I’m in trouble again. You see, I have this bad habit of pointing out the obvious. Yesterday, my former editor/boss Jeff Pelline proudly displayed his Tiki bar and told the loyal readers of his blog to enjoy the beautiful California weather, eat some ribs, and ignore the “nattering nabobs of negatism” who keep beating their bongos of doom and gloom. Usually, I would ignore his pollyanna pronouncements, but I had just finished reading a New York Times article on how Apple is avoiding their taxes by sheltering their massive profits in other states. Apple is not alone, most of the Big Corporations doing business in the golden state have figured this out long ago.
If I’m a little bitter this week, it’s because of these unequal applications of the law. As I noted in another post, I managed to pay off my home recently. It was all done in-family, and the only difference was having my brother’s name removed from the title we shared for a quarter century. As a result, I was kicked off the Prop 13 roles and my property taxes were doubled. I can manage the difference, and I’m not opposed to paying my fair share of taxes, but that’s wherein the problem lies.
You see, Apple, HP, Wal-mart and countless others figured out a long time ago how to avoid such costly transactions. They never actually “sell” their properties, but employ accountants and lawyers who are adept at goosing the law that was intended to help seniors keep their homes safe from the inflated California real estate market. Republicans have blocked all attempts to amend this travesty, so here we are. Fair share, indeed.
But my outrage is not limited to the Pachyderm Party. There is a growing chorus of voices in the media (except for guys like Jeff) who wonder how long California’s ruling party can ignore the reality of ever-increasing deficits. They have miscalculated every projected influx of tax revenue for years now, but keep holding on to the idea that “things will get better” if we just wait for a few more quarters. When the legislators were docked for perpetuating such fantasies, they simply went to court and got their paychecks reinstated. Neener neener! I got mine, screw you.
The answer, we are told, is to raise taxes, mostly on those fat cat one percenters who will simply raise the prices on everything they sell to us peons. Meanwhile, our state government continues to morph into a modern day Tammany Hall. Democrats who shoplift or use their campaign slush funds to elect drug addict spouses to office get a slap on the wrist. Any Republican would have been hounded out of office before you could say “Chuck Quackenbush.”
So enjoy your Tiki bar, Jeff. Just remember that the people behind those masks are cannibals, and someday the head cannibal may ask you what you do. When you answer “editor” he will say “soon you be editor-in-chief.”
RL, How true you are. There will two ballot initiatives on the June Primary and one will be to reign in union and corporate political money. I heard about them last night at the Republican Spring Dinner. I will have to read them but in a nutshell the dues removed from a paycheck by deductions for political purposes will be changed. The union employee will need to sigh a paper allowing it rather than have it yanked without permission. In Washington State, the amount of money dropped by 80 percent when they passed it. Corporation would be required to get shareholder approval before giving. So the people are maybe wising up?
I think California has a spending problem not a revenue problem. I recall about 15 years ago CalTrans took 40 thousand bucks and planted some little oaks down at the new stoplights at Penn Valley Drive and Hwy20. We told them this was a boondoggle but they told us to shut up. Well, all the trees croaked and after a few more attempts to get some to grow and of course more money, not one tree is alive there. These are things our brilliant state does everyday and they are the voracious eater of money, the people will rebel.
I mentioned my Contractors license went up 20% in one year. I thought we dodo’s passed Prop 25 which said they could not do that? Well, they don’t care what we do as long as the democrats control things since the left knows best. They almost have a “super-majority” in the capitol and can you imagine what will happen when they achieve that?
The bond debt our state owes equals $13,000 per person. A lot of that of course was voted in by proposition. There is a move afoot to place the “bullet” train back on the ballot now that the people have been asked to pay triple or quadruple the original cost and the route is now Chowchlla to Fresno. The “bullet” portion is now the speed of a softball too.
Good piece Bob; welcome to the Doom and Gloom Club (you can put your bongo by the door there with the others). I catch a little implication that the California businesses vacating the premises, expanding elsewhere, and taking their profits out of Sacramento’s reach are somehow doing things less than upright. Were you one of those businessmen, does that mean that you would stick it out here and continue playing ‘You Bet Your Ass’ with what you see coming down the pike?
RL, you might have filled out your disclosure statement unfavorably. I suggest you go into the assessor’s office or phone them soon and tell your story. They will help you if they can. I don’t thing the transaction you describe should have triggered a reassessment.
According to my expert sources there is little I can do, but like I said it’s not so much the money as it is the principle involved.
Unless your experts work at the assessors office or in title I recommend you check. Often times there might be a choice of how to characterize a title change with one requiring a reassessment and one not. Grab the one that doesn’t.
Can we all move to Rough and Ready and secede from the U.S. again?
Why move? Just secede and be done with it…
So much for equal protection, RL. Same as it ever was. There’s more “protection” for those with the ability/resources to leverage it. The “relativeness” of our Tax system cuts both ways, but it seems to cut less with those with the power and reach to manipulate the code.
So go ahead, let’s raise the Progressive tax rates and check in in five years on how that’s worked out for us. Prediction: more corporate “headquarters” in beautiful Reno, NV.
So what’s the difference between Apple and GE (and others) again? Hint: We tend to forgive (apologize) the ones with the shinier products that allows us to play Draw Something with our friends. Maybe we could integrate Pandora into an MRI to make it sexier?
“Editor in Chef?”