The initiative wouldn’t involve a wholesale review of the 1978 tax-cutting proposition; that’s still considered a politically impossible lift in a state where property tax breaks have become embedded in millions of homes and apartment buildings.
Instead, the measure takes aim at what long has been considered the Achilles’ heel of Proposition 13, namely its treatment of commercial and industrial properties. The idea is to create what’s known as a split roll, in which residences retain their imperviousness to reassessment but business properties don’t.
“My instincts tell me that the split roll is moving into more positive ground,” Los Angeles Assessor Jeffrey Prang told me, “and if next year there is a big Democratic turnout, that is likely to benefit the initiative.”
The proposal would require that commercial and industrial properties be assessed at full market value and reassessed at least once every three years. That’s a big change from the current law, which allows them to be reassessed only upon a change of ownership.
“That’s a ridiculous, outdated, irrational system which causes damage in many different ways,” says Lenny Goldberg, a veteran critic of Proposition 13 who helped craft the new initiative. “We have this huge hole in the heart of our tax system.”
He’s right. Thanks to Proposition 13, massively profitable commercial properties that haven’t changed hands in decades — Disneyland, say — are billed property taxes at 1970s-vintage assessed valuations while homes and businesses around them have much higher bases.
But here’s the punchline: As much as counties would appreciate the additional tax revenues, their assessors almost uniformly hate the initiative. That’s because it would saddle them with a workload that many say would be simply impossible to manage without years of preparation — far more than the three-year transition period implied by the initiative.
“I cannot implement the measure within three years,” Prang says. “It’s physically not possible.” The California Assessors Assn. agrees. It estimates the cost of the transition running as much as $470 million a year for up to 10 years — and individual assessors say that may understate the costs and challenges of making the change. These may be so great, they warn, that for many years they could exceed the additional tax revenues the change brings in.
Homesnap provides the MLS mobile app to agents, and, as a result, has the direct connection to the sales history. They publish the data on each agent from the last 24 months, which provides a more extensive track record, and:
Helps to iron out any hot and cold streaks
Shows the average days-on-market and sales-price-to-list-price ratio
Shows listings that didn’t sell (labeled ‘off-market’)
The average days-on-market and sales-price-to-list-price ratio gives you a good sense of the agent’s pricing accuracy. If listings languish too long on the market, there is an increased likelihood that buyers will offer less.
We know that 40% of all listings don’t sell, so failure can happen. Select an agent who has done better – in my case, one seller decided not to move, two decided to rent instead of sell, and the fourth was when I was mentioned as Richard’s co-agent on a listing.
If they have a huge number of off-market listings, they are probably a serial refresher, which means they like to manipulate the market time – which aggravates other agents and buyers.
Bottom line: An agent’s sales history verifies how successful they are at getting clients to the finish line. With the market changing, buyers are putting up a fight now, and you want an experienced agent on your side to ensure success.
Here’s the link to Homesnap (their mobile app is better):
The N.A.R. reported today that pendings dropped 1% month-over-month, but as been the case lately, Yunnie is broadcasting the least-alarming data. In the graphic above, you can see that the year-over-year drops were much larger – particularly in the west.
In this video, he explains that ‘unaffordability’ is the problem in the west, and we need to build more homes:
Those of us who were a punk/new wave/ska fans in the early 1980s loved how the English Beat brought everyone together.
This is Sting’s statement:
The mid seventies was one of the most influential periods in the history of British pop music. The merging of Caribbean rhythms and the tropes of the immigrant West Indian experience alongside young white bands struggling to find an identity in Thatcher’s disunited kingdom produced what would become the second wave of British dominance in popular music across the world.
My friend Roger, as a founding member of the English Beat was at the centre of this febrile and explosive clash of cultures, uniquely placed to document the excitement of those times, the heady joy of success, the political turmoil, the inherent racism at all levels of our society as well as the brotherly bond of musicians struggling to make themselves heard within it. Thank you, Roger. You will be missed.
Mortgage ratesmoved lower for the 6th straight day, bringing them very close to the best levels since late 2017. Perhaps more impressive (or telling) is the fact that rates haven’t even had a single “bad day” since March 1st. It’s impressive because it’s been an incredibly long winning streak (we usually see a day here or there with rates nudging a bit higher). It’s telling because it’s exactly what you’d expect to find as the backdrop for what has been the single best month for mortgage rates in more than a decade.
The past 2 weeks have acted as a forceful breakout after several months spent in an increasingly narrow range. Such breakouts often carry momentum, especiallywhen there are surprising economic updates or central bank policy at the scene of the crime (as there was with last week’s Fed announcement and European economic data).
Now we’re waiting to see how low we can go. It hasn’t made sense to bet on a bounce in rates so far, but that could change soon. In general, there are only so many winning days that can be strung together before the rates market blows off a bit of steam. When that happens, it will be important to note how big the bounce is and whether it lasts more than a single day. If it simply presents itself as a single, token day of correction, rates will likely be heading even lower.
Politicians in mostly Democratic high-tax areas say the new federal cap on state and local tax deductions hurts their residents. Yet the vast majority of those taxpayers never actually got the break in the first place, undermining a key criticism of the Trump tax overhaul.
About three-quarters of people who in past years paid more than $10,000 in state and local taxes had been required to take the alternative minimum tax, meaning they couldn’t have written off the SALT levies anyway, according to IRS data analyzed by Bloomberg. And because the AMT has been scaled back as well, those top earners in fact get a new tax break by now being able to write off up to $10,000 of their SALT payments.
Bloomberg analyzed IRS data from 10 of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. — including New York’s Westchester, New Jersey’s Somerset, Connecticut’s Fairfield and California’s Marin counties.
The numbers could deflate some of the heated rhetoric over the 2017 tax overhaul, the Republican Party’s signature legislation of the Trump era. Since the law was enacted, governors and lawmakers from high-tax states have decried the change as a GOP assault on Democratic strongholds. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it an “economic civil war.”
“A lot of folks are coming in assuming they’re going to lose under the new tax law when in fact, they’re not,” said Ryan C. Sheppard, an accountant at Knight Rolleri Sheppard in Fairfield, Connecticut. “In many cases they’re doing better because in prior years the alternative minimum tax disallowed all their state and local tax deductions. Now they’re at least getting $10,000, where they got zero before.”
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