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September 23, 2009     The Julian News
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September 23, 2009
 

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'  JIlIll! September 23, 2009 California ommentary It's Always Open Season On Prop. 13 by Jan Coupal Not long ago, a major California newspaper ran an editorial cartoon depicting pith-helmeted explorers peering through jungle growth at a crumbling temple where worshipers bow down before a stone alter on which is carved, "Prop. 13." One of the explorers is saying to the other, "1 believe we've stumbled upon the origins of the demise of California's civilization." At the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, founded by the principle author of Proposition 13, we are accustomed to seeing attacks running from dubious to frivolous on the landmark 1978 tax limitation initiative. One of our favorites is the high school physical education instructor who wrote in a small weekly newspaper that Proposition 13 was responsible- for the loss of school equipment. Seems that when his track-and- field students were putting the shot, they were losing the shots in the tall grass. Proposition 13, the coach complained, did not provide enough money to cut the grass. We've seen the riots that broke out in Los Angeles after the Rodney King beating, a freeway collapse during the Lama Prieta earthquake and the Third Word debt crisis all blamed on Proposition 13. While no outrageous accusation against Proposition 13 surprises us anymore, the source of the latest is unexpected. Conor Dougherty, a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has blogged on the paper's website questioning the fairness of Proposition 13. As evidence of the inequities of Proposition 13 he relies on a foundation paid for a study by the Population Dynamics Research Group of USC. The complaint? Proposition 13 is creating a bigger generational wealth gap. i The argument goes like this. In down housing market, like we have today, recent home buyers pay taxes based on the higher value of the home at the time of purchase and this is punitive. On the other hand, because of Proposition 13's cap on annual tax increases, Iongtime owners who in what over time has been a rising market are still paying on assessed value lower than the current market value and this is a benefit the new buyers do not enjoy. Before the reader tries to calculate where this" purported generational disparity rates on their personal outrage meter, let's make one thing clear: The argument is bogus. Under Proposition 13, the recent buyer who bought at the top of the market is entitled to a tax reduction based on the loss of market value. So the homeowner who paid $500,000 for a home three years ago, and has seen their property value decline to $350,000 is entitled to a tax cut. While it is the responsibility of the owner to apply to the county assessor for the reduction, many California assessors have been proactive and have automatically reduced the assessed value on their books - which reduces the tax obligation - of thousands of recently purchased homes. When considering fairness it is worthwhile to review the sYstem in place prior to Proposition 13 when California's residential property tax rate was nearly three times higher and there were no limits on annual increases. The inequities of the pre-Prop. 13 tax system were glaringly evident as many Iongtime homeowners were forced from their homes due to massive annual property tax increases. Proposition 13 provides security to homeowners, all homeowners, by capping property taxes at one percent of assessed value and limiting annual increases in assessed value to no more than two percent. This makes property taxes predictable and allows homeowners to budget for future tax increases. Further, in 1978 the California Supreme Court recognized the fairness of Prop. 13 finding the tax system created by the measure was "roughly comparable" to the sales tax which is also based on acquisition value. If sales taxes can be based on acquisition value, why can't property taxes? And in 1992, the United States Supreme Court sided with R.ED. by Mike Marland T,E HOUS, N'SrF. lP1r"l liIER REOpLE I.IAVE 1 I: AROUNDtERgIGE F I$11rOPPEDTOASKIFTFESEARE} T r % Weekly SUDOKU 6 4 by Linda Thistle 2 1 6 5 9 7 5 4 2 8 1 8 4 5 1 7 9 7 8 2 7 2 6 1 8 9 6 4 9 3 5 3 7 8 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. DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: * *Moderate **Challenging *** HOO BOY! 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. Proposition 13's fairness in the case of Nordlinger v. Hahn when the plaintiff claimed that the tax limitation measure violated "equal protection." Because Proposition 13 has helped property owners manage taxes and hold on to their homes and businesses over the past 30 years, the measure consistently enjoys strong support from California residents - young and old. Those who are genuinely concerned about unequal treatment of generations should focus their wrath on the trillions of dollars of borrowing that the federal government has undertaken to fund the "stimulus." This is outright theft from multiple generations of Americans to come. Jan Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California's largest grass-roots taxpayer organization, dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers' rights.  