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For Proposition 13: Jerzy And Jolanta Lewak

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Video published March 1, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Jerzy and Jolanta Lewak tell KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon why they voted for Proposition 13 in 1978.

Del Mar homeowners Jerzy and Jolanta Lewak tell KPBS why they voted for Prop 13. The Lewaks are among the 8 percent of homeowners in San Diego County who have owned their homes since the proposition passed in 1978.

Prop 13 rolled back property taxes, capped them at 1 percent of the purchase price, and limited yearly increases to 2 percent.

In a companion report, we profile Bill and Nancy Bamberger, who voted against Prop 13.

KPBS is examining the legacy of Prop 13 in a series of radio, TV, and web reports leading up to a half hour documentary that airs Monday, March 29, 2010, at 9 p.m. on KPBS television.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | March 23, 2010 at 7:11 a.m. ― 6 years, 11 months ago

OK. First, no one who is against Prop. 13 (like me) advocates that the protections for homeowner's primary residence should be repealed. We want to create a SPLIT ROLL that separates COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT PROPERTY from the same tax level as homes, and stops the corporate shell loophole, that KPBS reports 8% of property enjoys. These people would remain untouched.

It isn't the "primary residence" that is the problem, it is the second and third investment property that people like these often buy with home equity loans, then incorporate to gain passive income from rent. They then make more equity gains on this new property! All while shielded from the tax burden that would pay for government logistical expenses of their renters.

Second, the reason that property values went up by a factor of ten in the last forty years is BECAUSE of the TAX SHELTER of Prop. 13, In other states the 1% property tax limited growth, and we benefited from low taxes and great weather.

Why is it that the only people that KPBS can find FOR Prop. 13 that have owned their home for 36 years (2010-1974) are foreigners? Aren't their any Americans who can still afford homes yet like Prop 13?

(Prop. 13 limits INCREASES in your property tax as assessed at the time of purchase from exceeding +2%/year, which means on a $500,000 house, bought this year the property tax being 1% = $5000, next year tax can not exceed $5100. But for a Del Mar house bought for $75,000 in 1974, and assessed in 1976 [Prop. 13 was retroactive] for say about $100,000 the CURRENT RATE they pay for property tax is still <$2000/year. That house if reassessed today would be worth more than TEN TIMES what they paid for it, at least $1,000,000! They've been there for 36 years, so I assume they paid off the original $75K mortgage, and are now enjoying extreme equity in their sea-side mansion for just $2K/year. If they raised kids in that time frame, each kid cost the state of CA at least $100K to educate. Not a bad return. Get rich, enjoy the benefits, pay next to nothing.)

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