California voters approved Proposition 13 to rein in property taxes that had doubled in 10 years. More than three decades later, that rebellion has mortgaged the state's future, saddling it with the nation's highest debt and lowest credit rating. ... Lacking the ability to raise taxes locally, cities, counties and school districts have been forced to cut jobs, adding to California's second-worst-in-the-nation 12.1 percent unemployment rate, according to John Husing, an economist specializing in the so-called Inland Empire east of Los Angeles.
None of the state's problems has anything to do with the control by public sector unions, which have driven up the costs of running governments by imposing unsustainable compensation packages on taxpayers. In fact, as Palmeri reports, cutting government jobs is a key reason for the high unemployment rate. He bemoans the Vallejo bankruptcy as an example of Prop. 13's destruction without noting the $300,000 police captain salaries and other absurd pay levels in that union-controlled Solano County city.
Palmeri could have talked to at least one person who makes these points, but that might have undermined the thesis in the news story, which is: If only cities like Vallejo could raise taxes without getting voter approval all would be well. Yeah ... that's the ticket. Just don't do it until I dispose of my California real estate.