Pointers _.I zor Parents Coping With Teen Substance Abuse (NAPSA)--Living with a teen who has a substance abuse prob- lem can take an emotional, men- tal and physical toll on an entire family. With special care, patience and coping strategies, parents can help meet the challenge of over- coming drug or alcohol abuse. Some tips include: Find support for the whole family. This includes fam- ily counseling as well as seeking out guidance counselors, religious leaders and friends. When a teen has a substance abuse problem, it's important to find support for the entire family. Educate the family about the condition and the treat- ment. Understanding the con- dition can help parents make wiser choices, including how to recognize early signs of substance abuse. Recognize that relapses may occur. According to the experts at Eckerd Academy, this do, es not necessarily mean that treatment has been ineffective. For example, a recovering teen will need similar structure or rifles when he or she returns home. With campuses in Georgia and Tennessee, Eckerd Academy specializes in helping troubled teens. For more information, contact (800) 914-3937 or visit www.eckerdacademy.org. *** What "is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better. -- Wendell Phillips ACROSS 1 Therefore 5 Hot tub 8 Datum 12 Honeycomb compartment 13 Coop dweller 14 Wind instru- ment 15 Common wintertime ailment 17 -- -podrida 18 Peculiar 19 Lummox 20 Glisten 21 -- for tat 22 Schoolkids' transport 23 Muscle 26 No purebred 30 German car 31 Talk and talk and talk 32 Mine, par- tially 33 Filled the shelves 35 Run, as colors 36 Slippery fish 37 Evil 38 Partonesque 41 Supporting 42 Mainlander's souvenir 45 Grooving on 46 Became established 48 List-ending abbr. 49 So five The Julian News 13 HOMES. CABINS. LAND. RENTALS. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. VACATION RENTALS 2019 Main Street 760-765-0111 www.mtnfarms.com $520,000 Julian Estates, 3br, den, 2 ba, 2 car, 2200 sq. fl., 4.47 acres. Wood Interior, Lodge Feeling. $319,000 3 br, 2 1/2 ba. plus 1,200 sq. fl. guest house over garage on 5 acres. 2 horse barns, outbuildings and small fruit orchard. $285,000 Kentwood 2br, 1 ba, 864 sq. fl: knotty pine interior .59 acres. $259,000 Whispering Pines, 2 br, 1 ba, + loft. Wood interior and soaring ceilings. 1 ba separate apt. downstairs. Double decks. $459,000 In Town, 2bd, 2ba with separate 1 bd guest suite, built in 2003, Seriously Custom Home. $295,000 Julian Townsite. 2 br, 2 ba, on .85 acre. Within walking distance to all the shops and restaurants. $249,000 Kentwood, 1 bd, 1 ba with large loft. All wood interior, large deck, completely furnished. $225,000 Kentwood II 2 br, 1 ba 2 car garage, fireplace, hardwood, dual- glazed windows, A/C. As Heard On The Streets Of Julian by Eric Stamets Top Ten Reasons To Live In Julian 10. You love to drive. 9. You don't have that horrible once-a-week chore of putting your trash cans out on the curb to be picked up. 8. You don't have to worry about finding the cheapest gas station. 7. Morning rush hour consists of about 5 minutes in the high school parking lot. 6. The lurking stranger that snatches up your child off the street, brings them to your house because they were worried about them. 5. You don't ever have to worry about your dog biting the mailman. 4. Four digits is the extent of your short-term memory. 3. You like to go to meetings at night. 2. You love apple pie. King Crossword 1 2 3 5 i 12  15 i 23 24 125 26 30 i i 33 38 39 45 48 51 miutes ago 50 Basilica area 16 Neologize 41 11 Squad 51 -- & Taylor 20 Holster 52 Distort contents 53 Earl Grey's 21 Trite family? 22 Short cut? 23 -- -relief DOWN 24 Same old 1 Repeat per same-old formance? 25 Bustle 2 14-Across 26 Frenzied insert 27 Wish 3 Satisfied otherwise 4 Antiquated 28 Prior to 5 Young hog 29 '60s 6 Riches psychedelic 7 Moreover 31 Toothpaste, 8 Iron pyrite often 9 Competent 34 Crucial 10 Pop flavor 35 Fir coat 2009 King Features Synd. Inc. m mi 9 10 11 27 28 29 42 43 44 37 Swag 38 Actress Jessica 39 "Do -- others ..." 40 Celeb 41 Bridge table quorum 42 Easy bounding gait 43 "Born Free" lioness 44 Mid-month date 46 AAA ob 47 Chapeau 1. You like being at the center of the universe and nobody knows you're there. Top Ten Reasons Not To Live In Julian 10. You get tire d of waving at someone you know in just about every car that passes. 9. Your post office box is too close to the floor. 8. None of your vehicles have four-wheel drive. 7. Both grocery stores, the gas station and the liquor store are out of vanilla ice cream. 6. It's too far to walk to get to the back fence and talk with your neighbor. 5. It's too bright for your eyes to see that many stars at night. 4. You're not related to anybody here. 3. You opened a gift store and thought you would retire a millionaire in two years. 2. You hate apple pie. 1. You're a flatlander and don't belong here. *** Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the worm he lives in. -- Amy Lowell -- King Crossword - Answers Solution time: 21 rains. s 3 (3 i I a s 1 I v 3 i L 9 t 6 L 9 g Weekly SUDOKU Answer  6 t i 9 L 8 6 g  L 9 t L  8 L 9  g : 6 9 L L g t, 9  , 9 9 8 t 6 g t ; l 8  6 L 9 L L 6 g L  t 9 b J 9 9 L 6 L L 9 b 6 L g g MOST 5POKfi_::N @ 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. World rights reserved.