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Editorial piece 3/26

Original post made by localmom, Cuesta Park, on Mar 27, 2010

I was so impressed with the editors of the Voice taking on the issue of Prop 13! Many thanks for addressing this topic and the pain it is causing to schools and city governments (although MV hasn't been hurt it seems). That the schools are disproportionately punished is due to lawsuits following Prop 13 which caused the funds to be distributed "equitably" throughout the state regardless of how much is paid in by individual communities.
In ANY case, I believe the next step should be for the MVWhisman school district, or some interested parties, to undertake a similar study on Castro street or a nearby business park and figure out how many businesses in MV are not pulling their weight relative to homeowners so a similar case can be made and strengthen the argument.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 27, 2010 at 10:17 am

When you talk about lawsuits about educational funds being distributed equitably, are you thinking of Serrano v. Priest? That was before Proposition 13, which was passed partially in reaction to Serrano.


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Posted by Big picture
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Requiring corporations to pay more taxes will increase costs for the consumer, increase unemployment, and/or force companies to move out of the California. When taxes are reduced, companies have opportunities to earn more and be more innovative. Companies also employ more people and expand operations as taxes/costs are reduced. (Why do you think so many of our companies and jobs have gone overseas?)The countries/economies that are in the best shape today have low and/or flat taxes.

California is one of the states with the highest taxes. California has property taxes, parcel taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, gas taxes, vehicle registration fees/taxes, and endless other taxes and fees. Requiring more taxes will not solve any of our problems.

Our educational system is broken because we refuse to hold the students accountable for ANYTHING. Too many students, refuse to behave, refuse to do their homework, refuse to pay attention in class, and are rewarded with decent grades and promoted to the next grade/level instead of repeating the class they failed. For example, our universities have remedial classes for students who have graduated with "B" averages or higher in high school. How can you graduate from high school with a "B" average and need remedial classes? (Remedial classes cost California taxpayers over $30 million annually.)

To fix our educational system we need consequences and accountability, not more taxes/money.

Corporations provide jobs, which give people a purpose and self-esteem. Employees can provide for their families, buy things to support other businesses and people in the community, take care of their family, health, etc.

Corporations provide and do tremendous good for communities and I would argue corporations do more good for individuals and communities than non-profits, so why not make corporations tax-exempt too?
We would have a more productive, creative society if we stopped taxing and punishing the most productive and creative members.

Two ways to reduce our need for more taxes:

Enforce our immigration laws and crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants rather than increase taxes. If we cracked down on illegal immigration, more jobs would be available for legal residents and our unemployment and welfare burden would be reduced. Furthermore, with fewer illegal immigrants our schools, housing, hospitals, jails, etc. would not be overburdened and we would need less money/taxes.

Another way to reduce the need for more taxes is to end taxpayer guaranteed pensions. All government employees should be switched to a defined contribution/401k style plan. Government salaries need to be reduced too. According to the Wall Street Journal, on average government employees earn 46% more than the equivalent job/position in private industry.


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Posted by the299crew
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

While Proposition 13 is not perfect, it has done, and continues to do a lot for real homeowners and real business owners, the people that really do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to paying taxes and sending all the budget money to the county seats and to Sacramento. I think there is plenty of budget money to spend, but our elected officials always loose sight of what the people really want and need the money spent on. Instead of looking for more sources of "revenue," I say that there is plenty of revenue, sure maybe a little less these days than in years past, but still plenty. Get the job done with what you have already received from the people and companies of the state and stop trying to find a new fee or new tax to suck us even drier.


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Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm


You think the fiscal problem is bad now, just wait until the boomers retire and there's nobody educated enough to fill the high income jobs.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

The Castro Street (revitalization) district was explained quite nicely in a Merc News article. The school tax money it is diverting comes from the 1% limit imposed by Prop 13 (CA constitution change). When the district is finally closed down - the monies from that 1% will start to flow back to school and city 'general funds'. If the council majority votes to spend subsidy bonds (like a market deal they did not want in 2005) then several millions will go to that - rather than pay off bond indebtedness early! The more the council spends on subsidy bonds - the less for schools and libraries and streets. For school districts, this will be more than a half million a year lost (to a private market and facade subsidies).
I think Castro is 'revitalized' and the district should be closed down ASAP. The weird 'exemptions' to tax assessment updates are increasing the basic business/resident inequities of the "1% of assessed valuation" limit of Prop 13. That problem in MP is true all over the state. It is just interesting to see one local version of it - well documented.


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