Is failure of the 2020 Prop. 13 sign of a new tax revolt?

By Jon Coupal | The good Proposition 13 — the one from 1978, not the $15 billion school bond currently on electoral life support — was the beginning of the modern tax revolt movement.

That movement spread across the United States and even into Europe in addition to spawning several additional initiatives here in California. But it’s the bad Prop. 13 on last week’s ballot that is currently generating a statewide buzz because it appears to be headed for failure. Could this be the beginning of Tax Revolt 2.0?

The 2020 version of Prop. 13 was a massive $15 billion school facility bond measure, the largest such bond in state history. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association led the opposition with a guerrilla-style campaign relying on a relatively modest $250,000 statewide radio buy, social media and nearly a hundred interviews with television, radio and print media. This was in comparison to the more than $20 million spent by Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies.

Because there are millions of absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted, it is possible that Prop. 13’s losing margin will shrink. But no matter the outcome, politicians have been put on notice that voters are growing increasingly weary of hundreds of bond and tax measures confronting them at the state and local level in every election cycle.

Here’s what taxpayers can take away from the March primary election:

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