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(SacBee)   Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational Democratic supermajority. At least they won't have anyone else to blame when it all falls apart   (sacbee.com) divider line 40
    More: Scary, Democrats, supermajority, President Pro Tem, Steinberg, one-party state, Sacramento County, power corrupts, Jon Coupal  
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4851 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Nov 2012 at 11:36 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-11-08 11:49:18 PM
5 votes:
I have lived in CA for 15 years and I think this is awesome. I find it amusing to hear the Republicans and "Taxpayer" people act like this is something other than the will of the people.

I mean face it, GOP. In the nations largest state and the nation itself your party is being blamed -- and now punished -- for gridlock and failing to meaningfully address the challenges we face. Stop yelling, stop casting blame, and really look at and think about what's happening here.
2012-11-09 12:00:27 AM
4 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Most of those retirees from the 70s are long dead. When a property is sold, it gets reassessed and taxed thereafter at current market value. About the only thing I can see left of Prop 13 is the cap on yearly increases (which is moot since property values have decreased lately), and the really stupid part about commercial property taxes

/what do you think we should change?


Except it doesn't just apply to "retirees from the 70s," nor does the fact that property values have decreased "lately" wipe out 30 years of untaxed value increases.

I'll use myself as an example. Property tax in California is assessed at 1% of assessed value. My home is probably worth, in today's market, around $400K. A couple of years ago, it was probably worth $550K. So my tax should be, what, $4000/yr?

That's less than what my neighbor's property tax is (even though her house is smaller and with less than mine), because she bought hers about 2 years ago, and it was reassessed then. Mine's only about $1700/yr, though, because I bought mine in at the bottom of the market in 1997 and paid only around $130K, and due to Prop 13 the cap on increases hasn't even remotely kept up with the value. How is it fair that my neighbor (a senior citizen, incidentally--the group that Prop 13 was sold as protecting) pays $4500/yr for her smaller, lower value house, whole I pay only $1700 for mine, solely by virtue of when I bought it?

My situation is not the exception--it's the rule. If it weren't for Prop 13, taxes could be equalized, and the percentage rate could be lowered, though based on current value--old farts who owned their home a long time would have a somewhat larger bill, but younger people and other newer buyers would see large tax decreases, and revenue as a whole would increase.

Then, of course, there's the problem that Prop 13--which was sold as a way to keep grandma and grandpa in the family home, also applies to commercial properties. Not only that, commercial landowners completely avoid reassessment even on sale of the property. The do this by holding title in the name of a corporation or other fictitious entity, and instead of selling the "property" they sell 100% of the shares in the holding company (whose only asset is the building). So if the biggest skyscraper in town at 1 Main Street is "owned" by "1 Main Street Management, Inc.," the buyer simply buys 100% of the shares (and assets) of "1 Main Street Management, Inc.," and there's been no change in the title of the property, and thus no transfer of ownership or reassessment under Prop 13 standards. It's a farking scam.

Because California gets little of its tax revenue from property tax--a very stable source of revenue regardless of cyclical economic trends-it's forced to rely on higher income tax and sales tax sources, which are highly dependent on boom-and-bust economic cycles. So when the economy crashes and there's more of a need for government services, California has a lot less income, which puts the state into a double dip death spiral.

Prop 13, more than any other factor, is killing this state.
2012-11-09 12:04:24 AM
3 votes:
Actually, California just voted to raise taxes. That's right folks. We realized we would have to cut expenses and increase revenues to fix our economy so we did it. And what starts in California...
2012-11-08 11:45:47 PM
3 votes:
Well, if there's any state in the union capable of totally screwing the pooch with a Democratic supermajority, it's California.
2012-11-08 11:44:53 PM
3 votes:
Holy cow. I'm so used to having resistance to everything ... it's like when that sticky door suddenly stops being sticky and you throw yourself at it and end up sprawled on the bathroom floor and you hadn't even been drinking...
2012-11-08 10:49:30 PM
3 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: About the only thing I can see left of Prop 13 is the cap on yearly increases (which is moot since property values have decreased lately), and the really stupid part about commercial property taxes

/what do you think we should change?


Remove the 1% property tax rate cap, lock the yearly increase cap to CPI and make Proposition 13 only apply to residential property.
2012-11-09 01:43:03 AM
2 votes:

jjorsett: California has plenty of other revenue sources, including a sales tax rate near the highest in the nation, the highest gasoline tax rate, and now the highest income tax rate.


California's income tax rate isn't the highest. It's actually the 10th highest, with an average rate of 5.8%, which is lower than even some red states such as Tennessee (6%) and North Carolina (6.92%), and much lower than its neighbor to the north, Oregon (8.56%). Yes, the gas tax is high, but it's not the highest--it's actually #3 behind NY and CT (though many others are only a few cents behind). Yes, the base state sales tax rate is the highest, but when you add in the maximum allowable local sales tax rate, several states have higher maximum rates.

