Monday, October 11, 2010

Ballot Initiative Repeals for California

By Mike Dorf

I've been spending a few days in California (it's "fall break" at Cornell) and accordingly thought this a good time to suggest to the good people of the erstwhile Bear Republic (and my home in 1990-91) how they might improve their law.  Accordingly, two suggestions:

1) NOW is the time to repeal prop 13, the 1978 ballot initiative that is widely credited with substantially undermining primary and secondary public education in Califorina.  Prop 13 had two crucial elements:
a) a cap of 1% annual property tax;
and
b) a cap of 2% annual increase in assessed property value (except upon transfer), even when property values rise dramatically.

Getting rid of a) might not be feasible, but if ever there was a time to get rid of b), this is it.  The point of b) was to prevent people from being taxed out of their homes by real estate booms around them.  That was a legitimate goal but the actual measure went well beyond the goal, and worse, it created its own constituency for non-repeal: As time passed, homeowners increasingly favored b), because it worked to advantage them relative to their new neighbors.  But b) has very little salience now, given that the cap on assessed value is substantially higher than what people are actually paying--due to the housing bust.  So, ballot initiative writers, get to it!  (Yes, I realize it's too late for 2010, but the dynamic will likely remain for a few years, at least.)

2) NOW is also the time to repeal Prop 8.  There is a decent chance that the 9th Circuit will find no appellate standing in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.  If so, the case could well go to the SCOTUS on the standing issue.  This creates a roughly two-year window for California to moot the case, by repealing Prop 8 and making same-sex marriage legal again.  The reason to do so now is that the SCOTUS still can't be trusted on the merits--and as I've noted before, a pro-marriage ruling by SCOTUS could inspire backlash.  I now think it extremely unlikely that such backlash would include a federal constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage nationwide, but it could well include electoral defeats of gay-friendly and generally progressive candidates in various battlegrounds.

California has a number of important statewide initiatives (e.g. this one) on its ballot this year, but these two should also be considered.  And yes, California, you're welcome.

2 comments:

pan davy said...

For anyone who is the one who for quite a while over the entire Nike Air Max,I think Air Jordan pas cher is one of the best solutions you enjoyed different types of earrings, offered at the time this is certainly Air max pas cher arrive at a very high regard.

lin liyi said...

A lot of happen to be inadequate and additionally quite simply seen, then ghanaians so, who put up for new rolex watches sale have become a great deal more refined and additionally constructed handbags that very far nearer to all the originals and additionally seemed to might honest webpages. Through effort a lot of replica watches sale noticed make seemed to be deceived it has almost nothing put on implement relating to this. Surely there is generally prepared to decide to buy fake pictures consequently they are only just thrilled to generate individuals during a bargain fee. Couple of matters experience most recently switched on the purse markets. There has been a fabulous hermes outlet down economy, in which a lot of lands continue wishing to come out of. This approach hasn’t necessitated there is not even a place just for beautiful handbags. There may, however, the key brands experience switched most of the mentality to make sure you back pack type. Handbags are getting a lot less over the top, omega replica watches. It really has been way less self evident which is certainly all the for the winter.