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Old 06-06-2007, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Chico, CA
104 posts, read 445,921 times
Reputation: 58

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinkle Toes View Post
Our CA taxes are NOTHING like paying a 3% property tax in Texas every year. In Texas our property tax EVERY SINGLE YEAR is over $20,000.00. We have nver, ever paid that much in property taxes in CA.
...
Yes, our home is in the Dominion and it is over a million dollars. It is 6200 square feet and has a 360 degree view. It is an absolutely gorgeous home - unfortunately it's in Texas! Our property taxes are 3% in Bexar county.
Twinkle Toes, please realize that I'm not directing this at you personally, but this is the "California" attitude that is primarily the reason I'm considering leaving the state.

I'm sick and tired of rich people that think they're entitled to own $3m homes and not pay more than the bare minimum back to the state.

The tax burden is so unfair in this state... you can have two houses right next door to one another, both with equal value, where one family is paying taxes on the value of the home when it was originally purchased in the 80's (or 70's), and the new family that moved in next door is paying taxes on it's (hugely) increased value today. All thanks to Prop. 13.

That's the discrepancy I can't stand, and why I can't even come close to affording a house in California.

Texas may be a bit on the high side property tax wise, but at least it's more fair than California's system.

The other reasons I'm considering leaving the state (in no particular order).

1. Pollution
2. Crime and Gang Activity
3. Education (I have kids)
4. Rude people
5. Did I say pollution?

I live in the Northern Sacramento Valley, and after a good heavy rainstorm, with lots of wind, we'll have maybe two days of completely clear skies, then the haze sets in. I live at the base of the Cascade/Sierra transition zone, and when it's clear I can see the Coast Range with no problem. Two days later it's barely visible, and after a week you'd no longer know it's even there. I never had allergies at all growing up, but now I suffer from them horribly throughout the year.

I'm also getting sick and tired of gangs and crime, even though I live in a fairly 'safe' city. Every year it gets worse and worse, because there's a definite line between the "have's" and the "have not's" in this State, and it continues to grow.

The public educational system in California is horrible, unless you live in an affluent area or send your kids to private school. This was Prop. 13's sacrificial lamb. The public school system used to be tied to property taxes, but the legislature realized that school growth was going to outpace property tax revenue in a short time, so they instead now directly fund the school system at the State level with income tax. When there's a budget shortfall, where exactly do you think they cut first?

Our school district is so short on cash now that they cut out band and music at the elementary school level starting next year, and they only had part-time teachers doing the instruction already!

Of course many of the people paying the smallest amount in property tax (thanks to Prop. 13) are also the ones lamenting how stupid the youth of today are... if only they had thought about that 25 years ago!

California is also filled with rude people. I'm lucky enough to live in a town where you can still get a smile and a hello occassionally, but that is becoming more and more rare as people flood into my town from SoCal and the Bay Area. I've lived in the same neighborhood for 9 years and know two of my neighbors. It's terrible... and I consider myself a pretty friendly guy, not scary in the least.

Anyway, I think that about sums it up.

 
Old 06-06-2007, 03:37 PM
 
12 posts, read 43,401 times
Reputation: 14
I don't understand why people complain about Prop13's unfairness. If you don't like paying high property taxes, you should criticize the property tax itself, not a measure that limits it. Also blame the development growth restrictions that keep prices up.
 
Old 06-06-2007, 03:43 PM
 
2,015 posts, read 4,652,832 times
Reputation: 1863
Quote:
Originally Posted by graffixjones View Post
Twinkle Toes, please realize that I'm not directing this at you personally, but this is the "California" attitude that is primarily the reason I'm considering leaving the state.

I'm sick and tired of rich people that think they're entitled to own $3m homes and not pay more than the bare minimum back to the state.

The tax burden is so unfair in this state... you can have two houses right next door to one another, both with equal value, where one family is paying taxes on the value of the home when it was originally purchased in the 80's (or 70's), and the new family that moved in next door is paying taxes on it's (hugely) increased value today. All thanks to Prop. 13.

That's the discrepancy I can't stand, and why I can't even come close to affording a house in California.

Texas may be a bit on the high side property tax wise, but at least it's more fair than California's system.

The other reasons I'm considering leaving the state (in no particular order).

1. Pollution
2. Crime and Gang Activity
3. Education (I have kids)
4. Rude people
5. Did I say pollution?

I live in the Northern Sacramento Valley, and after a good heavy rainstorm, with lots of wind, we'll have maybe two days of completely clear skies, then the haze sets in. I live at the base of the Cascade/Sierra transition zone, and when it's clear I can see the Coast Range with no problem. Two days later it's barely visible, and after a week you'd no longer know it's even there. I never had allergies at all growing up, but now I suffer from them horribly throughout the year.

I'm also getting sick and tired of gangs and crime, even though I live in a fairly 'safe' city. Every year it gets worse and worse, because there's a definite line between the "have's" and the "have not's" in this State, and it continues to grow.

