The tax revolt lives
One significant result of the California primary election on June 8 that seems to have gone virtually unnoticed in the nation's press was the affirmation that the tax revolt still lives, two years after the adoption of Proposition 13 drastically reducing property taxes, and at a time when its full effect is being felt. There are daily reports in the papers of libraries closing or limiting hours, suspension of recreation programs, and even reductions in the areas of public health and safety.
While some Californians say they are having second thoughts about the Jarvis-Gann amendment of 1980, which was supposed to ''cut the fat'' but is taking some sinew as well, the fact is that at the primary election, while voters approved bonds to fund almost a half billion dollars worth of prison construction, they also adopted three more tax-cut measures which will substantially reduce state revenues.
Propositions 5 and 6, almost identical, called for elimination of gift and inheritance taxes. Either one would reduce state revenues by $130 million in 1982-83, by $365 million the following year, and by larger amounts during succeeding years. Proposition 5 got 61 percent of the vote and Proposition 6 got 64 percent.
Proposition 7 provided for indexing the state tax on personal incomes by using full consumer price index changes. The impact was expected to be the loss of $230 million in 1982-83, $445 million in 1983-84, and increasing amounts thereafter. It is intended to protect people who receive cost-of-living wage increases from tax hikes as a consequence.
The voters also made an adjustment in Proposition 13 of two years ago which will result in what was described as a ''significant loss'' of property taxes and an increase in administrative cost of local government. It exempts persons whose property is taken by eminent domain from the higher assessment permitted under Jarvis-Gann as previously adopted when they purchase a replacement.
The question of cost was also a factor in the defeat of the controversial Peripheral Canal project to facilitate the transport of more northern California water to the south, opponents claiming the figure would be closer to $19 billion than the $5.4 billion estimate of the proponents.
Some observers see the tax-cutting measures as offering problems for another measure that was approved which provides for stricter law enforcement and reimbursement of crime victims.
So, those who thought that Proposition 13 of two years ago was a symptom of a movement that would soon subside have something fresh to consider. And members of the California congressional delegation may have reason to think twice about opposing cuts in federal spending or modifying previously ordered income tax reductions.