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California Property Tax Exemptions For Solar Energy Systems Extended To 2025

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the special-favors-if-you-can-get-'em dept.

Government 76

New submitter DaveSmith1982 writes with word from PV Tech that A property tax exemption for solar power systems in California has been extended to 2025, following the passing of a bill as part of the annual state budget. Senate Bill 871 (SB871) was approved during the signing of the budget by governor Jerry Brown, which took place last week. The wording of SB871 extends the period during which property taxes will not be applied to "active solar energy systems," which includes PV and solar water heaters.

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Property Tax? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#47379299)

Do they charge property tax for regular water heaters in California?

Re:Property Tax? (3, Informative)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379355)

Yes, but you only get reassessed when you buy/sell or add livable square footage. I don't pay property tax on my tank-less water heater.

For example: They didn't reassess me when I added a garage/workshop with more square footage then my shack.

Re:Property Tax? (2)

brainboyz (114458) | about 3 months ago | (#47379395)

If they think it adds to the value of the house in some way, yes. They'll grasp at every last penny they can in an effort for tax money.

Re:Property Tax? (2, Informative)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47379619)

As they should, because those with the most property benefit the most from city infrastructure, police and fire services, and national defense. Our society was built upon the understanding that those who benefit the most from something should pay the most.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379633)

Poor people should pay more taxes to cover their benes then.

Re:Property Tax? (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47379901)

Maybe the poor could afford to cover their benefits if we didn't force them to live a middle-class lifestyle [citylab.com] .

Re:Property Tax? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#47381831)

hey, nobody is forcing them not to hide in the bushes at the local park every night as a place to sleep.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47382375)

Poor people should pay more taxes to cover their benes then.

Benefits for the poor exist to keep the rich from facing Mr. Guillotine. Or, in America specifically, a communist revolution. In a rational society they'd also exist for the sake of helping keep the economy going by keeping demand up, but the remnants of market libertarian idealism are still sufficient to keep us from tackling the current crisis efficiently in that manner.

Peace and order only exist - an should only exist - as long as most people have something to lose besides their chains.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47399627)

Aren't that many poor. And they are mostly incompetents, so revolutions run by them aren't a threat.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#47379751)

Of course, the opposite is true with solar panels, where those who install under the generous subsidy schemes benefit the most by getting a large portion of their power paid via tax credits.

Re:Property Tax? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47379761)

Our society was built upon the understanding that those who benefit the most from something should pay the most.

There's no way to determine who benefits the most. Our tax structure (not our society) is built on pretending to tax those who can pay more at a higher rate, but nobody believes it actually does that.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47380069)

That's one reason among many why taxes should be replaced with user fees whenever it's practical to do so.

Re:Property Tax? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47379883)

That entire statement is a lie in practice and in theory.
Those who use the most government services and money... are those that use the most government services and money. There is absolutely no correlation real or hypothetical between property value and amount of property to the use of services. The people that use above average are those that are given hand outs and recurring monthly government payments for what ever reason. An example. My county is split almost 50/50 rural and suburb. The rural section has two fire departments and a single police detachment. The other 50% of the county has 13 fire stations and roughly 15x the amount of police. We have far fewer roads shared among a smaller amount of people but they are much lower quality. No painted lines, no sidewalks etc, very little upkeep and resurfaced often with tar and gravel at about the same rate that the suburb roads are replaced with a complete resurfacing. I could go on...

Your arguement is close and almost along the lines of those that support illegal immigrants. They are here, giving to the economy and making it better for everyone and everyone benefits? Yeah right. Since they think illegal immigrants are a net positive, let's find the limit if there is one. Take that to the extreme and allow 150 million illegal immigrants in from all around the world and see how well that works out. The economy will explode long term and short term and the unemployment rate will drop to almost zero right? Our problems will be solved.

Re:Property Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47379951)

The rural section has two fire departments and a single police detachment. The other 50% of the county has 13 fire stations and roughly 15x the amount of police.

Turns out more people causes more fires and other incidents that need fire rollouts, and more people more crimes and other incidents that need police rollouts.

Goodness me.

Take that to the extreme and allow 150 million illegal immigrants in from all around the world and see how well that works out. The economy will explode long term and short term and the unemployment rate will drop to almost zero right? Our problems will be solved.

I doubt you'll find the transportation available for that in the short term.

Re:Property Tax? (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47380041)

There is absolutely no correlation real or hypothetical between property value and amount of property to the use of services.

A longer street frontage requires more asphalt and concrete and buried infrastructure than a shorter street frontage, and it requires police and fire response to travel a longer distance.

We have far fewer roads shared among a smaller amount of people but they are much lower quality.

