SLO County supervisors to vote on dropping support for Proposition 13

September 11, 2023


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider repealing its support of Proposition 13 and of the two-thirds vote required to raise taxes, even though they voted unanimously in February to support the taxpayer protections as part of its state legislative platform.

Under Proposition 13, property taxes can increase by no more than 2% per year unless the property changes hands. The law was put in place to help lower and middle-income residents who could be forced to sell their homes because of large increases in taxes.

While supervisors John Peschong, Debbie Arnold, Jimmy Paulding and Dawn Ortiz-Legg have voiced their support of Proposition 13, Supervisor Bruce Gibson has been an inconsistent opponent. After Gibson voiced his changing support of the county’s platform, Interim County Administrator John Nilon put a reconsideration of the board’s support of the taxpayer protections on the Sept. 12 board agenda.

Prior to his appointment to the board, Nilon made a donation to Gibson’s 2022 reelection campaign.

A twisted path to reconsideration

On Feb. 7, the board voted unanimously to include the taxpayer protections as item 14 and 15 in its state legislative platform. The legislative platform lists the supervisors’ goals and priorities for county staff and for its advocacy efforts to state legislatures.

“14. Oppose any measures or legislation that reduces the super-majority vote required to raise taxes from 2/3rd to 55%.

“15. Oppose any legislation or initiative that proposes to modify Proposition 13. Specifically, oppose any legislation or proposal that would establish a so-called “Split Roll” for property tax, which would thereby reduce protections for commercial property owners. Oppose any legislation that would further the effort to modify Proposition 13 in lieu of the ballot proposition.”

On Aug. 13, in response to ACA 1, a bill that seeks to lower the required voter threshold to raise taxes from a two-thirds majority to 55%, Supervisor Peschong asked the supervisors to discuss the proposed bill at a future meeting. Peschong lost his bid in a 3-2 vote, with Gibson, Ortiz-legg and Paulding voting not to discuss the topic.

On Aug. 17, Gibson was one of the leaders of a California State Association of Counties (CSAC) rally promoting ACA 1 in Sacramento.

On Aug. 22, Templeton resident Bruce Jones and Mike Brown of COLAB chastised Gibson for telling county residents he supports Proposition 13 while doing the opposite in Sacramento. Brown then accused Gibson, Paulding and Ortiz-Legg of attempting to suppress a public discussion of the bill.

Gibson responded, saying he did not remember exactly what was in the county’s legislative platform and that he was representing CSAC when he marched in front of the State Capitol. Gibson then said he wanted the board to revisit its support of taxpayer protections on the legislative platform because they need to allow the public to vote on these items.

The board, however, did not vote on Gibson’s request. Regardless, County Interim Administrator Nilon placed a reconsideration of the county’s state legislative platform on the Sept. 12 agenda with a suggestion the board consider amending items 14 and 15.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The only way to limit government is to limit taxes. You can give the BOS 5 billion and they still couldn’t balance their budget and would seek more taxes the next year.

Read my lips No NEW Taxes.

We knew Paulding was a poor choice bit he continues to prove he’s actually far worse than expected. Mesa residents who voted for his particulate matter beach stance aren’t going to be happy when property tax bills are mailed out.

With already a 300k+ exodus of CA in recent years, THIS will absolutely increase that. Prop 13 is to many the only thing that is keeping them here.

It is apparent that mental illness has infected the Board of Supervisors. Their funding priorities have changed to recruiting mentally ill or drug damaged people from around the country instead of maintaining locally funded public infrastructure. Now they want to get more money by changing the purchase price on your home years after you bought it. Ya, you might say their just proposing a tax increase but explain that to those who bought a 1.45 property tax basis for those new home that need to pay for the Prado Road freeway overpass. The public got screwed by allowing that back door deal where everyone else will use the overpass for free, the next justification for a property tax increase for everyone else. Why? Because private ownership was tricked into purchasing what the State and Developers should have paid for. Instead they used the Mello-Roos Tax, which supposedly will time out, but again it is another form of kicking the can down the road.

Don’t worry. If they wipe out Prop 13, you can always move to Illinois or New Jersey and pay 2 to 3 times more in property taxes than you do in CA. No one knows where all that tax money goes, but Democrats running those states promise it’s all for good causes.

Out of date on Prop 13. Prop 19 limited the parent to child exclusion from reassessment to only the parents’ primary residence. Got to be careful and get good advise when passing your property to the next generation.

Be advised, if prop 13 passes, your property values will go down perhaps a third overnight. I’ve always thought I would stay in California for the long-haul, but repealing prop 13 would give me great pause and might drive me out. One more middle-class family (and substantial taxpayer) fleeing the “Golden” state and heading to Texas or Florida or Nevada or Arizona or someplace else, to keep the American dream alive. The only people left in California will be a bunch of poor people, homeless folks, and a bunch of people that exist at the very top echelon of the economic ladder. One party rule is destroying this state.

Exactly. Well said.

California’s real estate market is very strong, but repealing prop 13 will send a whole lot of people packing, and those that stay, once they get a 50% tax increase will vote these wackos out of office.