If we're going to discuss this, let's at least use genuine numbers.

By the way, in total tax dollars colected per capita, California ranks 38 of 50--despite having one of the highest per capita income rates (and highest real estate values) of any state.
2012-11-09 01:08:05 AM
2 votes:
Also, I want to point out - Jerry Brown is the farking man.

Unlike most gutless politicians these days, he put his balls on the line for Prop 30 and got evil death threats from Republicans and almost no backing from his own party. People were saying that he was signing his own death sentance and that the state was ungovernable.

Well guess what? The state is governable, it just needs an actual governor.

Agree with him or not, the fact is you don't see that kind of political guts hardly at all anymore. Maybe now that he has a super majority in both houses he can undo a few decades of nonsense across both parties.
2012-11-09 08:23:43 AM
1 votes:

randomjsa: I'm going to go out on a cliff here and guess two things.

The first being the Democrats will not take responsibility for the mess they've made in that state.

The second being that they will not improve things, only make them worse.


>checks randomjsa's track record on predictions*phew*
2012-11-09 06:47:14 AM
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: kmmontandon: No, we can still blame Prop. 13 and Grover Norquist.

This state has been continually f*cked by a pack of scared retirees in the '70s, and the assholes that pandered to them, because inflation would totally last forever, so we can never, ever adjust property taxes or reassess old properties.

Most of those retirees from the 70s are long dead. When a property is sold, it gets reassessed and taxed thereafter at current market value. About the only thing I can see left of Prop 13 is the cap on yearly increases (which is moot since property values have decreased lately), and the really stupid part about commercial property taxes

/what do you think we should change?


My understanding - (As a MD resident who only breifly looked into this a while back) Corporate/corporate rental property and a lot of high dollar personal property in California is often held by a company designed specifically to hold those properties. When the land changes hands, the corporation is sold, not the actual property. As such, the taxes aren't re-assessed as the same owner maintains ownership throughout.
2012-11-09 05:39:00 AM
1 votes:
Id like to see the following happen to CA's politics:

Gun/kill/draw and quarter Prop 13 and do a progressive tax on real estate. FIX THE REAL ESTATE TAXES.

Pass a proposition which KILLS propositions. No more, ever ever. We elect govt officials to govern in our name. Let them do their jobs and quit f'in with the budgets and earmark this and that for this pet project because it was a prop. F THE PROPS. Unless youre Switzerland there's a reason why no one uses direct democracy any longer. KILL THE PROPS

And as much as im a lefty in most things, one of the few things the Right is, erm, right about in CA: the CA State pension schemes are seriously out of whack and in dire need of serious gutting and reform; collecting pensions greater than your salary because you cash out your vacation time last year on the job and as such get pensioned at your last year... these kinds of costs are not ok. REVAMP STATE PENSION SCHEMES
2012-11-09 04:00:15 AM
1 votes:

jjorsett: Don't worry. We Californians are a forward-looking bunch.

[i48.tinypic.com image 800x534]


You know that Arizona is a garbage dump with a shiatty economy and one of the three worst education systems in the country, right?

/Former Scottsdale resident
//The place is a wreck, much like Jan Brewer's policy initiatives.
2012-11-09 03:33:34 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: So I'm guessing Subby would also say the new Republican supermajority here in TN is bad too, right? After all, they have enough power they can suspend the normal rules of order and do whatever the fark they want.


Tennessee can have all the personhood amendments and Citizens United billionaire buyouts and unionbusting laws and voter suppression laws and DOMA laws that you like. California's going forward without Obstructionist Republicans. And as California goes, so will go the Union. The Confederacy can screw up its own states any way it wants.
2012-11-09 02:53:27 AM
1 votes:

Practical_Draconian: Californians have been leaving for the past decade because of the cost of living here.


And yet, the population has not declined significantly. It's almost as if some people moved to California.
2012-11-09 02:46:48 AM
1 votes:
If they get too aggro about wanting to raise taxes, or want to spend too much money (which they will), they are going to run into a roadblock named Jerry.
Don't F with the Jerry.
2012-11-09 02:23:27 AM
1 votes:

TwistedFark: Still... how do they plan to deal with unfunded ballot initiatives? Can they cut them from the budget somehow with a simple majority even if it passed as a referendum?


Generally, the answer is no--most ballot initiatives (especially those implemented as amendments to the state constitution) can only be modified by another ballot initiative. And, as has been pointed out, ballot-box budgeting (in the form of unchangeable, locked-in mandates) is one of the big roadblocks to the state getting its financial house in order.
2012-11-09 01:47:58 AM
1 votes:

jjorsett: Fart_Machine: jjorsett: Don't worry. We Californians are a forward-looking bunch.