And that's how it should be, because the usual alternative is for urban areas to heavily subsidize the less urbanized areas [streetsblog.org] .

Re:Property Tax? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47380987)

A longer street frontage requires more asphalt and concrete and buried infrastructure than a shorter street frontage, and it requires police and fire response to travel a longer distance.

That is nonsense. Those things would still be there regardless of if it was 3 properties or one worth $1000 or $1,000,000 each.

People with more expensive property do not use the fire department more or the police more just because it is more expensive. People with larger lots and bigger homes do not either.

And that's how it should be, because the usual alternative is for urban areas to heavily subsidize the less urbanized areas.

Assuming their math is correct, I would like to know what âoeproperty taxes, sales taxes, and other recurring revenues,â exactly is. The recurring revenues is what has me wondering. Are they thinking city income tax or what?

Either way, the problem with the article is that a city is not supposed to be making a profit off the people. They are not a business and any money they collect over the amount for the services rendered is waste. That is unless you subscribe to some theory that it's the Lord's money and you are just serfs or something (no, that is not a god reference). The government is not supposed to be taking more than they need.

Now I just read the study and it appears that the development they claim is most beneficial is sort of skewed in comparisons to the others. First, it has over 6 million square feet in retail and office space (commercial property) compared to the 67,000 and 39,000 square feet in the other two. Plus, there is a special property tax included called urban services district tax in addition to the general services tax in the so called profitable one,

But most strikingly, the cost of living is much higher in the so called profitable one. The average cost per square foot of residential space in the profitable one was $350/sq ft. All the others ranged between $89/sq ft and $113/sq ft. That's not how it should be- unless you are going to send all the poorer people offshore somewhere.

http://www.smartgrowthamerica.... [smartgrowthamerica.org]

And yes, it's a PFD.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47381529)

A longer street frontage requires more asphalt and concrete and buried infrastructure than a shorter street frontage...

That is nonsense.

Do the math if you don't believe me. Show your work.

People with more expensive property do not use the fire department more or the police more just because it is more expensive.

Ask an insurance company whether more expensive properties are more expensive to insure than cheaper properties.

Either way, the problem with the article is that a city is not supposed to be making a profit off the people.

The word "profit" is not mentioned anywhere in the article.

But most strikingly, the cost of living is much higher in the so called profitable one. The average cost per square foot of residential space in the profitable one was $350/sq ft. All the others ranged between $89/sq ft and $113/sq ft. That's not how it should be-

So you agree that urban areas should stop subsidizing the less urban areas?

Re:Property Tax? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47381699)

Do the math if you don't believe me. Show your work.

Do the math? What math, it's all the same. If the property has 1 mile road frontage or 10 feet, that 1 mile or road still needs all those services. If the property is valued at 10 dollars it still needs the same services as if the property is valued at 2 million dollars.

Ask an insurance company whether more expensive properties are more expensive to insure than cheaper properties.

That's changing the goal post a bit isn't it? Taxes do not pay the insurance coverage. the city or whatever government entity does not provide the insurance. More expensive property will cost more to insure primarily because it will cost more to replace anything of higher value. But the police and fire are not used more then cheaper properties.

So you agree that urban areas should stop subsidizing the less urban areas?

I'm not sure how you got that from my statement but there shouldn't be any subsidizing at all going on. First, a city is a city so no matter what area is in the city, the urban neighborhoods are not subsidizing the anything but the city. But the city should not be making profits either. If a city is subsidizing a county development, that shouldn't be happening outside the same mechanism the county funding has.

But the point of my comment is that one of the reason's the numbers favored the gulch community is because everything is jacked sky high in prices. If values were equal, the range would not be so different. In the article you linked to (which is about the study I linked to), none of the developments cost more to have than the revenue they brought in. So there was no subsidizing happening. The city was just collecting a bunch of profits and doing whatever with it.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 months ago | (#47386863)

Do the math? What math, it's all the same. If the property has 1 mile road frontage or 10 feet, that 1 mile or road still needs all those services. If the property is valued at 10 dollars it still needs the same services as if the property is valued at 2 million dollars.

But the cost of providing those services isn't the same. First, the probability of a forest fire is roughly proportional to the area of land, because lightning doesn't care. Second, people are more likely to steal from big, expensive houses than slums, and people are more likely to build big, expensive houses on large pieces of land than small ones, so police protection tends to be (at least to some extent) proportional to land area as well.

Even things like utilities cost more for larger pieces of land, because the utility companies have to run their cables past your property to get to the next potential customer, and the longer your property is, the more it costs to do so. They only get one customer per property, so larger properties effectively raise the installation cost for everyone on your block.

