The difference between 1978 Prop 13, 2020 Prop 13, and Schools & Communities First

Here’s a summary of three different ballot measures:

- the 1978 Prop 13 tax revolt which underfunded CA schools

- the 2020 #Prop13SchoolBondSafe Schools & Healthy Learning

- the coming Schools & Communities First ballot measure to reform 1978 Prop 13 so that large commercial property pays more taxes.

The 1978 Prop 13 tax revolt

cut property taxes but devastated California schools & local government. While sold as a way to protect low-income seniors from getting priced out of their home, it also cut taxes for corporate property such as refineries, skyscrapers, theme parks. It limited property taxes to the value at the time of purchase, plus a 2% increase (not adjusted for inflation) each year.

The 2020 #Prop13SchoolBond

is a $15 billion bond for earthquake safety and other building upgrades. State borrows the money, $9 billion goes to K-12 schools and $6 billion goes to UC, CSU, and community colleges. Learn more at

The 2020 #Prop13SchoolBond does not change any property taxes. That said, it will save Californians money, since the state can borrow money at a lower interest rate than individual school districts can.

the upcoming Schools and Communities First ballot measure

reforms the 1978 Prop 13 so that while residential property stays protected from tax increases, large commercial property would be reassessed and taxed at current value.

Schools and Communities First would not change property taxes on residential property (owned or rental), small businesses with 50 or fewer employees or with total property worth less than $3 million, and farms.

Schools and Communities First is currently gathering signatures, and does not have a prop number assigned yet. It’s aiming to get on the November 2020 ballot.

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a PDF of the image can be downloaded at

Artist and Designer in Berkeley, California

Artist and Designer in Berkeley, California