Today’s lunchtime news chum brings together a collection of articles related to taxes and various legislative efforts:
- Proposition 13. Prop. 13, which established a base for property tax values in the mid-1970s and allowed limited growth in value since then (unless the property was sold) has long been considered a third-rail of California Politics. However, most feel that the reason California has deteriorated is due to the loss of local income as a result of Prop 13–this is a major source of the problem for public schools. Two articles today touch on Prop. 13. An op-ed piece in the LA Times asks why Prop. 13 should be so sacrosanct–especially for business property values which are unaffected by things such a mergers. Myself, I’d be happy with a periodic step-up in value which would bring some tax equity for those of us who have purchased since the 1980s and have the higher taxes. A second article in the OC Register affects us all: it points out how in 2013, certain taxes collected as part of your property tax bill (such as Mello-Roos fees) will no longer be deductible (well, they aren’t deductible now, but the FTB will start enforcing it). Start looking at the itemization on your tax bill.
- Taxing Education. For those of us middle-class folks sending kids to California schools (I may or may not be in that category, depending on where my daughter is accepted), a little relief may be coming in the form of AB 1441, introduced by Jim Beall (D-San Jose). This bill will provide a a tax credit of up to $500 a year for each eligible student (i.e., one attending UC, CSU, or a Calif. community college) for such college expenses as tuition, fees, books and school equipment. Students could receive no more than $2,000 in credits over the course of their education, and the bill itself would expire after 2016.
- Legislating Against Stupidity. And now for the death part. The LA Times is reporting about how the parents of a 3-year-old boy who choked to death after swallowing a pushpin at the Oceanside Montessori School have filed a lawsuit against the school. Evidently, the boy went to the bathroom alone, grabbed a pushpin off the board, and swallowed it. Further (and this is where the theme of this post comes in), the family and their lawyers have begun work on state legislation to ban all pushpins from preschool to kindergarten classrooms. Read that again folks: ban all pushpins from preschool to kindergarten classrooms. Given that magnets would have the same problem, what is this going to do to informative displays for children in classrooms? Idiotic. But wait, there’s more. The family said it would also like to see labels added to pushpin boxes warning people to keep them away from small children. Sigh.
Music: Do I Hear A Waltz? (Pasadena Playhouse Cast): Do I Hear a Waltz?