Cutler investigates the complete history of the Bay Area’s housing crisis—from technology and rent control to California’s Proposition 13:
Earlier in the summer of 1978, a cantankerous former small-town newspaper publisher named Howard Jarvis led a “taxpayer revolt” as property prices were soaring, threatening to throw home owners out of their homes because of rising tax bills. Jarvis’ idea was to cap property taxes at 1 percent of their assessed value and to prevent them from rising by more than 2 percent each year until the property was sold again and its taxes were reset at a new market value.
Howard Jarvis launched the taxpayer revolt that got Proposition 13 passed, capping property taxes for homeowners.
One argument that Jarvis used to rally tenant support for Proposition 13, was that he promised that landlords would pass on their tax savings to renters.
They didn’t. They pocketed the savings for themselves.