Moody’s New Pension Rules Would Bankrupt Six Cal Counties

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

To meet new public pension financing rules, six counties in California would have to dedicate all of their existing property taxes to pay for pensions or pursue municipal bankruptcy through the courts.  That is the conclusion of an independent pension analyst of the new pension rules established last year by Moody’s municipal credit rating agency. […]

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Leave Prop. 13 Alone: Repeal Growth Controls

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

The Democratic Party supermajority in the state legislature is calling for reform of Proposition 13.  The legislature should leave Proposition 13 alone.  Instead it should repeal or override regional growth management and smart growth laws.  Here’s why: it is growth management laws that cause the excessive housing booms and busts that throw state and school […]

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Willie Brown Wants to Gut Prop. 13

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Willie Brown just reminded us why in 1990 voters passed term limits largely to move him out of his seat as California Assembly-Speaker-for-Life. Brown wrote that Prop. 13 should be reformed by “cleverly” by making “a racehorse look like a donkey.” But Brown must take California homeowners and small business persons to be dumb mules.  Everyone knows […]

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Reality and Unreality of a Split Property Tax Roll

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Editor’s Note: This article is from a longer piece on California’s economic growth titled  “Supermajority Can’t Legislate Away Reality” published in Cal Watchdog. Read the entire article here. The only political response to slow growth has been for the Party of Government to protect state and local governments, not businesses.  Now the Democratic supermajority in […]

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Millionaire Tax Flight Study Full of Hasty Generalizations

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Crossposted on CalWatchdog When hosting TV game show “Family Feud,” the late host Richard Dawson made famous his line: “Survey says!” There’s a new study out on how millionaires react to tax increases. What does the survey say? “Millionaire Migration in California: The Impact of Top Tax Rates” is by Charles Varner and Cristobal Young, both of […]

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‘J.B.’ Says CEQA Reform is ‘God’s Work’

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Crossposted on CalWatchDog In Archibald MacLeish’s 1958 play “J.B.,” the devil disguised as a popcorn vendor destroys the property and children of a wealthy banker named “J.B.” to test his faithfulness to God.  God, portrayed as a balloon vendor in a circus, offers to restore J.B.’s life if he returns to the religion he rejected. […]

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Sustainability Ideology Invented a Stagnant California Dream

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Crossposted on CalWatchDog When did the California Dream begin? Peter Huck, a refugee journalist from Los Angeles to New Zealand, has an answer. He writes in the July 20 issue of the New Zealand Herald newspaper “Sustainability Reinventing California Dream” that the California Dream began when Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s William Mulholland […]

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Was Prop 29 the End of the Duped California Voter?

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Is the era of California’s duped voters over?  That is the question that has to be asked now that Proposition 29 – the proposed additional tobacco tax of $1 per pack of cigarettes – has narrowly been defeated at the ballot box.  Perhaps this portends the end of stem cell funding and the Institute for […]

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Is CA Cap & Trade New Smoot-Hawley Act?

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Crossposted in CalWatchdog Nowadays almost no economists back trade protectionism. Free trade is the norm. The example of damaging protectionism most cited is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. According to Wikipedia, it raised to record levels tariffs on 20,000 imported goods. Retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners resulted in both imports and exports being […]

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Prop. 13 Split Roll Would Be Ripoff

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Co-authored by Charles B. Warren. Cross-posted at CalWatchdog.

Democrats in the California Legislature want to repeal the property tax reassessment protections of Proposition 13 for commercial properties under the dubious notion that there is a pot of California 49er gold at the end of the rainbow. Prop. 13?s existing protections for homeowners would remain the same.

If the commercial protections are removed, this would create what’s called a “split roll”: different tax rates would apply to home and commercial property.

The vehicle being used to create split roll is  AB 448. But Democrats, to twist a phrase from Mark Twain when he was in California, may find that “there’s no gold in them thar hills.”

The current system of property taxation in California under Prop. 13 is based on reassessing all properties in the state only when there is a valid sales transaction, just as capital gains taxes are paid only when stock is sold.

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