And unless you're at the end of a street, the street has to go past your house, not just to it. Therefore, the cost is directly proportional to the width of the piece of land, so longer pieces of land should pay more in taxes. This also applies to the cost of fuel for police driving past your house when they patrol your neighborhood, the cost of running water pipes past your house for fire protection, etc.

In other words, the costs are almost all proportional to area.

That's changing the goal post a bit isn't it? Taxes do not pay the insurance coverage. the city or whatever government entity does not provide the insurance. More expensive property will cost more to insure primarily because it will cost more to replace anything of higher value. But the police and fire are not used more then cheaper properties.

Actually, they are, to some degree. When's the last time you heard of somebody breaking into a falling down shack because they thought the person might have stuff worth stealing? And as I said, forest fires are proportional to area. And house fires... well, those are more determined by the age of the home than anything else, so those tend to be inversely proportional to the cost of the home, but they're still mathematically related. :-)

Re:Property Tax? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47390105)

But the cost of providing those services isn't the same. First, the probability of a forest fire is roughly proportional to the area of land, because lightning doesn't care.

You are missing a key point. the land does not disappear if one person owns 50 acres or if 50 people own 1 acre each right next to each other. It is still there and still costs the same. Like you said, lightning doesn't care.

Second, people are more likely to steal from big, expensive houses than slums, and people are more likely to build big, expensive houses on large pieces of land than small ones, so police protection tends to be (at least to some extent) proportional to land area as well.

Not really. Expensive homes are more likely to have high dollar security systems, cameras, and serial numbers recorded. Middle class homes would be a more probable target. Slums of course are still there as opportunity remains and according to the data, people with income of 7.500 or less are victims of theft and violent crimes like assault more than people with incomes over 75k.

http://nortonbooks.typepad.com... [typepad.com] .

Even things like utilities cost more for larger pieces of land, because the utility companies have to run their cables past your property to get to the next potential customer, and the longer your property is, the more it costs to do so. They only get one customer per property, so larger properties effectively raise the installation cost for everyone on your block.

They must do it different where you live. In my neck of the woods, the utility company will come a maximum of 25 feet into the property for their demarcation point. Anything after that and it is up to the property owner to run.

Now, the distance between properties don't mean anything because the land doesn't magically disappear of you own less.

Actually, they are, to some degree. When's the last time you heard of somebody breaking into a falling down shack because they thought the person might have stuff worth stealing? And as I said, forest fires are proportional to area. And house fires... well, those are more determined by the age of the home than anything else, so those tend to be inversely proportional to the cost of the home, but they're still mathematically related. :-)

Only if you start with incorrect assumptions in the first place. But please tell me, how likely is it that someone would have a million dollar home on 50 acres of land with a falling down shack that someone thinks is stuffed full of goodies? The falling down shack is more likely on less expensive property or maintained. You see, rich people don't like looking at the trash we regular people have to put up with. The shack would likely either be repaired, removed, or replaced before it appears falling down.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 months ago | (#47415893)

But the cost of providing those services isn't the same. First, the probability of a forest fire is roughly proportional to the area of land, because lightning doesn't care.

You are missing a key point. the land does not disappear if one person owns 50 acres or if 50 people own 1 acre each right next to each other. It is still there and still costs the same. Like you said, lightning doesn't care.

No, you are missing a key point. If it costs a million dollars to protect a city block that contains 50 homes, the cost per home is $20,000 per home. If it costs a million dollars to protect a city block that contains only one home, the cost per home is a million bucks. It is only fair that a homeowner in the second block should pay more, because the cost of defending his or her home is 50 times as much as the cost of defending a home in the first block. The more people that bear the burden, the less the burden for each person. This is just common sense.

Also, from a fire management perspective, the land does disappear if nobody builds on it. So that first house in a rural area imposes a much bigger burden on the system than subsequent homes. Unless there are homes that could eventually be at risk, modern fire management policies typically recommend letting forest fires burn themselves out. The reason fires get out of control is that we've spent decades over-managing forest fires, and we really need to stop doing that, or else they're just going to be worse the next time around.

Not really. Expensive homes are more likely to have high dollar security systems, cameras, and serial numbers recorded. Middle class homes would be a more probable target. Slums of course are still there as opportunity remains and according to the data, people with income of 7.500 or less are victims of theft and violent crimes like assault more than people with incomes over 75k.

Serial numbers don't make much difference if the person pawns it before you detect the theft. And security cameras don't help if the burglar knows they exist, because they'll just wear a mask to hide their faces, and park their car a block away or cover their plate.

Even things like utilities cost more for larger pieces of land, because the utility companies have to run their cables past your property to get to the next potential customer, and the longer your property is, the more it costs to do so. They only get one customer per property, so larger properties effectively raise the installation cost for everyone on your block.

