Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Don't Blame Prop 13 !

 California is not BROKE as we are told , with yearly shortfalls of revenue . It's flushed with Cash and has a high Tax rate.
There has been a lot of debate here in California. Whether to rescind or change Prop 13 . Prop 13 is getting the blame for California's never ending budget shortfalls . But are the facts accurate?Californians pay the highest taxes in the nation. If our money isn't providing the education system you want, maybe it's time to vote for legislators who will, but I won't be holding my breath Here a bit of my own detective work.[T]he state still brings in a lot in property taxes. By 2007, the year of the most recent Census Bureau data comparing state finances, California's state and local governments levied $1,141 in property taxes per capita, less—but only 11 percent less—than the corresponding average, $1,288, for the other 49 states and the District of Columbia. Property-tax revenues in the state have increased from $4.9 billion to $47 billion in the 30 years since Proposition 13 Adjust those figures for inflation and population growth, and property-tax revenues in California were 87 percent higher in 2009 than they were in 1979, chiefly because of rising property values.And even if one tax is limited, others can rise. A recent article in the California Journal of Politics and Policy by Colin McCubbins and Mathew McCubbins shows that, adjusted again for population growth and inflation, total state and local tax revenues in California were higher ten years after Proposition 13's enactment than they were just before—and that they were half again as high in 2000 as in 1978. Census Bureau data show that California ranked tenth in the nation in 2007 in terms of per-capita receipts from all state and local taxes (property, income, sales, and excise taxes) paid by individuals and corporations. Per-capita receipts from individual and corporate income taxes were 64 percent higher in California than they were in the rest of the country: $1,764 in California, $1,077 elsewhere. All told, California's governments received $4,731 per resident from all taxes, 14 percent more than the $4,160 average outside California. [...[E]ven if we confine our discussion to the ten most populous states in the nation, home to 54 percent of all Americans in 2009, California remains a high-tax jurisdiction. Its per-capita taxes exceed not only the national average but those of every other high-population state except New York. [...][N]ot only is California a high-tax state; it is even more conspicuously a high-revenue state. Things that aren't taxes, such as fees for government services, often have a high degree of "taxiness," as Stephen Colbert might say. "Charges and fees have become an integral part of the California budgetary landscape" because they "give the government a revenue stream that is not subject to limitation and hard for voters to track," the McCubbinses argue. [...]
Thus it is that the Golden State, routinely described as desperately short of funds because of Proposition 13, brought in $12,776 per capita in governmental income from all sources—taxes, fees, federal aid, charges for government-administered insurance, and revenue from government-owned utilities—in 2007. This amount was the fifth-highest in the nation and second (again) only to profligate New York among the ten most populous states[.]


If we did not have Prop 13 in-place  today , and you add the high cost of housing and foreclosures, the tax on property would drive home owners out .Attacks on Proposition 13 can be divided into two categories, the semi-serious and the ludicrous.The first category come from those who believe government is entitled to more taxpayer money and there should be no restrictions on government’s ability to get it, such as Proposition 13’s limit on annual increases in property taxes and the two-thirds vote required of both houses of the Legislature to raise state taxes.Also in this group are those who say Proposition 13’s acquisition value system is unfair, in that it means that someone who bought their home many years ago, when home values and wages were much lower, may end up paying less than a new neighbor who is willing to pay more, now that both prices and salaries are higher. These folks usually advocate higher taxes for longtime owners, not tax reductions for new buyers.California's state legislature continues to promote and fund needless and ineffective entitlement programs. No state program, no matter how ridiculous, has ever been eliminated. Don't forget the multitude of state commissions that provide a way for politically connected or termedout legislators to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year while doing nothing.

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