The public educational system in California is horrible, unless you live in an affluent area or send your kids to private school. This was Prop. 13's sacrificial lamb. The public school system used to be tied to property taxes, but the legislature realized that school growth was going to outpace property tax revenue in a short time, so they instead now directly fund the school system at the State level with income tax. When there's a budget shortfall, where exactly do you think they cut first?

Our school district is so short on cash now that they cut out band and music at the elementary school level starting next year, and they only had part-time teachers doing the instruction already!

Of course many of the people paying the smallest amount in property tax (thanks to Prop. 13) are also the ones lamenting how stupid the youth of today are... if only they had thought about that 25 years ago!

California is also filled with rude people. I'm lucky enough to live in a town where you can still get a smile and a hello occassionally, but that is becoming more and more rare as people flood into my town from SoCal and the Bay Area. I've lived in the same neighborhood for 9 years and know two of my neighbors. It's terrible... and I consider myself a pretty friendly guy, not scary in the least.

Anyway, I think that about sums it up.

Graffixjones, good post. I knew about Prop. 13, but hadn't thought about how public schools are being short-changed. About Prop. 13; I looked up on house on Zillow a while back. The owners are paying about $600 per year for a house zestimated at about $860,000. If one purchased that house today, they'd be paying over $9,000, probably closer to $10,000 per year. I also get sick of the "I got mine (first); scr*w you attitude that you speak of when you mentioned those that got in 25 years ago compared to people starting out today. Whether one likes it or not, young people are the future of this country. The mega-rich aren't going to be out there being teachers, nurses, firefighters, etc. If the middle class can't afford to live in CA, that will be/is the tragedy.
 
Old 06-06-2007, 04:00 PM
 
8,262 posts, read 26,266,309 times
Reputation: 4390
Quote:
Originally Posted by xwingalliance View Post
I don't understand why people complain about Prop13's unfairness. If you don't like paying high property taxes, you should criticize the property tax itself, not a measure that limits it. Also blame the development growth restrictions that keep prices up.
You can always move someplace like Massachussetts, New Jersey, or Long Island NY where schools are great, taxes go up every year, real estate prices are insane, and invalid grandmas get taxed out their home every year :-)
 
Old 06-06-2007, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Chico, CA
104 posts, read 445,921 times
Reputation: 58
You make some good points Sassberto, and I really wasn't trying to argue that California's taxes should be higher, only more "fair".

One thing we deal with a lot in economics is "barriers to entry". Right now, if you're a new homebuyer, the barrier to entry is entirely too high if you wish to purchase a home. I can't afford to save up the $70,000 (20%) down payment on a $350,000 house, something that is big enough for my family (3bd/2ba). And by the time I had that $70,000 saved up (if I could manage it), it would have increased to $80,000 or $90,000... one of those constant "chasing your tail" scenarios.

To those that are lucky enough to have home equity before the big run-up in prices, I'm jealous.

It's my opinion, that if the tax burden were more evenly distributed, taxes could actually be lower across the board, while still increasing revenue for the state. Exemptions could be offered for those that are in lower income brackets, but it would equal out the disparity I touched on in my original post.

Whoops... I'm not sure if this is considered "on topic" or not.
 
Old 06-06-2007, 09:54 PM
 
26,579 posts, read 52,055,370 times
Reputation: 20358
Default Thankful for Prop 13

Graffixjones... Every home that I have bought has been post prop 13 and I am thankful every day that prop 13 exists.

I remember and personally know elderly neighbors in Hayward California in 1975 that could no longer afford the ever increasing property tax burden and moved to another state. It was very sad to be taxed out of your home and be helpless to do anything about it... this was not an isolated case and that is how Prop 13 passed in the first place.

People have to realize that pre prop 13, property owners really did not have a clue as to how much their tax bill would go up every year. You were at the mercy of the local tax assessor and you always had to pay based on his opinion of value and maybe, if you were lucky and up for a fight... you might be successful on an appeal... only to have to go through the whole process all over again next year.

It is true what you said... I pay $8800 a year property tax on my 600k home and the previous owners in their 80's were paying $1200. I knew what I was getting into and there was NO WAY this retired couple could have come anywhere near affording to continue living in their home of 50 years if they had to pay $8800. By the way, the wife is a retired public school teacher.

A second point... Every School Bond and Parcel Tax Assessment for Schools in my city has been approved by the voters... if this was not the case, my taxes would be around $6500 and not $8800.

Prop 13 is one of the only times I think the people were able to speak-out and prevail. It truly was a grass roots movement that was upheld through numerous court challenges.

Sorry for my rant, but I am thankfull that the voters before me enacted prop 13.
 
