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Julian , California
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May 6, 2009     The Julian News
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May 6, 2009
 

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May 6, 2009 California Commentary No Looking Back by Jon Coupal Between now and the May 19th special election, taxpayers will be inundated with political advertising in support of Proposition 1A. The Governor's campaign team and the California Teachers Association are on track to spend well over $10 million trying to convince voters that this measure is reasonable budget reform. Opponents, including virtually all taxpayer organizations, have their work cut out for them with a significantly less well funded, but very energized, grassroots effort to sink Prop. 1A. Despite the funding disadvantage, taxpayer interests have a few things in their favor. Not only is the complexity of the entire reform package hard for voters to understand, the high level of mistrust of the politicians backing the measure and the general resistance to tax increases make the passage of Prop. 1A less than a sure thing. Moreover, as Prop. 1A proponents try various new arguments in favor of the measure, they are quickly and effectively countered by opponents. For example, early in the campaign, the Governor stated that Proposition 1A has "nothing to do with tax increases." That assertion didn't even pass the laugh test and proponents have been forced to admit that, yes, if Proposition 1A passes, California taxpayers would pay an additional $16 billion in taxes they would otherwise not pay. Next came the "financial Armageddon" argument, predicting that we will have an immediate and' catastrophic financial meltdown if voters reject Prop. 1A. But this assertion, also, has been revealed as little more than a scare tactic. The Governor's own Director of Finance stated in a recent hearing that there would be no impact on the current budget year -- or budget year 2009-10 -- by the rejection of Prop. 1A. Another argument asserted by the proponents is that Prop. 1A is effective budget reform which, had it been in place 10 years ago, would have provided a real restraint on overspending. They even produce charts showing that state government would have been forced to place R.ED. "excess" revenues in the "budget stabilization fund." But whether Prop. 1A would have provided a moderation of government spending had it been in place for the last ten years is both academic and irrelevant. The fact is, that it wasn't. And it is foolish to ignore what other political pressures might have been brought to bear on any existing budget restraint. The fact is, once a spending limit actually comes into effect, the political pressure to spend "excess revenue" is enormous. Indeed, this is precisely what happened to the Gann Spending Limit. No one understands this better than Bill Leonard, currently serving as a member of the Board of Equalization. He recently wrote a short piece in his "Leonard Letter" which reviewed the history of the undoing of the Gann Limit. Leonard notes that "in 1987's growing economy, state revenues exploded and for the first time the state had more cash than the Gann Limit permitted to be spent on programs. In a wise bit of foresight, the Gann Limit already laid out that the default action for a surplus of revenue over the limit was a rebate to every California taxpayer. Governor Deukmejian offered the Democrat legislature a plan to spend the extra revenue on infrastructure, but they balked and in the end every California taxpayer received a modest rebate check." Believing that they were entitled to every last dime of taxpayer revenue, the tax and spend Iobby's reaction to the rebates was swift. They proposed Prop. 98 which guaranteed that K-14 spending be maintained at a certain percentage of the general fund. That measure barely passed with 50.7% of the vote. But, according to Leonard, by 1990 Governor Deukmejian "found it impossible to comply with both the Gann Limit and the Prop. 98 guarantee, Sohe and the legislature worked out a comprehensive ballot measure that loosened the Gann Limit formula to make it harder to ever reach the limit, while making the Prop. 98 guarantee more flexible so that it would stay around 40% of the General Fund by Mike Marland Week y SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 7 4 3 4 9 6 9 1 7 2 7 3 9 5 8 5 1 2 5 8 1 9 6 8 7 6 8 4 2 6 6 3 8 1 4 2 Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. DIFFIC;ULTY THIS WEEK:. * Moderate ** Challenging **, HOO BOY! 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. under all circumstances, as well as increasing the gasoline tax for purposes of transportation construction. This became Proposition 111 and the voters approved it in 1990." Leonard's point here is important: "The lesson for the future is that if the spending limits of Proposition 1A of 2009 pass, they can and will be undone by the voters, too." Thus, the question is whether a speculative budget reform -- one which allows its limits to be increased to reflect higher taxes -- and one which does nothing to control the appetite of the spending lobby is worth $16 billion in higher taxes. For most taxpayers, the answer is clearly no. Jon Coupal is President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- California's largest taxpayer organization -- which is dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and promoting taxpayers' rights. Property Tax Relief County Assessor David Butler would like to alert property owners regarding a solicitation that was recently mailed to a large number of homeowners in San Diego County. This solicitation offers assistance, for a fee, in completing an application to have the Assessor's office review your property's assessed value for a potential reduction. Mr. Butler wishes to emphasize to property owners that they can complete this same application and