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Video published March 28, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: It’s been 32 years since Proposition 13 passed, but there’s hardly an aspect of economic life in California that isn’t touched by its influence. It changed how we pay for our schools, fire departments, police forces, and libraries. This 30 minute news special explores whether Prop 13 was the best thing that ever happened to homeowners – or whether it’s to blame for California’s fiscal crisis.

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Avatar for user 'randps'

randps | March 30, 2010 at 4:40 p.m. ― 9 years, 8 months ago

Dear Ms. Faryon,

You may recall that we exchanged email after I called into the radio program on Proposition 13 to raise the issue of commercial property taxes. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that I would find your TV program extremely disappointing.

As you know, Proposition 13 has three distinct elements that have a profound impact on State finances. Everyone knows about home owner property taxes, and most people think that is the only issue. But clearly, of late, the 2/3 provision has had the most profound impact on the State's financial crisis. Yet your program only mentioned it in passing and provided no analysis of this crucial issue.

Furthermore, you waited until the last few sentences of the program to mention commercial real estate, again with no analysis, and no mention of the fact that commercial property owners have ways of evading reassessment that are not available to home owners.

In the end, your program missed a crucial opportunity to raise the publics awareness of the full range of issues that are challenging our state. I am left wondering what motivated these editorial choices.


Rand Steiger

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Avatar for user 'Suzanne Marmion'

Suzanne Marmion, KPBS Staff | April 1, 2010 at 3:29 p.m. ― 9 years, 8 months ago

Dear Mr. Steiger,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us with your concerns regarding our television program about proposition 13. Given the extensive legacy of Prop. 13, it would be difficult to cover all aspects in 30 minutes. Thus, the program you watched was not intended to be our definitive story regarding this issue, but rather one part of our more comprehensive ongoing coverage. For more than a month, KPBS has been doing quite a bit of reporting about Prop. 13 across all our platforms: radio, TV and the web, including on real estate tax issue that you brought up--please see:

Your comments serve as an important reminder that it's crucial that we inform our audience about where they can watch, hear and read all of the coverage we have done about a particular subject.

Thank you for caring about these issues, and about how KPBS is covering them.

Suzanne Marmion
KPBS Director of News and Editorial Strategy

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