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November 4, 2015     The Julian News
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November 4, 2015
 

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November 4, 2015 The Julian News 13 California Commentary It's Scary Season Again (Our Annual Update on How to Translate Your Property Tax Bill) For many the real scare this time of year is not the monsters at our doors on Halloween but the property tax bill in the mail box. Fortunately, as a direct result of Proposition 13, which limits increases in a property's assessed value to two percent annually, most property owners have a good idea what their tax bill will be even before opening the envelope. However, like we do every year about this time, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association reminds taxpayers to carefully examine their latest property tax bill. Although not common, there may be mistakes. 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. Checking the bill is especially important for those who bought their homes a few years ago at the height of the market. If your home value is actually lower than the assessed value shown on the tax bill, you should consider applying for a reduction in taxes. (Sometimes called a "Prop 8 reduction"). 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. Proposition 13 passed overwhelmingly by voters in 1978 and it established a statewide uniform tax rate of one percent of assessed value at the time of purchase and limited annual increases in assessed value to no more than two percent. From a practical standpoint, this means that once the base year value of your property is established the General Tax Levy cannot be increased more than two percent each year. This allows all property owners to predict their property tax bills into the future and budget accordingly. The best way to check to make sure that your current General Levy of Assessment is correct by Jon Coupal is to compare it with the previous year's bill. The increase should be no more than two percent unless there have been improvements to the property like adding a room to a house or if you previously received a 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 two percent from last year. But in no case will the taxable value be more than the initial Prop. 13 base year plus two 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 some counties, parcel taxes may appear under this second category of property exactions even though parcel taxes are Kaaren Terry Carre St. Andre Paul Bicanic cell 619-417-o481 cell 619-922-9687 cell 760-484-7793 CA BRE LIC #o1231449 CA BRE LIC #01878143 CA BRE LIC # 00872978 by Linda Thistle 6 8 4 6 9 4 8 6 7 3 1 7 1 4 7 7 9 3 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. DIFFI(,ULTY THIS WEEK: * * * * Moderate ** Challenging * ** HOO BOY! 2015 King Features Synd., Inc. HOMES . LAND RENTALS . PROPERTY MANAGEMENT VACATION RENTALS t www julian-real estate, co m "01111 3 Bedroom Home with Finished Attic in Historical District Ready for your personal renovations. Inviting 2BR, 2+BA Manufactured Home Large 1/2 acre corner lot covered with Pine, Oak, Cedar, Sequoia. Underground utilities including cable. Oversized 3 car garage with bath and guest quartrers potential. Home is constructed on permanent foundation. Spacious laundry and mud room. Dog run. New roof this year. 12x20 tuff shed for additional storage. Pristine Home On 4.26 park-like acres. 3 bd room, 2 bath, 2 car garage, hard wood, granite, 2 wells and huge steel building. Close to town and totally private. 5 Acres - Beautiful Views Large decks w/ views + Privacy Electric, well, septic.Live-in while building dream home. 402 sq. ft, 1 br, 1 ba. tiny home w/ washer - dryer hookups. $165,000 Commercial or Residential Unique opportunity to open a business in town or live there; or even better, to work and live in the same place. Darling historic house behind Miner's Diner. Totally restored with stainless appliances, granite counters, claw foot tub, and a new stacking washer and dryer. A garage too for a workshop or storage and a large fenced yard. Pine Hills 1 acre lot w/water meter. ...... $ 75,000 Cuyamaca Woods 2.5 Acres - privacy, view ..... $ 47,000 1 Acre - Gentle slope ........ $ 50,000 2.5 Acres - Driveway, pad, water meter and view ................... $ 85,000 2.63 Acres - Borders State Park, Private.. ....................... $135,000 8 Acres - Excellent well, seasonal creek, fabulous views and privacy .... $110,000 139 Acres - Remote, private, three (3) legal parcels ................... $ 499,900 Oakland Road 8+ Acres - Close to town, driveway, pad, approved for 3 Bedroom, terraced for orchard ................... $ 239,000 Wynola Estates 2.5 Acres - Large Oaks with water meter, approved grading plan, approved septic layout, House plans included .... $149,000 rarely used to repay debt. Parcei;:`~'- taxes are taxes on property ownership but are not imposed as a percentage of taxable value. Although there is no upper limit 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 continued on page 14 ACROSS 1 Standard 5 Anatomical egg holder 8 "Wow!" 12 Do as you're told 13 Man-mouse link 14 Thought 15 Mess 17 Soccer score 18 Pod dweller 19 Wine city north of Lisbon 21 Lukewarm 24 Two-way 25 Ear-related 26 Find 30 Summer mo. 31 Doctrine 32 33 35 36 1 2 3 m=m 37 Founded (on) 38 Gethse- mane, e.g. 41 Coffee vessel 42 Elliptical 43 Catastrophe 48 Clinton's veep -- i__ 25 3O i ii 33 38 39 40 42 48 51 _..~q W'8~v~r / BUT TRUE It was noted 20th-century American poet Hart Crane who made the following sage observation: "One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment." I You might be surprised to learn that people have been using / ~ carbon paper to make copies since way back in 1806. .......... ( 1. Beans \-. You probably know Edgar Rice Burroughs as the American author 2. Starchy foods of the Tarzan novels, among many other adventure and science- l- 3. Sugar substitutes/ t' fiction works. You may find it hard to picture him as a journalist flying ., ...... on bombing runs in the Pacific theater -- especially at the age of 66. ] '~ 4. Apples Burroughs was the oldest war correspondent of World War II. 5. 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Hi ,h-fructc, e __..... hollow log. cornsyrup j Collective nouns are fascinating. For instance, if you i .... 10. Chewin~gum (.[ see a group of bullfinches, you 1~Source:symptomfind.cem( :! can call it a bellowing; a group of flies is a business, a cloud ----=,wu=L~lrct{~" Crossword -- or a swarm. You have a pitying Answers of turtledoves and a hover of trout. A group of tigers can be 3 IN 3 3 V ]lq M O an ambush or a streak; while a A 7 t :1 El :liE] O 9 group of snails can be called a u 3 i ~ I ]IV ^ o rout, a walk or an escargatoire. Ill q I 3,. v Those who study such things a ~ s o I 1 say that, on a per-capita basis, -N ]--3 J 3" ~lS I a Canadians eat more doughnuts v El 3 3 N rl v and more Kraft Mac and Cheese El 9 A t )t I i o than citizens of any other country. I II q ,, a r Before he became famous o __. 31 I 1 as an author of horror, suspense q v o Ja ~s ~ o and sci-fi, Stephen King worked v 3 a 4u ~la a o as a high-school janitor. H s o ) v ~lU o N Thought for the Day: "Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morafity; they discourse like angels but they five like men." -- Samuel Johnson 2015 King Features Syndicate, Inc. Solution time: 21 mins. Weekly SUDOKU Answer 9 6 t~ g L 8 L 8 L ~ 9 I. 17 6 L 1~ 6 Z 8 i~ 9 9 t~ 9 I. Z 6 6 I. L t~ ~ 8 9 9 8 6 L t~ I. ~; Everyone who's born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans. -- Russell Means # 6 L i~ 9 L 8 9 E: Z 8 b 6 ~ L Z g 8 L 6 9 : # 2015 King Features Syndicate, Inc, 1 f t