11 February, 2009
Howard Jarvis was an American politician.
Jarvis was born in Magna, Utah, and died in Los Angeles, California. In Utah he had some political involvement working with his father's campaigns and his own. His father was a state Supreme Court judge and, unlike Jarvis, a member of the Democratic Party. Howard Jarvis was active in the Republican Party and also ran small town newspapers. Although raised Mormon, he smoked cigars and drank vodka as an adult. He moved to California in the 1930s due to a suggestion by Earl Warren.
Jarvis was a Republican primary candidate for the U.S. Senate in California in 1962, but the nomination and the election went to the liberal Republican Thomas Kuchel. Subsequently, he ran several times for Mayor of Los Angeles on an anti-tax platform and gained a reputation as a harsh critic of government. An Orange County businessman, he went on to lead the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and spearheaded Proposition 13, the California property tax-cutting initiative passed in 1978 which slashed property taxes by 57% and initiated a national tax revolt.
Jarvis collected tens of thousands of signatures to enable Proposition 13 to appear on a statewide ballot, for which he garnered national attention. The ballot measure passed by a two-thirds margin.