Mason Gaffney, Professor of Economics, University of California
What happens when a state radically slashes its property tax?
California can show you 17 years of experience. Here is what has happened since California passed Proposition 13 in 1978.
The obvious direct results have been to cut public services, raise other taxes, and lose credit rating.
Our school support fell from #5, nationally, to #40 in 1985 when last seen, still falling. County road maintenance is down to where my county (Riverside) is repaving its roads at an annual rate of once every 130 years. Once in 20 years is recommended here, and up north you generally need higher frequency. You can’t just build infrastructure and then stop paying for it, it’s a perpetual commitment. Thanks to urban scatter, a high fraction of our population now depends on these county roads.