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November 1, 2017     The Julian News
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November 1, 2017
 

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November 1, 2017 California Commentary Trick Or Treat, Your Property Tax Bill Is Here Which is scarier, showing up in your mailbox--Halloween movies from Netflix or your property tax bill? For homeowners, even "The Exorcist" can't compare in terms of pure fright as the annual envelop from the tax collector's office. Fortunately, however, homeowners are still able to count on Proposition 13 for protection. While progressives in the California Legislature continue to target the struggling middle class for ever higher taxes, they have been unable to break Proposition 13. That landmark 1978 initiative limits increases in a property's assessed value to 2 percent annually and provides most property owners a good idea what their tax bill will be even before opening the envelope. This predictability in taxation allows homeowners to budget for their taxes and provides assurance against a sudden increase that could result in losing their home to the tax collector. Whether you purchased your property last week, or 30 years ago, Proposition 13 is maintaining a reasonable limit on annual hikes in your property tax. Still, homeowners need to examine their property tax bill carefully because mistakes can happen. Taxpayers should understand the various charges and make certain that they are not being assessed for more than they are legally obligated to pay. The best way to check a tax bill is to have your previous year's bill handy for reference. For most California counties, the property tax bill will show three categories of charges. They are the General Tax Levy, Voted Indebtedness and Direct Assessments. General Tax Levy The General Tax Levy is what most people think of when talking about property taxes. It is based on the assessed value of land, improvements and fixtures. This charge usually makes up the largest part of the tax bill and it is the amount that is limited by Proposition 13. Again, the best way to check to make sure that your current General Levy of Assessment is correct is to compare it with the previous year's bill. The increase should be no more than 2 percent unless there have been improvements to the property like adding a room to a house or if you previously received a by Jon Coupal Prop. 8 "reduction in value." This bears repeating: Because the real estate market in many parts of California is recovering, many homeowners who previously received a temporary reduction in "taxable value" from their assessment may now see an increase in their tax bill more than 2 percent from last year. But in no case will the taxable value be more than the initial Prop. 13 base year plus 2 percent annually from the date of purchase. Although that may seem unfair, keep in mind that while the reduction was only temporary, the savings you received when your property was worth less are permanent. If in doubt about the cUrrent value of your property, check sales of comparable homes in your neighborhood. If homes like yours are selling for less than the valuation on your latest bill, contact your county assessor and ask that the value and resulting tax be adjusted to reflect true current value. Voted Indebtedness Voted Indebtedness charges reflect the repayment cost of bonds approved by the voters. Local general obligation bonds for libraries, parks, police and fire facilities and other capital improvements are repaid exclusively by property owners. Because a minority of the population is required to pay the entire amount, the California Constitution of 1879 established the two-thirds vote for approval of these bonds. This assures a strong community consensus before obligating property owners to repay debt for 20 or 30 years. Until the year 2000, local school bonds also required a two-thirds vote but the passage of Proposition 39 lowered the vote to 55 percent. (Of course, this did very little to improve schools as was promised.) Because the 55 percent requirement guarantees that most school bonds will pass .regardless of merit, many homeowners are seeing a significant increase in the Voted Indebtedness column on their tax bills. In somecounties, parcel taxes may appear under this second category of property exactions even though parcel taxes are rarely used to repay debt. Parcel taxes are taxes on property ownership but are not imposed as a percentage of taxable value. Although there is no upper limit l. China 2. U.S. 3. Turkey 4. Poland 5. Italy 6. India R.ED. by Mike Marland Crossword ACROSS 7-- 1 Chevy ___ Equinox, e.g. 12 4 The enemy 1"5- -- 8 Pharma- ceutical T'8- -- 12 Corroded 13 Wise one II 14 Simple 26 27 15 Guard of a sort 31 17 Leading -- -- man? 34 18 Unlikely loser 3-7- -- 19 Every crumb 21 Ulustrations II 22 Frank 45 46 26 Pamphlet 29 Peruke 5-5----- 30 Regret ___ ___ 31 Kind of mark 53 or tag -- -- 32 A welcome sight? 