They must do it different where you live. In my neck of the woods, the utility company will come a maximum of 25 feet into the property for their demarcation point. Anything after that and it is up to the property owner to run.

I'm talking about the length of the property, not the depth. And even for the depth, that's only true if there isn't a street behind you. Otherwise, at some point, they're going to have to make at least one run the entire depth of the piece of land to connect over to the next street. The cost to wire an area is proportional to the area. There's just no way to get around that. :-)

Only if you start with incorrect assumptions in the first place. But please tell me, how likely is it that someone would have a million dollar home on 50 acres of land with a falling down shack that someone thinks is stuffed full of goodies? The falling down shack is more likely on less expensive property or maintained. You see, rich people don't like looking at the trash we regular people have to put up with. The shack would likely either be repaired, removed, or replaced before it appears falling down.

Come again? As I said, house fires are inversely proportional to the cost of the home, which is precisely what you said while arguing with me....

Re:Property Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380491)

Property owners benefit from protection from foreign (armed forces) and domestic (police) violence/seizure. In the private sector, insurance rates depend upon the value of the property being insured.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#47379917)

As they should, because those with the most property benefit the most from city infrastructure, police and fire services, and national defense. Our society was built upon the understanding that those who benefit the most from something should pay the most.

Who told you that? Our society was built on the idea people should be free, meaning free from government, meaning free from politicians and muscular interests that could twist their arm to twist everyone's arm.

Re:Property Tax? (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 months ago | (#47380161)

Who told you that? Our society was built on the idea people should be free, meaning free from government, meaning free from politicians and muscular interests that could twist their arm to twist everyone's arm.

Correct. It was built on exactly those things.

It will be destroyed on the idea that rights are given, not recognized. That responsibility is only for the rich. That freedom is only important till someone is offended. That making everyone have an equal amount of stuff trumps recognizing that everyone is equal. That government knows best and every person and every government is equally exceptional.

Re:Property Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47383441)

It will be destroyed on the idea that rights are given, not recognized.

Rights may be given, but rights must be protected, and that takes effort.

That responsibility is only for the rich.

Oh no, the rich aren't responsible, we can't have them responsible, after all they are rich, so they must be protected and coddled, because they're better, while to make the poor better, we must subject them to coercion and intimidation.

That freedom is only important till someone is offended.

Exactly, your freedom is easily trumped when you use it against others.

That making everyone have an equal amount of stuff trumps recognizing that everyone is equal.

If by stuff, you mean legal rights and protections, then yes, you are right. If you are instead thinking of some collectivist nonsense, then no, we don't do that, we barely even provide for the essentials. Or are you living in some fantasy world?

That government knows best and every person and every government is equally exceptional.

Oh no, most of us do recognize the corruption of government. We just don't think it should remain that way, nor do we agree with who is being coddled.

Hint: It's not the poor.

Re:Property Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380213)

We didn't create our government so our people could be free from government. Certainly we held some freedoms in high esteem, but nobody involved in the making of the USA promoted freedom from any kind of government, they promoted freedom from certain kinds of opression that was present under the last government.

Re:Property Tax? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 3 months ago | (#47380937)

They'll grasp at every last penny they can in an effort for tax money.

Kind of ironic, since the story involves California, which has Prop 13.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Property Tax? (1)

HaeMaker (221642) | about 3 months ago | (#47379789)

Yes... for Businesses. Businesses pay on all capital assets, not just real property. Individuals do not pay property taxes on durable goods, so this only applies to businesses.

California needs to fix its property tax code (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47379411)

Exemptions for everything under the sun, a ridiculous exemption that prevents property taxes from going up due to gentrification, etc. etc.

California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47379485)

California is crazy. My dad bought in 1971 pays $600/year in property tax. Neighbors bought 25 years later the larger house next door pay about $6000/yr. The bonus is you can inherit the prop 13 property tax valuation with the property. This also holds for corporations.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379611)

What needs fixing?

The government has too much money already.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47379719)

The market adjusts the values of these properties accordingly. It's part of the reason real estate is so expensive in CA (there are other reasons, but prop 13 contributes). The problem is that new buyers have to pay those inflated prices, usually with a mortage. So what? Think about it. If you're not swinging a smaller mortage and paying higher property taxes, you're paying more interest on your debt rather than paying higher property taxes. Thus, money that used to go to the state goes to the banks

Once again, it's not the only reason the real estate is expensive. I don't mean to imply that throwing more money at state services is necessarily that answer either--for PEUs have captured the apparatus of government just as surely as the banks have.