submit it directly to his office at no cost. Property owners who believe their property's market value has fallen below its assessed value should file an Application for Review of Assessment with the Assessor's Office as soon as possible, but no later than May 30, 2009. They should provide their opinion of value and any supporting documentation such as comparable sales, current listings, or a recent appraisal. For apartments or other income- producing property, income and expense information should also be provided. This free application is available on the Assessor's website at www. sdarcc.com (see the banner at the top of the home page), in all Assessor's branch offices, or by phoning the Assessor's Office at (858) 505-6262. When complete, please return the application to the Assessod Recorder/County Clerk, 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 103, San Diego, CA 92101. California law provides potential tax relief for property owners if their property's market value has fallen below its assessed value. For most areas of the county, this only affects those property owners who purchased their property from 2003 through mid 2008. For anyone who purchased their property prior to this, the current market value is still probably higher than their current assessed value. A property's assessed value is shown in the upper right hand corner of your current tax bill. ACROSS 1 Long cut 5 Scrooge's cry 8 Treaty 12 Ready for the picking 13 Leading lady? 14 Perjurer 15 Concept 16 Author Fleming 17 Set of "Risk" tokens 18 Mark over a long vowel 20 Catnap 22 Trophy wife's partner 26 Speak like 51 -Across 29 Central 30 100 square meters 31 Unctuous 32 Carton 33 Circulate 34 Praiseful poem 35 Entertain- ment 36 Horn noises 37 Britney and Christina, e.g. 40 Suspended 41 Spoof 45 Bridge 47 Part of UCLA 49 Respons- ibUity The Julian News 13 7.15 Acres. Views to The Ocean Hwy 79 & Coulter Ridge $139,000 .83 ACRE, PALOMAR VIEWS Owner Will Carry $49,900 Furnished Cabin 1 bedroom, 1 bath with large loft. Wood stove, large deck, washer/dryer, all wood interior. $1,200/Month $1800/Month. Kentwood custom home 3br, 2 1/2be, 3 car with family room and views, $800/Month Lake Cuyamaca Views Downstairs Large Studio w/entertainment wall Full Bath, tile floors, FA/AC, washer/dryer Under State law, Proposition 8 is available. This application  00Jztg Crossword -- allows for a temporary reduction must be filed with the Clerk of Answers in assessed value when a the Assessment Appeals Board property's market value falls between July 2 and November Solution time: 25 rains. below its assessed value. Once 30. I31NIOINlxl31SlxIIulvl reduced, the Assessor's Office I sl 1 Io 3 IMI 3 N IN 13 I=l I must then annually review the As HeardOi1 The Streets IsInlNIOiiSIOI-liiNIVldlsI value of the property and the property owner does not have OfJi/Hail ( to resubmit an application each by Eric Stamets year. When the property's value Enemy IMIol-l-,lxlolslJ, l-l  Iol increases, the assessed value I=lwIwllnll,,ll,lvl--,l-l(l will also be increased but no Combatants higher than the original assessed value (plus the annual CPI Or Whatever increase, not to exceed 2%, as lulvlln31^13 31dl00lul required by Proposition 13). They Are, To Be I'loIvldiHIvleiHIslvlgl Property owners who apply for this temporary reduction will be Moved notified in early July of the results of their request. If they still disagree with the value, a formal Much controversy has assessment appeal process surrounded the moving, from King 00ros00,wozd 2 6 7 8 10 11 14 17 20 23 24 25 29 33 39 1 43 44 48 49 52 55 7 Woodstock 28 GOP symbol headliner 32 Messes up 8 Shopping 33 Decorate center 35 Half a 9 Black-and- sawbuck tan terrier 36 Support 10 Rotating part system? 11 Attempt 38 Optimistic 19 Chic no more 39 New Jersey 21 Peculiar county 23 Surrounded 42 Digging by 43 Destruction 24 Let fall 44 Latin 5-Down 45 Masseur's workplace 46 Apiece 48 Have bills 27 46 m 50 Teller's partner 51 Farm female 52 Elevator man 53 Bohemian 54 Gender 55 Zilch DOWN 1 Gloomy 2 Verdi opera 3 Detail, for short 4 Inadmissible 25 Sorne testimony of evergreens a sort 26 Not-so-ugly 5 Existence Betty 6 Ms. Gardner 27 Beach resort @ 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. Guantanamo in Cuba, of the (, ./ enemy combatants or whatever  i/( they are called that were taken Movies into custody while trying to kill American or our allies' soldiers. 1. Erin b One of the high profile locations Brockovich being investigated is the brig at 2. The Incr4i Camp Pendleton. However there has been a torrent of objections 3. Mrs. Miniver from the many people living in 4. Stemom the north coastal area of San . Baby Boom Diego County to that possibility 6. The Sound and they want to find a different of Music location for the prisoners. 7. My Big Fat Greek The Marines discovered that the Old Julian Jail was not being Wedding / used at all and that there also 8. Please Don't Eat / were not that many people in the Daisies , Julian to complain and so will be 9. Yours, Mine and Ours sending some of the prisoners 10. Mask here to Julian. Most agree it's time the jail was put to good Source: Kaboose use. Obviously the jail won't hold all the prisoners and so other 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. World rights reserved. locations will have to be selected like the old Yuma Territorial Prison, which is also not housing any prisoners at this time. The Julian Jail was recently upgraded and restored and so provided an ; attractive alternative. It is seen 9 as a real boon in business for Julian restaurants, since there L are no kitchen facilities at the jail 8 and all meals would have to be catered. The only benefit to the other businesses would probably t be the Jul-mo tee shirts that I. could be sold, but at least a little stimulus would come to Julian. 6 Weekly SUDOKU Answer t, 6 I, L 9 9 L 1 9 L g f 9  g L 6 t 9 8 L 9 g 6 L L S Z 8 5 l 6 L 6 5 9 9 S g 1 6 5 9 L 8 g t S 6 g 9 8 L