calitics, prop 13 explained

Howard Jarvisism – A Tale Told By An Idiot

Let’s take a look back in time and be clear about who’s driving this conventional wisdom.  California’s political observers have been stuck in a post-June 1978 mindset for the past thirty years, scared to death of the terrifying spectre of Howard Jarvis, himself a bundle of contradictions.  He was a Mormon who drank vodka.  An anti-government crank who nonetheless ran for US Senate and Mayor of Los Angeles.  A supposed defender of homeowners when at the time of Prop. 13 he was employed by the Los Angeles Apartment Owners Association.  Jarvis was a liar and a fool.  In the ballot argument for Prop. 13 in 1978, he claimed that school funding would not be affected by the amendment, and responded to the possibility of library services being cut by saying that “63 percent of the graduates are illiterate, anyway.”  He had a disdain for the average Californian, and probably took up the mantle of property tax revenue caps after seeing his home at 515 North Crescent Heights Boulevard in Los Angeles increase in value from $8,000 to $80,000 in 35 years.


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