Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kenneth Miller


The California experience previous to the passage of Proposition 13 taught the citizens of California that even with representation, the freedoms of individuals could be threatened. This lesson is especially true when we see the assessment scandals, a rapidly increasing real estate market and the failure of California’s representative officials to respond to the threat to individual liberty. In addition to watching corrupt tax assessors take advantage of the system, individuals were tired of paying inflated property taxes that were changing drastically from year to year. People’s homes were literally being taken from them by the power of the tax collector. This strongly deviated from the initial founding of our nation that was supposed to be “of the people, by the people and for the people.” While few people initially expected Proposition 13 to pass, ultimately it passed with 64.8 percent of the vote. The initiative process in California gave individuals the opportunity to make a constitutional amendment to the California Constitution in regards to the taxation processes of the government. With the passage of Proposition 13, the citizens of California made their statement.