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Comments made by emaij

Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread To San Diego

I did not get to hear the entire show but was disappointed that it was heading to the issue of wealth disparity and not to fraud followed by taxpayer bailouts of criminals. The real issue is money in politics. It is about bought politicians and regulatory capture. It's about entrenched corruption at the highest levels of government and private industry. The so called "99%" are victims of criminals, not victims of the economy. We have to get the dialogue on point if we want to cure what ails us.

October 6, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Proposition 13: A Look Back

What would taxes be? They'd be ~1.2% of the current assessed value of your home - just like everyone else. Prop 13 never limited that part of property taxes.

Prop 13 is horrible policy and not just because it has destroyed the public school system and has bankrupted the state. Here are my issues with it:

1. It is EXTREMELY unfair. I am buying a house this year. I will be paying 10x what my next door neighbor pays... FOREVER. For the same services! And his house is nicer.

2. It severely hurts the marketplace for housing. No one in California ever wants to unload a house they have owned for 15 or more years because they will lose the assessment. That is one of the major impediments to a free market in housing and one reason that inventory is usually very low. Who would sell when they are basically being subsidized for owning?

3. There are many alternatives. One of the fairest is allowing for property tax deferrals for the elderly. Yes it's true that property tax sometimes increases but taxation is supposed to be FAIR.

4. Prop 13 rewards people who have already been rewarded. So your home appreciated from $30,000 to $1.1m in 35 years. Congratulations. You (or your heirs) have a $1m capital gain! Yay! Now taxpayers are supposed to subsidize you and your kids in addition? If you can't afford the taxes, take your $1m windfall, and buy something you can afford. Why should the marketplace bend because you lucked out and are now a millionaire that doesn't feel you should have to pay your fair share.

5. Prop 13 benefits the wealthy the most. The biggest landowners and the wealthiest - ie the ones that can afford never to sell - are the ones that benefit the most from P13. It's REGRESSIVE TAXATION!

I understand selfish motivation but it's one thing to be happy about a windfall. It's another to go on the radio and be indignant about how you might have to pay your fair share if P13 was reversed. P13 is a travesty. If you're benefiting from it, enjoy your windfall but please gloat in private. It's really irritating to listen to your complaints when I'm paying for your trash collection.

February 23, 2010 at 12:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is Local Real Estate Starting to Turn Around?

There should be no incentives to buyers at all. There should also not be government pressure on banks to modify loans or to forgive loans. Every time the government intervenes, it distorts the market and does so unfairly and at the expense of every other taxpayer. Why should I be subsidizing buyers and, indirectly, sellers around the country?

I was shocked a few months ago when I attended a real estate seminar in San Diego. The Real Estate Agent presenting was essentially saying to us that now is a great time to buy with NOTHING DOWN. The reason is that FHA loans are being pushed in a big way.. ESPECIALLY TO PEOPLE WITH BAD CREDIT. She went on to say that the "incentive" could be used as a downpayment and that the downpayment could come from friends, relatives, charities, etc. Essentially she was saying that the most irresponsible and least credit-worthy people could once again get into properties with nothing down... and that she could arrange it all.

Personally, I found it infuriating. Have we learned nothing from the debacle we are in?

I'm sick of subsidizing homeowners, home buyers, home sellers, car buyers, bankers, insurance companies... It never ends.

September 3, 2009 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )