arguments for and against the reforms, 75 percent of those asked said they would support an initiative that ensured reassessments when commercial property changes ownership and 64 percent said they would support taxing commercial property at its current market value,” Stempel said.


California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

Learn more and connect with Cal State East Bay at CSUEB Social Media. For up-to-date news snapshots, visit the Inside CSUEB News Blog.

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