It's just one of the many facets of the ways in which California is disfunctional; but the whole USA is disfunctional in one way or another these days. There is no real escape. There is no easy fix, even though many people would like you to think there is.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379835)

Driving the cost of purchasing a house up will reduce the market value of the house, not increase it. Purchasers pay the tax on the assessed value, holders pay tax on their last assessment. Tax rates have to go up to cover the lost revenue to holders, increasing the cost to purchasers.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380413)

You would think that, but depending on the area of the country you live in, there just aren't enough homes in places that people want to live. I live in San Diego and there isn't anymore room to build homes without bulldozing the existing properties. Everyone wants to live within 15-20 minutes of the beach and that makes the housing prices go up.

I live 30 minutes from the beach and my townhouse (800 sq ft upstairs and downstairs condo really) cost 199k three years ago. In the current market I could likely get 140-150k on it. I'm not going anywhere for at least ten years, so ideally this property will appreciate some more in the coming years.

I yearn to get out to the countryside where I can start my own winery and enjoy not having a neighbor in shouting distance. Let everyone else live in the city.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47399619)

That has nothing to do with property tax.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380463)

> too much money already.

You just accidentally exposed yourself as one of those asshole Republicans. The government doesn't have enough money to provide even basic services to a fraction of the people, much less enough to operate properly which involves paying everyone a basic income. The rich old white people here don't pay nealry enough. They only pay a tiny fraction of their income. The top tax rate is only 39.6% which isn't high enough. I have a negative rate like a lot of people, but my rate could be even more negative if those whites would pay their fair share. Also, we have to pay out of pocket for health care which is morally wrong because it is a right. You people always get that wrong.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47382653)

The government has too much money already.

"Too much money" compared to what? The amount you decided the public sector should have?

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47399659)

The amount that leaves you with a functioning society. Too much government money attracts exactly the wrong people into government (e.g. Feinstein) and results in out of control government growth and a police state.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

kolbe (320366) | about 3 months ago | (#47379639)

Note that they reassess the property tax if you refinance your loan though. Mine went up $520/yr after refinancing during the 2008-9 crash.

Re:California needs to fix its property tax code (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379661)

Maybe if you take cash out. I've never been re-assessed on a refi.

Re: California needs to fix its property tax code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380513)

OP is completely clueless. You are only reassessed if the there are substantial improvements made to the property.

How is it crazy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380449)

How is that crazy? Should the state be allowed to steal a property because the neighbors drove the value up? In general, yes, you ought to pay your fair share, but Prop 13 is designed specifically to keep the state from driving people out of their own property through onerous taxes. My opinion is that it should float with inflation only, but the system they have now is a whole lot better than suburb growth destroying farms through taxes.

This is going to save me so much money. (1)

Al Gore (verified) (3728615) | about 3 months ago | (#47379651)

I'm super cereal.

Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#47379731)

It only means you don't really own your property. You are leasing it from the government. That's insane.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47379805)

In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to hoard property. This could have serious consequences for the economy. Imagine section after section of productive timber land being held simply on spec, while lumber prices soar..

If you're going to own real property, there's a general consensus that you should put it to productive use, or forfeit. Thus, that vacant lot in the city starts costing you... so you sell it off instead of holding it forever, and then somebody accumulates the lots, options an adjacent lot, gets plans approved for an apartment and... productive use.

Also, property tax is "progressive" in the sense that it's paid by people that have more wealth. Compare and contrast with sales tax which is "regressive"--taking a heavy toll on the poor.

Now of course all the "shrink government to the size of a thimble" people are going to come out of the woodwork. Sorry. It just isn't practical in the 21st century. We are not living in the days when bands of "Indians" with bow and arrow or colonists with muskets gave the British a run for their money. .

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379843)

In a system with a property tax their is disincentive to improve you property.

Raw land value should be taxed (obviously at a higher rate).

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47380065)

That's land value tax [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47380133)

In a system with a property tax their is disincentive to improve you property.

That's only when the property tax is based on the assessed value of the property instead of the property's burden on infrastructure and city services.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381949)

so, everywhere in this shithole country?

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47379885)

Holy fuck, I didn't think 4th of July was a drinking holiday.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379939)

Your not an American are you?

4th of July and Halloween are the #1 DUI days of the year.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47380049)

Your not an American are you?

Based on your inability to spell "you're", you obviously ARE an American....

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 3 months ago | (#47379965)

In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to hoard property.

So? I apologize in advance; there is no way to say this politely; you can take your loaded term "hoard" as well as your consensus and your bowing and scraping to government, and stuff them. You started the name-calling when you characterized real property ownership as "hoarding".

