Monday, March 26, 2007
California, so Beautiful, so Ungovernable
Anyway, here is a copy of the exhibit:
Albert, the package we sent your petition inlooks like this.
Mr. Albert Saur
5416 Manton Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Week of 03/12
This e-mail is to confirm that your Official Petition to the California Legislature was delivered to your verified address on the date indicated above.Please sign and return your petition immediately so that we can forward it to your California State Legislators.Also, please say "yes" to our invitation to join the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Return the membership form along with your petition, or click on the red button to join online. Making your voice heard is important, but the only way to stop higher taxes is to get involved! Please join us today.
If you did not receive your package, or have misplaced it, please click on the red button to access our website for further instructions.
I did in fact receive the petition in the mail a few days ago. This exhibit shows that the anti-tax movement here in California is still strong and resourceful. I don't know yet what the constitutional amendment underconsideration is that has the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association so worried. I know that it is about time that someone tried to do something to restore some degree of equity and fairness to the property tax mess we Californians created when we adopted Proposition 13.
I think I am in position to talk. My wife and I bought our present house in 1968. It is a large tract house. We paid $39,000 for it. When Proposition 13 went into effect, the house was appraised at about $60,000 and was taxed at two percent per year on that amount. Since that time similar houses in the tract have increased in value. Not long ago some houses like ours were selling for $750,000. I am now paying in property taxes $1500 a year for a house that may be worth three-quarters of a million dollars. The people who bought houses in the tract recently may be paying a property tax as high as $15,000 a year, or ten times what I pay.
There is a nice Mexican restaurant near my house that has been in existence for longer than I have been living in my present house. I don't know what property tax the restaurant pays, but I suspect it isn't much more than what I pay. You may argue, even though I don't, that because of my advanced age and because I am retired, I am entitled to a reduced rate of taxation on my house. But, is the restaurant similarly entitled? A restaurant earns a lot of money. I don't earn any money; I live on my savings, my investments, on social security, and on some company pensions.
I think it's high time that California changed the Proposition 13 property tax law. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association is determined that the law will not be changed. In a contest between the reformers and the Howard Jarvis people, I will bet on the latter.