33 Bouquet holder 34 Guitar's cousin 35 "Monkey suit" 36 Feelings, informally 37 Old salt 39 Shell game need 40 Affirmative 41 Yellow-flow- ered herb 45 New Zealand- er, informally 48 Etvis hit 50 Green land 51 Approx- imately 52 Ostrich's cousin 53 Rumble fac- tion 54 Adolescent 55 Witness DOWN 1 Cutting tools 2 Hexagonal state 3 Kill a bill 4 Unisex gar- ment 5 "1 -- Anyone Till You" 6 Id counter- part 7 Billion-dollar 10 11 24 25 II 43 44 seller 33 Article of food 8 Handed out 35 Placekicker's hands pride 9 "Awesome, 36 Lillian of mail- dude!" order fame 10 "Born in the 38 Losing power, --" like a battery 11 Workout site 39 Obey a 16 Trainer comma 20 Journal 42 Mid-month 23 Colorless date 24 English river 43 Arrive 25 The Bee --44 Chills and 26 So fever 27 Croupier's45 Small barrel tool 46 George's 28 On the briny brother 29 Candle 47 Be victorious matter 49 Raw rock 32 Suspect's pic DIFFICULTY TPI IS WEEK: 2017 King Features Synd., Inc. The Julian News 11 i.~:; 2 Spacious 1400 square foot, 2 bed, 2 bathPine Hills country home has on-demand water heater, large living room, knotty pine paneling, deck, and garage/work shed on a 1.3 acre wooded yard. NOW Offered at $449, 000 NEW LISITNG! 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1887 square foot home on 8.62 acres! Spectacular views! OFFERE1-) A T $425,000 Affordable Country Living in Historic- Jtdian Mobile home located in the Gold Nugget Mobile Home Park, right in the Julian Historical District. 2 bed/2 bath. Corner lot. Private yet convenient; just two blocks off Main Street. Pets with requirements. Management approval of new owner xion of sale. onthly lot fee not in price. $38,000 2625 3 master The main house boasts authentic 1940s Julian lodge style architecture complete with rock fire place, picture windows and large kitchen. The 5.56 acres includes meadows & forest, a pond, Gnome Home, Enchanted Cottage, Tree House, Manzanita Cabin, Grandma's Attic, Rock Chapel, a fishing pond and spectacular views! Formerly Shadow Mountain Ranch Bed & Breakfast. Offered at $1,150,000 fea- tures 10 foot ceilings, a fabulous gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, eat-in dining area and a formal dining room. The living room has cathedral ceilings and a custom dual-faced rock fireplace that divides the living room from the media room. Spectacular views of the surrounding mountainsides. NOW Offered at $639,000 to amount of parcel taxes you have to pay (HJTA is working to change that) the good news is that under Proposition 13 they still require a two-thirds vote. Direct Assessments The third type of levy one finds on the typical property tax bill is for direct assessments for services related to property such as street lighting, regional sanitation, flood control, etc. Because of Prop. 218 --the Right to Vote on Taxes Act placed on the ballot by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in 1996 -- property owners must be given continued on page 12 b weaver BUT~TRUE It was German dramatist, poet, philosopher and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who made the following sage observation: "Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying, too zealously, to make it easy for them." At one time in Ireland, a traditional Halloween activity was predicting future romance. It was one of the few times of the year when young men and women could mingle, and fortune-telling games to predict who they would marry were popular. Those who are experiencing money-related relationship issues might be interested to note the results of a survey conducted by TD Ameritrade. When asked who manages the household budget, 87 percent of women said they did, while 81 percent of men claimed that by Linda Thistle 1 4 8 7 3 1 2 8 7 9 3 8 9 6 1 6 4 4 8 7 6 9 3 4 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. O Moderate OO Challenging HOO BOY! responsibility. Until Alfred Hitchcock's iconic psychological horror film "Psycho" premiered in 1960, no American film had ever shown a toilet being flushed. Buick is one of the oldest automobile brands in the world, so you might expect that the company's founder did pretty well for himself. Unfortunately for David Dunbar Buick, who incorporated the company in 1903, that wasn't the case. In less than a year, the company was sold. Buick stayed on as a manager and worked on engine development, but only for two more years. When he left his namesake company in 1906, he sold his one remaining share of Buick for $100,000. That was a rather hefty sum at the time, but he lost it all in a series of unsuccessful ventures. At the time of his death in early 1929, he was virtually penniless. It's been reported that a shaved guinea pig bears a remarkable resemblance to a tiny hippopotamus. Thought for the Day: "Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power." -- Eric Hoffer 2017 King Features Syndicate, Inc. The bathtub was invented in 1850 and the telephone in 1875. In other words, if you had been living in 1850, you could have sat in the bathtub for 25 years without having to answer the phone. -- Bill DeWitt 2017 King Features Synd., Inc. APPLE ;ERS Weekly SUDOKU Answer 8 L L 9 g 6 6 L 9 Z 8 9 L 6 8 S L g 6 !. Z 17 9 9 L L 9 g 9 6 9 t;' 9 6 L g L 8 9 i; 6 17 L L L ~ t7 /_ 9 9 6 6 L t' 9 L 9 g 8 2017 King Features Syndicate, Inc. As a man grows older it & harder and harder to frighten him. -- Jean Paul Richter