If you get off on seeing people's wealth seized by force and redistributed, fine; viewpoints and opinions are the most basic rights everyone has. But if you give support and comfort to those doing the seizing, expect a little blowback.

Now, if you want to get to basics and discuss the pros and cons of allowing private ownership of what is called "real property" (basically land) in the first place, that is fair game.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (2)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47380165)

Very well, In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to [ synonyms: stockpile, store, store up, stock up on, put aside, put by, lay by, lay up, set aside, stow away, buy up; cache, amass, collect, save, gather, garner, accumulate, squirrel away, put aside for a rainy day; informalstash away, salt away "they hoarded rations" ] please choose the preferred term which you regard as "unloaded". (synonyms courtesy of Google's dictionary).

If you get off on seeing people's wealth seized by force and redistributed,

That's all in your head of course.

Now, if you want to get to basics and discuss the pros and cons of allowing private ownership of what is called "real property" (basically land) in the first place, that is fair game.

OK, at the risk of this whole thing spiraling badly down the drain like my last back-n-forth with a libertarian, I'll bite.

Pro: Once you have the land, you don't have to worry about the government taking it away.

Con: Since you aren't paying property taxes, I see two possibilities: 1. The government gets the money some other way. 1a. Good for you, if you don't get caught up in the "some other way". 1b. Bad or neutral, depending on how expensive and/or inconvenient the "some other way" tax is. 2. The government doesn't provide the services customarily supported by property tax (e.g, schools, police).

Situation 2 is regarded as ideal by some people, and that's where I have a bone to pick. Why? Because if you don't pay the government tax, you pay what might be called the "natural tax" on the property. What's that? It's the cost of defending the land YOURSELF. IMHO, it tends to be much more expensive for most of us. It requires specialized skills most of us don't have--gunslinging, etc. Of course there are people willing to step in and do that for you. One of the most recognized organizations on the planet arose under just such a situation, where people were having a hard time defending their olive groves. This was in Sicily. I think you know where this is headed.

So, long story short, to paraphrase something often said about Unix: "Those who fail to understand government are doomed to reinvent it--poorly".

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 3 months ago | (#47380231)

In a system with no property tax, there would be no disincentive to hoard property.

So? I apologize in advance; there is no way to say this politely; you can take your loaded term "hoard" as well as your consensus and your bowing and scraping to government, and stuff them. You started the name-calling when you characterized real property ownership as "hoarding".

If you get off on seeing people's wealth seized by force and redistributed, fine; viewpoints and opinions are the most basic rights everyone has. But if you give support and comfort to those doing the seizing, expect a little blowback.

Now, if you want to get to basics and discuss the pros and cons of allowing private ownership of what is called "real property" (basically land) in the first place, that is fair game.

I don't think istartedi was characterizing property ownership as hoarding at all. Hoarding would be buying up a ton of property with no intent to do anything with it. This would drive up property costs for anyone else wanting to buy in the area. Without property taxes, one or two people with enough capital could buy up most of the land in a region and then charge of whatever they felt like to other potential buyers. Or they could basically price things out of anybody's reach and rent out the property instead, - again at inflated rates. Any land that sits idle costs them nothing anyway so there's no disincentive to hold on to it.

Where property taxes can be problematic are when people on living fixed incomes. Rising property taxes shouldn't be allowed to force anyone off a property that they've had for decades.

A community provides benefits to those who own property there, - whether its schools, police/fire service, or whatever. Those things need to be paid for somehow.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47381535)

Well said. Mere ownership of property isn't hoarding. Hoarding is cornering the market.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 3 months ago | (#47381821)

Simple to fix: unimproved land is taxed, land with improvements is not taxed.

You could go one further, and this would make sense much like not taxing food, that land which sole purpose is to provide housing to the property owners is not taxed, commercial land and unimproved land is taxed.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

c5402dc53929211e1efb (3084201) | about 3 months ago | (#47381953)

i propose the opposite. tax any land ruined by human infestation. land in it's natural state is untaxed.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47380025)

For all intensive purposes, "whom" is no longer a word. That begs the question, "who cares"?

For all intents and purposes, "all intensive purposes" is illiterate. Which begs the question, "is anyone literate to notice, much less care?"

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 3 months ago | (#47380087)

No, it doesn't beg the question, [wikipedia.org] it asks the question. Mr. Pot, may I introduce Mr. Kettle?

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 3 months ago | (#47380433)

For all intents and purposes, "all intensive purposes" is illiterate. Which begs the question, "is anyone literate enough to notice, much less care?

There. FTFY.

