State lawmaker to propose changes to Proposition 13
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A state lawmaker said Thursday he wants voters to alter Proposition 13 to make it easier to pass local taxes for schools.
Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said he will introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow local parcel taxes for schools to pass with 55% of the vote, instead of the two-thirds currently required.
“This change in law would give voters the power to make decisions about public education at the local level, allowing schools much-needed flexibility to improve instruction, fund libraries, music, the arts or other programs, or hire more teachers to reduce student-to-teacher ratios,” Leno said in a statement.
With new supermajorities in both legislative houses, Democrats now also have the power to place measures such as Leno’s on the ballot without GOP backing. In 2000, voters passed a measure changing the vote threshold for local school bonds from two-thirds to 55%.
The two-thirds requirement for tax increases was part of Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 initiative that placed limits on state property taxes.
--Anthony York in Sacramento