Old 06-07-2007, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
1,677 posts, read 6,087,140 times
Reputation: 636
We just moved out of San Diego to Seattle. We moved because my husband got a job with Amazon.com. I grew up mostly in Irvine, but for the last 4 years we've lived in San Diego (before that we lived a few years in the Bay Area). My husband loved San Diego (I was sort of "eh" about it). We weren't looking to move. Well, he wasn't, I've long dreamed of moving out of CA to some place more affordable, with a small town feel, where people aren't afraid of letting their kids go trick-or-treating, etc. I'll always have a special place in my heart for OC, as that's where I spent my teenage years, but I'm happy to be out of CA, no matter how much I miss my family.

V. =)
 
Old 06-08-2007, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Chico, CA
104 posts, read 445,921 times
Reputation: 58
Ultrarunner,
I don't claim to have all the answers to the world's problems, but in the cases you mentioned, exemptions to reassessment could be made for the elderly, those in lower income brackets, and other unique cases (disability, etc.).

The thing to consider on property tax, is when you sell the house ten or fifteen years down the road (for example), you gain the full value of the house's appreciation, yet the taxes you've paid are on the purchased value. That's a huge windfall.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I love California, but I'll eternally be a renter because the housing market is so far beyond me it isn't even funny. Even if I could get into a house, I'd be "house-poor" for the rest of my life. There simply isn't any entry-level housing left in California, unless you want to live in very undesirable areas, or areas where you have to commute 2-3 hours one-way to an area with jobs that pay enough for you to afford the house you purchased.

Even "low income" housing projects under construction in my area start at $250,000 to $275,000. I'd love to have that "low income" that would qualify me for a mortgage on that house... that is if I could even get on the mile-long waiting list.

There just has to be a better way to fix this broken system.
When Schwartzenegger was campaigning during the recall election a few years back, he had Warren Buffett give a speech at one of his campaign stops (in Southern California, if I remember correctly), and he said that the property tax laws under Proposition 13 were severely broken, and that it should be scrapped. Of course Schwartzenegger didn't have him speak in the state again (it would've been political suicide), but this is the second-richest man in the U.S. (behind Bill Gates), and he knows finance and economics.

This guy can choose to live anywhere he wants, and where does he live? Nebraska.

Now I'm not saying that he's always correct, just that if those who make their living in financial markets see how broken and backward California's property tax system is, I tend to pay attention to what they have to say.

I see that my reputation went back up a bit after I got dinged for stating my opinion, but I still want everybody to know that I'm not a "hater", I'm just a little bitter.
 
Old 06-08-2007, 07:09 AM
 
Location: California, again...
232 posts, read 762,768 times
Reputation: 157
My husband and 20yr old daughter were born in California. I have been here since 1981.

When I got here I thought Cali was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I still think the beauty of the state is beyond compare but that is quickly changing for me. The non-stop construction is making me absolutely nuts and the freeways are not nearly what we need for the amount of people that are driving on a daily basis.

It makes me sad to see the mountainsides dug up for the next new house. Here in San Marcos (north of San Diego) I have seen housing tract after housing tract go up, my view is not longer of the hills around the area but of all the construction equipment putting up new housing and infrastructure

I miss the quiet easygoing attitudes I saw back in the 80s and early 90s.

Don't even get me started on illegal aliens....

The walls on my business are covered in graffiti on a regular basis and I live in a good area. The city of San Marcos has a program where they just run around covering over the graffiti all week. How sad is that?

In my community, there are so many homeless folk. They rent storage units and live in them when they can get away with it. They sleep around my business and tear up my fence and landscaping. The city says you can't do anything about them, leave them alone.

It is so beautiful here, but I feel stressed out all of the time. I am looking in parts of New Mexico because hubby and I used to do extensive traveling and loved the high desert. Never having spent more than a day or so in any area in New Mexico (our visits were usually as we passed from one travel destination to another), we started researching the state and have settled on one of the small towns along highway 40. Looks like the weather will be close to what we are used to and the towns all seem to be 10-20 thousand in size. I will be able to make almost 40% less in income and keep a similar quality of life....

Well, those are my reasons for leaving the state.
 
Old 06-08-2007, 07:40 AM
 
8,262 posts, read 26,266,309 times
Reputation: 4390
Quote:
Originally Posted by graffixjones View Post
Maybe I'm just bitter because I love California, but I'll eternally be a renter because the housing market is so far beyond me it isn't even funny. Even if I could get into a house, I'd be "house-poor" for the rest of my life. There simply isn't any entry-level housing left in California, unless you want to live in very undesirable areas, or areas where you have to commute 2-3 hours one-way to an area with jobs that pay enough for you to afford the house you purchased.
It's the same situation in almost every coastal city in the country. My advice to you - either suck it up and buy that crappy small condo or that house in the "sketchy" neighborhood, or take the chance for a better life and move away to a new city or state.

Take a stand - make a decision. Sitting there and pining away for the entire state to turn around from a direction that it has been going on for 40 years is an excersize in futility and frustration.

Just promise that if you move to Texas, you won't hang out on the California message board telling everyone how bad California is ;-)
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