[i48.tinypic.com image 800x534]

Arizona, really?

Well, if I made the sign say, "Welcome to Texas", all the lefties would be going, "Yaaa, yure so stooopid! Texas ain't next to California." Abstract concepts and artistic license are lost on them.


So where is Arizona going to get all that federal money if donor states like California lose their population?
2012-11-09 01:43:53 AM
1 votes:

jjorsett: Fart_Machine: jjorsett: We're about to get massively higher energy bills thanks to the state's new cap-and-trade system that will cost businesses and consumers billions a year

If by massive you mean about a $100 a year for the average consumer then yes.

You're citing direct costs (energy bills), and you're using the soothing, "this suppository won't hurt, trust us!" numbers the government is putting out. Everything that requires energy to produce, move, or sell, which is, well, everything, is going to cost more. Nobody has any real idea how much yet because they're just getting this puppy warmed up, but the number isn't going lower. Trust me like I'm the government.


Or trust you with words like massive and billions without any real data?
2012-11-09 01:43:34 AM
1 votes:

TwistedFark: Also, I want to point out - Jerry Brown is the farking man.

Unlike most gutless politicians these days, he put his balls on the line for Prop 30 and got evil death threats from Republicans and almost no backing from his own party. People were saying that he was signing his own death sentance and that the state was ungovernable.

Well guess what? The state is governable, it just needs an actual governor.

Agree with him or not, the fact is you don't see that kind of political guts hardly at all anymore. Maybe now that he has a super majority in both houses he can undo a few decades of nonsense across both parties.


This. The man does not f*ck around.
2012-11-09 01:16:38 AM
1 votes:

TwistedFark: Three point plan to getting California heading in the right direction again:

1) Make only a simple majority instead of a super majority required to pass a budget.


Ummmm . . . we already did this. Last November, Prop 25, which passed, and applied to the budget this year for the first time. The problem is that it still requires a 2/3 majority to change taxes (and another ballot initiative that passed in the same election extended the 2/3 requirement to increases in fees as well), so only spending, and not revenue, can now be controlled by a simple majority.
2012-11-09 01:03:25 AM
1 votes:
Three point plan to getting California heading in the right direction again:

1) Make only a simple majority instead of a super majority required to pass a budget.
2) Get rid of the stupid unfunded ballot initiatives - bye bye proposition system.
3) Reform property tax code.

I'm actually fairly certain that you could get a majority of both Dems and Reps to agree on 2 of those 3 suggestions. The tax code thing is difficult, but necessary. It will face huge resistanes in San Diego county however,but then again I don't own a home in La Jolla. :o
2012-11-09 12:58:47 AM
1 votes:

randomjsa: I'm going to go out on a cliff here and guess two things.

transitionculture.org

blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org

2012-11-09 12:56:07 AM
1 votes:
I'm going to go out on a cliff here and guess two things.

The first being the Democrats will not take responsibility for the mess they've made in that state.

The second being that they will not improve things, only make them worse.
2012-11-09 12:37:28 AM
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: He does have a point, though. We've saddled ourselves with a LOT of mandated spending, mostly via initiatives. It makes it much harder to make adjustments when you've written required percentages into law


No doubt, but it's more a problem of locking in a dedication of percentages of revenues-- tying everyone's hands regardless of revenue amounts--as compared with total spending as he was claiming, which is actually significantly down (in ratio to GDP as well as per capita) as compared to California's "golden age."

/but if I were to choose a starting point, I'd say we should begin by removing commercial property from Prop 13 coverage

I defitinely agree that this would be the place to start.
2012-11-09 12:20:16 AM
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk:

OK... your ideas for change, then?

/we've already covered removing the increase cap


How about progressive property tax rates? Houses assessed at $250,000 or less get one rate, $250,000-$500,000 a higher rate, $500,000-$1,000,000 an even higher rate, and so on and so forth.

Also, not sure how it works in CA, but in FL primary residences get a property tax break, which allows the tax to be higher for secondary and vacation homes.

It also seems like it would be a good idea to remove any tax caps on commercial property or property that is registered under a business/corporation to prevent the kind of abuses that Cyberluddite mentioned.
2012-11-09 12:17:02 AM
1 votes:
High Speed Rail everywhere!!!!

/seriously...hoping the LA to SF plan happens
2012-11-09 12:12:00 AM
1 votes:
This supermajority will last exactly as long as it takes for a splinter group of the majority party to realize that by threatening to vote against legislation they can force the rest of the party to send some pork bellies their way.
2012-11-09 12:11:24 AM
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk:
themindiswatching: MaudlinMutantMollusk: ...
Remove the 1% property tax rate cap, lock the yearly increase cap to CPI and make Proposition 13 only apply to residential property.

