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Jerry Brown says Proposition 13 could be tested if budget talks fail

June 23, 2011 |  4:04 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown hinted Thursday that if the budget talks with Republicans break down, the initiative fight that would follow would not be limited to Brown's plans to raise sales, vehicle and income taxes. He said he expects labor groups to pursue changes to Proposition 13, tweaking the current caps on commercial property taxes, if no bipartisan deal can be reached.

"I would expect there will be efforts to accelerate the reassessment of commercial property tax," Brown said.

During his remarks to about 250 apartment owners and developers at the Moscone Center on Thursday, he acknowledged some of his failures in budget talks, particularly over his proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies.  "I wouldn't be ready to write the obituary of redevelopment agencies," he said. "They're very powerful and they're still alive and well despite my best efforts."

He also talked about his experience as mayor of Oakland, and how that convinced him of the need to tweak some of the state's environmental laws. He said he "never had such a sustained experience with mindless resistance," than he did as mayor, but he quipped that the constant antagonism taught him an important political lesson.

"So what did we learn? We have to crush the opposition."

--Anthony York in San Francisco