Open Mic: Tax Talk Continues

By Joseph Brooke

I read with interest the position offered by Mr. Burnett on the “need” to revise Prop. 13 revenue stream to be more consistent with present property values (Open Mic, Dec. 30).

And I have to say: No.

I am actually one of “those” people now. I bought my house in West Marin 16 years ago and now that I am retired, my income has been reduced to 25 percent of what I made when I was working formerly. Dec. 10th and April 10th are stressful days. Any property owner should know those dates by heart, they are when county property taxes are due.

But just for fun, let’s argue in the alternative; so I can’t afford to pay my property taxes, and then I have to sell my house … how many buyers will there be for people who can afford my home, afford my neighbor’s home, multiply that across the state. What happens to the houses that no one buys? Think it won’t happen? It happened during the Carter years when interest rates on home mortgages were 18 percent—sure people had the down, but they couldn’t afford the cost of money … now replace the cost of money with: the cost of taxes.

Whenever a new CEO comes to a failing company, he or she has basically two tools, sell more widgets (more income) or cut costs. Those are the ONLY two choices for turning a company OR a state to profitability.

So? Why go for the former? California taxes are enough, that Elon guy is moving to Texas … HELLO? Anyone listening? Can I respectfully call him the Canary in the Coal mine? The hotbed of innovation and technical skill (San Francisco, CA) now has become too costly to operate here? Evidently, it’s no different for the homeowner.

I pay plenty of taxes and you know how many kids I have? Zero. I pay enough.

Stop asking for more money, and cut costs. If we can’t afford it, then we can’t have it, and as true as that is, I don’t want that to be the case with me personally and my house!

Joseph Brooke lives in Point Reyes Station. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected]