In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a taxpayer revolt swept across the United States. Taxpayers frustrated with ever-rising property taxes sought to control government spending by denying the government easy mechanisms to increase tax receipts. This taxpayer revolt, however, may have contributed to the problem of the nation's crumbling infrastructure. California's Proposition 13 in 1978 changed California's property tax assessment system. Assessments for properties purchased before 1978 were rolled back to their 1975 levels, and for properties purchased after that date were capped at 2% yearly. This triggered a national tax revolt, which in turn led to cutbacks, first felt in services, then proceeding to deferred maintenance and repairs, which has only been felt after many years have passed. Problems that could have been easily repaired became worse, which has led to rapid deterioration throughout the nation's infrastructure. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar property tax reassessment statute in West Virginia unconstitutional, concluding that the Constitution requires the "seasonable attainment of a rough equality in tax treatment of similarly situated property owners." Several taxpayers in California have filed suit seeking a judicial declaration that Proposition 13 is unconstitutional on its face. If these restrictions are declared unconstitutional, local governments may have more access to the revenue-raising measure on which they have relied most heavily.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Associated General Contractors of America

    2300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400
    Arlington, VA  United States  22201
  • Authors:
    • O'Donnell, K
  • Publication Date: 1989-11

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 66
  • Serial:
    • Constructor
    • Volume: 71
    • Issue Number: 11
    • Publisher: Associated General Contractors of America
    • ISSN: 0162-6191

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00490109
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 1989 12:00AM