Re:Why do we permit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47380075)

I would argue that we still are living in the days when bands of "Indians" with bow and arrow or colonists with muskets gave the British a run for their money. If that is not the case then how do you account for ISIS in Iraq and Syria being able to give the governemnt in the middle east a run for their money? They may not be using bow and arrows but they are using the modern descendents of those weapons, including shoulder launched anti-tank weapons and should launched ant-aircraft weapons!

Re:Why do we permit (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47380207)

Not a bad point. Asymmetric warfare does indeed cause problems. Goooood morning Vietnam... but the geurillas in Vietnam were backed by somebody, and ISIS is getting hi-tech from... well... I've heard some interesting theories. Round up the usual suspects.

It's like a fulcrum I suppose. Asymmetric warfare has always involved leverage. The weight is bigger on both sides now.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47380391)

If you're going to own real property, there's a general consensus that you should put it to productive use, or forfeit.

There is no such general consensus; in fact that's a foolish utopian statement. Real property is a place to invest money. Taxes lower the return on that investment - but if you are not putting it to productive use there is no reason to continue that investment so it would be sold anyway. Market forces rule.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381945)

so capitalism is a cancer? penalize people for not putting land to "productive" use? god forbid you own a bunch of land and don't chop down the trees on it.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

TarPitt (217247) | about 3 months ago | (#47380851)

Actually, that is the historical origination of private property under the English system. This was also the case with "empty" land (meaning devoid of Europeans) annexed by the US throughout its history. Original owner was the Federal government, which then delegated ownership to others (railroads, homesteaders) by deeding the property to them provided certain obligations were met (build a railroad, occupy and cultivate the land, etc.).

The idea that private ownership of land precedes government is a weird libertarian fantasy.

You in fact *do* lease your property from the government.

Re:Why do we permit "property tax" at all? (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47382635)

It only means you don't really own your property. You are leasing it from the government. That's insane.

What do you mean, "own"? You can't mean possession - you aren't carrying your solar power system with you, after all. So why should your claim to "own" something trump any competing claims? And even if they did, why would that matter - do you expect other people to enforce your claims?

That's why a system that lets you "own" anything you aren't carrying with you at all times inevitably picks up aspects of "leasing things from the government": ownership is only meaningful as long as it's recognized by other people, and that requires a system to decide who's claims are valid and enforcing them. That, in turn, requires resources to upkeep, and it would hardly be reasonable to expect yourself to be exempt from paying for them.

Libertarianism fails because - amongst other reasons - it takes artificial things - such as property rights - to be the natural state of things. Hardly surprising, seeing how people tend to take as granted anything they're used to, but still not correct.

Ah yes, the party of "tax the rich" extends their (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47379827)

tax breaks on upper-middle class and rich people using an otherwise-uneconomical energy source...

Just like the electric car subsidies that help rich people buy a Tesla or Fisker as their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc car (which the upper classes COULD afford on their own but choose not to without the subsidies "because they're too expensive") while the poorer part of the population is left with old, inefficient, expensive-to-operate "clunkers".

If the party of "Tax the Rich!" TRULY wants to actively subsidize things like e-cars and provide the wealthier with tax breaks for things like solar panels solar panels, I propose they finally REALLY tax the "rich" (Something they've NEVER tried) as follows: a flat percentage tax on all global ASSETS over $5 million ($10 million for FAMILY farms and manufacturing firms where the family lives on and operates the farm, or the family operates the factory). This sort of tax would ACTUALLY hit people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and George Soros instead of the usual "tax the rich" schemes that they push that never touch the rich but actually hit the middle, and particularly upper-middle, class. All-too-often, these tax deductions become part of a portfolio of financial tactics the truly rich use to offset their incomes and thus avoid paying taxes - this is why so many rich celebrities have so many odd things like farms with odd crops (which they rarely even visit), and apiaries. Maps of subsidies and tax exemptions for farms, ethanol production, etc are interesting; most subsidies and tax exemptions actually go to urban addresses of rich investors.

Average Americans should simply never be involved in the forced support (via subsidy OR tax break) of economic inefficiencies.

Re:Ah yes, the party of "tax the rich" extends the (1)

Ralph Ostrander (2846785) | about 3 months ago | (#47379933)

You can never tax the rich or churches as they write the tax codes.

Re:Ah yes, the party of "tax the rich" extends the (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47379979)

AC runs an off shore tax shelter and is trying to drum up business.

Re:Ah yes, the party of "tax the rich" extends the (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 3 months ago | (#47380275)

We subsidize other forms of power generation constantly buy forcing the public to pay for all the externalities. If the power companies had to pay for all the costs related to mining, drilling, transporting, and burning fossil fuels, renewables would make a lot more economic sense even without the incentives.
What has it really cost us to keep the oil flowing out of the Middle East? What about the environmental and health impacts of burning fossil fuels? Who is paying for that?

