Where Does Gov. Newsom Stand On Split Roll?

Former Gov. Jerry Brown often said that he subscribed to the “canoe theory of politics” — paddle a little to the left, a little to the right and then glide down the middle. He deployed that strategy through many of the crises he had to manage. From this conservative’s perspective, he did a lot more paddling on the left than the right, which might explain why his administration often appeared to be going in circles.

Nonetheless, interests representing the private sector at least had Brown’s ear on big issues even when he pursued decidedly anti-business policies. Brown also seemed to be able to pivot in ways that didn’t appear as flip-flopping, explaining his “revised” positions on issues in obscure terms quoting either Scripture or Greek philosophers.

One such example when Brown “saw the light” was with Proposition 13 which, prior to the June election in 1978, he vigorously opposed. He openly derided Howard Jarvis as a fool and snake-oil salesman — that is, until Proposition 13 was enacted. After that, he embraced Prop. 13 to such an extent that pundits started calling him “Jerry Jarvis.” He even visited Howard and his wife Estelle at their home in L.A. on numerous occasions for taco lunches.

Brown as governor was no conservative and successfully pushed for higher taxes and fees. He is responsible for Proposition 30, which gave California the highest marginal income tax rate in the nation. He also openly embraced higher sales taxes, and he fought for the gas tax increase. But what he didn’t do is attack Proposition 13.

Today, the question is whether Gavin Newsom will tread where Jerry Brown feared to go.

To read the entire column, please click here.


  1. The theoretical good news is that Prop 15 will generate revenue from commercial and industrial property in California.

    The unintended consequences of Proposition 15 that is a partial repeal of Proposition 13, that will affect ALL 40 million in California.

    Businesses that rent or lease space in those commercial and industrial properties, will obviously go up as the increased “costs” to the owners of the affected properties always trickles down to the users.
    THEN, the products or service provided by those business renters, will pass those costs to the users of their products and service, i.e., the other 40 million in the state.

    Prop 15 will temporarily increase revenue, and permanently decrease the number of businesses, and permanently increase the cost of their services and products for all 40 million residents of the state.

    • What if the the 40 million residents refuse to pay the increased costs for the “services and products” due to partial repeal of Proposition 13 for business properties? Businesses will close, employees will be laid off, and the taxes that were paid before Proposition 15 (income as well as property taxes) will be gone. In fact, I predict the passage of Prop 15 will actually decrease the tax revenue flowing into the general fund. The revenue from the increased property tax on business will be offset by the lost revenue from business and personal income taxes. Don’t you just love the stupidity of the socialists in Sacramento, Comrade?

  2. mark bucklin says

    Plenty of homes left in Texas, so sell your 1500 sq. ft. “mansion” in California and pay cash for a palace here. We’ve been living “rent-free” for 2 years now, although i’m becoming concerned about the high cost of gas, it’s already back up to $1.65 per gallon and inching up…

  3. California is currently the poster child for socialism in America. As taxes increase and the infrastructure continues to deteriorate from lack of funding, the unadulterated truth should become apparent. When more than 50% of the voters are on the government dole, they will progressively and selfishly approve more taxation. Producers will steadily Emilyleave the state and Argentina North will emerge.
    Democrat-run states are almost all running in the red and suffering from a self-induced lack of law and order. Our only hope is for American voters to comprehend the handwriting on the wall.

  4. Alvin Holliman says

    The problem with Prop 15 is not the proposition itself but rather what the corrupt totalitarian government of California will do with the money. Admittedly, Prop 13 needs some tweaking but not only for commercial properties but also for out of state non-resident owners of residential houses (perhaps a 2% rate), and especially foreign (Chinese and mid-eastern mostly) owners of residential property (at least a 3% to 5% rate to drive them out – they have added to the high cost of housing and related rents at the expense of California citizens – but our wonderful state government is in bed with the Chinese).

    Essentially, any revisions to Prop 13 must be considered in light of a complete overhaul of the California tax and spending system. The high marginal tax rates imposed by Prop 30 along with “hidden” additional taxes intentionally and deceptively camouflaged as “fees” (cap and trade fees on gasoline, presently at 57 cents per gallon) must be revised downward, or in the case of cap and trade, completely eliminated. California is actually a regressive versus progressive state in terms of taxation. The middle class and poor pay a higher rate of total taxes (income tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, cap and trade gasoline tax, and sin taxes) than those making more money. California is not working for its citizens. It seemingly cares far more about illegal aliens and a guaranteed result of Prop 15 is vastly disproportionate more money for illegals, because the Democrats see them as future voters to further embolden their control of all citizens’ lives here. By the way, the ultimate aim of the left is all about power, control, and money through wealth transfer. Can any rational person really think the elites elected out of San Francisco – Newsome, his former aunt by marriage, Pelosi, Feinstein, and Kamala Harris actually care about the working poor in SoCal and the rest of state? Come on and get real.

  5. Sebra Leaves says

    Increasing taxes increases costs and that means inflation at a time when we can least afford it. Hopefully the voters will know better than to tax themselves into an escalating spiral of inflation.

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