Works for me

/but then, I'm no longer a property owner, so I shouldn't have much of a say in the issue


couldn't disagree with this more. i believe in property rights at least as much as the average American, i imagine, but whether or not property is taxed in a democracy is a decision for everyone to make. don't abdicate your say in the matter just because you don't own property - if we only allowed those with skin in the game to make each individual decision, i think it's clear where taxes would be.
2012-11-09 12:10:18 AM
1 votes:

Smeggy Smurf: ZAZ: MaudlinMutantMollusk

According to a quick Google, California voters passed a law exempting property inherited from parents from reassessment. How many children and grandchildren of 70s retirees are still living in the family house, nearly tax free?

Farmers. Don't mess with farmers. They don't have to sell their food to the cities.


Engineers. Don't mess with Engineers. They can build farms in the middle of the cities and we don't have to buy from farmers.
2012-11-08 11:56:58 PM
1 votes:
In ca a supermajority is required to raise taxes, which is a huge part of the reason why the state continually lurches from one fiscal crisis to another for years on end with nothing getting structurally fixed. The republicans have never even entertained the idea of raising taxes to go along with spending cuts. It's the model of the 2010 Congress, yes, but in CA we've been stuck here for decades now.
2012-11-08 11:39:53 PM
1 votes:
I'm hoping for an oil extraction tax. We'll see.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-08 10:53:39 PM
1 votes:
Massachusetts has had a Democratic supermajority for a long time. I think the majority will be 37-3 and 127-33 next session. What happens is, the Democrats split into factions. You might call them progressive and traditional, but don't worry too much about the labels. One of the factions chooses a Speaker of the House, who decides how much taxes will go up. The Senate president has a say too. The rank and file mostly do what the boss says. As in parliamentary systems, occasionally they are allowed to vote their conscience instead of following orders.

The last effective thing Massachusetts Republicans did was side with the minority traditional Democrats to block a progressive Speaker. It was like 50 traditional Democrats, 70 progressives, and 40 Republicans. Republicans added their votes to traditional Democrats' to install Thomas Finneran as Speaker. People disagree about whether he was better for Republicans. He was eventually indicted for obstruction of justice, pleaded guilty, was sentenced to probation, and became a talk show host.

And it's true that nobody blames Republican legislators for Massachusetts' problems. It's also true that being a Democrat means you can screw up the state as much as you like. They don't fear being voted out in favor of Republicans. Personal misconduct, drunk driving or drunk groping, is a problem. Professional misconduct and mismanagement is not.
2012-11-08 10:43:15 PM
1 votes:

kmmontandon: No, we can still blame Prop. 13 and Grover Norquist.

This state has been continually f*cked by a pack of scared retirees in the '70s, and the assholes that pandered to them, because inflation would totally last forever, so we can never, ever adjust property taxes or reassess old properties.


Most of those retirees from the 70s are long dead. When a property is sold, it gets reassessed and taxed thereafter at current market value. About the only thing I can see left of Prop 13 is the cap on yearly increases (which is moot since property values have decreased lately), and the really stupid part about commercial property taxes

/what do you think we should change?
2012-11-08 10:35:39 PM
1 votes:
No, we can still blame Prop. 13 and Grover Norquist.

This state has been continually f*cked by a pack of scared retirees in the '70s, and the assholes that pandered to them, because inflation would totally last forever, so we can never, ever adjust property taxes or reassess old properties.
2012-11-08 10:04:49 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: So I'm guessing Subby would also say the new Republican supermajority here in TN is bad too, right? After all, they have enough power they can suspend the normal rules of order and do whatever the fark they want.


Or the one here in WY.
2012-11-08 09:45:09 PM
1 votes:
This should be... interesting

MorrisBird: themindiswatching: Speaking of supermajorities, why is it that Republicans want California to become a red state again? It's seriously their dream every election.

Because, all the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.


And 55 Electoral votes

/on a Winter's day
2012-11-08 09:28:57 PM
1 votes:

themindiswatching: Speaking of supermajorities, why is it that Republicans want California to become a red state again? It's seriously their dream every election.


Because, all the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.
2012-11-08 08:46:59 PM
1 votes:
So I'm guessing Subby would also say the new Republican supermajority here in TN is bad too, right? After all, they have enough power they can suspend the normal rules of order and do whatever the fark they want.
2012-11-08 08:28:17 PM
1 votes:
Nice to see fixing their stupid referendum process is on the list.
2012-11-08 08:19:40 PM
1 votes:
Doesn't California actually have to be considered "together" before it can fall apart?
 
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