City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Steven Greenhut
Broken California « Back to Story

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Quoting ..."How about cutting government down in size, eliminating collective bargaining for public-employee unions, privatizing services, and slashing regulatory burdens? "

NOW, you're talking !

It's THAT ...or insolvency.
CA Native Son of a CA Native Daughter October 20, 2010 at 7:11 PM
California has only two major problems. Too much immigration, legal, illegal and intra-state (New Yorkers go home!) and public employee unions, especially the teachers. The rest is easy.
The State of California is dysfunctional because of the courts and as a result of their rulings we now have mob rule in this state and many others. Much of the states wealth is made in rural areas, and farm country, and rural areas are not fairly represented. All of the political power is centered 2 places LA and San Fran the two places where social programs are consumed as fast as anyone can shovel them. This problem is further compounded by the flood of illegal’s living there also taking in social resources, both cities are sanctuary cities.

There are not the governmental counterbalances like we have in the US senate thanks to a ruling in 1968 Reynolds vs. Sims that made electing state senators also mob rule removing the equal representation of the rural areas.

To use an analogy basically we have the renters voting on property rights and taxation.

Yet another book or article about how to fix California. Everyone has their own idea,and it is hard to resist the temptation to add something else. The consensual nature of our culture is no more, with the Democrat left succeeding in their goal of splitting everyone up into discrete groups. Seniors, latinos, youth, blacks, whites, rich woman, poor man begger man, thief and on and on and on. E Pluribus Unum is dead, and goodbye to civility, to agreements and hello to interesting times. Where California is the rest of the country is going. That's the real legacy of the Democrat party and its media enablers. And like Humpty Dumpty...well that the rest of the story and this stretched metaphor.
Re. allow legislators to amend or eliminate initiatives and allow citizens to overturn legislative acts through referendum

This is what we have in Colorado. A citizens legislative initiative can be modified by the legislature after it is passed. And, since the early 20th century Colorado has had a constitutional rule where the citizens can overturn a piece of legislation via. initiative, with the proviso that if the legislature deems the legislation an emergency measure "necessary for the health and welfare" of the state, the option to eliminate that legislation is barred. The result has been that citizen legislative initiatives, while they still happen, have not been frequent. Usually citizen initiatives opt for constitutional amendments, which the legislature cannot change. Some complain that this has littered the state's constitution with a lot of legislative verbiage, though this is not unusual for state constitutions, even where the initiative is not an option.

On the matter of citizen initiative being used to overturn bills passed by the legislature, to my knowledge it's never happened. This constitutional provision is easily made moot by the state ALWAYS declaring that its legislation is for "emergency" purposes.
I did a quick Google search and found that there are nearly 15,000,000 more people in California today than there were when Prop 13 was passed. I wonder why this was left out of the second paragraph when describing how much more money the government has now in real dollars. Wouldn't the per capita number be a more accurate measure?
I am NOT an intellectual or know much about California (but lived there most of my life until I moved to Arizona in 1980). I am Latino and very familiar with L.A., San Bernardino, and Riverside counties.

I am disappointed that the multiferous and heavy costs of ILLEGAL Aliens (health, welfare, crime, drugs, and education) were not discussed as factors in California's problems.

California desrves it's liberal leaning consequences! Maybe, when it become part of Mexico things will get better. Man, gringos are stupid.... que no?
A Defense of Proposition 13 Property Tax Revenues
by Richard Rider
Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
1 July, 2010

When it comes to gathering sufficient property taxes, Prop 13 is no problem at all – except for profligate spenders. Look at the history of my San Diego County – a history which pretty much reflects the history of property taxes in the urban/suburban counties that hold over 90% of California's population.

According to the SD County Tax Assessor, in 1977 – the year BEFORE Prop 13 took effect – our countywide property tax revenue was about $639 million. For this past 30 June concluding 2009-2010 fiscal year, our county assessor reports revenues of $4.596 BILLION. For every property tax dollar collected in 1977, the county this last year collected $7.20.

During that time frame, our county population has grown about 85%, and inflation has gone up about 260%. Hence property tax revenues today are substantially higher than the bloated PRE-Prop 13 year, even after adjusting for inflation and population growth.

For 2008, California was ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states. But CA property taxes per home were the 10th highest in the nation that year.

To see how CA ranks against the other states on various taxes and other economic factors, go to: and read the latest updated version of my fact sheet “Breaking Bad – CA vs. the other states.”

It turns out that, under Prop 13, property tax revenue is FAR more stable than our other forms of tax revenue. Income tax revenue is plunging, and sales tax revenue is dropping.

But property tax revenue seldom goes down AT ALL. Since the year Prop 13 passed, San Diego County property tax revenue has ALWAYS gone up – every year – until this 2009-10 fiscal year.

The SD County Assessor reports that real estate property tax revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 is down – but only 1.0%. This in the 4th year of California’s real estate meltdown. The year before, real estate property tax revenue was actually up 4.1%. Not one person in a thousand knows this – the press has not (yet) covered these amazing facts.

Revenue is up because Prop 13 has the little-known added benefit of smoothing out real estate property tax revenue from year to year. Most properties this year (generally those purchased prior to 2003) had their property tax go up 2%. Add to that the resales, property improvements and new structures (which establish new tax assessment levels), and the revenue stayed rather constant in the teeth of our economic downturn.

Consider what happens without Prop 13 protection: In the real estate boom years from 1998 through 2005, property taxes would have SOARED. (Even WITH the Prop 13 limitations, San Diego County property tax revenue collection during this period STILL rose 111%.) But then in the last four years, dropping property values would have caused a dramatic plummet in property tax revenues – revenues that governments would now be hooked on – just like we see with our volatile sales taxes, and especially with our erratic income tax revenues.
Notice how the Mexican drug cartels *aren't* smuggling beer and wine into our country? That's because they're LEGAL and our gas stations and supermarkets undercut any price the cartels could set.

Octogenarians - say it loud and say it strong, LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!!!