Re:Ah yes, the party of "tax the rich" extends the (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47380421)

Who is paying for that?

You wrote that on a computer most likely powered by fossil fuels, and posted on a web site almost certainly powered by fossil fuels, on an Internet developed by defense spending. So look in a mirror for the answer to your question.

Re:Ah yes, the party of "tax the rich" extends the (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 3 months ago | (#47380807)

I'm not sure what your point is exactly. If by "look in the mirror" you mean that I'm paying for those externalities, I agree. We pay for them through higher taxes, higher health care and insurance costs, among other ways.

And for the record I don't mind spending money on necessary defense. I do have trouble with the idea of propping up unpopular leaders of questionable ethics in exchange for short term stability and cheap gas prices. You can argue that it's necessary but either way we still pay for it. It's still an additional cost related to fossil fuels.

If you're implying that I'm part of the problem as a customer of a utility that primarily generates power via fossil fuels, I'll remind you that most of us don't have a say in where our utilities get their power from, - which is why it is good that states like California gives breaks to those who want to generate their own power using solar energy. I'm not even blaming the utilities entirely. Many of them are trying to generate electricity using cleaner sources of power and spend significant money on energy efficiency programs.

I'll also add that I'm typing this on a laptop provided by a non-profit energy efficiency organization (along with a salary) in exchange for my services. A laptop that I transport to and from work... on a bike.

Ah, the subsidized middle east oil fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381489)

The US Government does NOT subsidize fossil fuels from the middle east. The oft-repeated leftwing mantra is provably false.

First, we dedicate just as much of our military to the defense of Japan (from whom we get NO oil) and our friends in Europe (from whom we also get NO oil) as we do to the middle east - and in the cases of BOTH the "Gulf War" and the "Iraq War" we did NOT use our military might to secure the oil fields for US oil companies and US consumers. The United States would be JUST as militarily committed to the middle east even if we got NO oil there. First, because we have a particular ally in the area that we have made an exceptional commitment to: Israel. In the post WWII Holocaust world, Israel will NEVER be allowed to fall, no matter how many Muslims fantasize about it, because of the collective guilt of the west for failing to stop Hitler's "final solution" earlier and failing de-NAZIfy Egypt after Hitler's fall (Goebbels engineered a WWII alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the German NAZI war machine) and the simple fact that the entire non-Jewish world has proven through the 20th century that it could not be depended upon to protect the Jews on non-Jewish soil. Second, even if there WAS no Isreal, the US would still have to be involved in the middle east because opur economy depends on the health of the economies of the "western world" and THEY would still be dependent on that oil. Third, the elites in the US (in BOTH parties) are always convinced they are wise enough an entitled to run the world, and they LOVE junk like the UN. The initial "Gulf War" happened because Mr Establishment himself (Gearge HW Bush(#41 not #43)) was outraged that one UN member (Iraq) had invaded and conquered another UN member (Kuwait). The guy took the country to war to kick Hussain out of Kuwait and then promptly declared the war over as soon as that stupid global-governance international-cause-celeb was completed (rather than grabbing the oil and turning Kuwait into a 51st state or something like handin Kuwait to Saudi Arabia to "administer" (which would likely have made the Bush dynast fabulously wealthy))

If you want to go into "all the externalities" of oil, let's be consistent and do it for EVERYTHING ok?

All those solar panels and wind farms are dependent on MASSIVE quantities of chemicals, rare-Earth minerals etc (much of which come from China and therefore drive nearly half of the pentagon budget) Your iPad or iPhone probably drives a far higher list of "externalities" that you would ever want to admit to BEFORE we even get to the point of analyzing the energy it demands (and the energy and materials demanded by the internet infrastructure these devices depend upon...)

Who is paying for all the environmental impacts of all the "stuff" you own and use, hmmmm??? The toxic waste of a lot of the electronis you probably use, the solar panels you seem to worship, etc are in totality far worse than the waste from oil, which IS after all a completely natural substance. Man does not make oil... it's already there; we just pump it, and use it

Another subsidy.... (1)

guevera (2796207) | about 3 months ago | (#47381081)

...for the affluent. Wondeful. I'm so sick of California.

I thought solar power was already competitive (1)

blindseer (891256) | about 3 months ago | (#47386751)

All these green energy subsidies have to stop. I believe we've past the tipping point years ago that green energy technology needed government money for development. Perhaps it was five years ago, maybe it was fifty, but we don't need to give rich people money to buy solar panels they'd be buying anyway.

Solar panels reduce carbon released into the environment, we know that. Solar panels save money for those people that can afford to buy them. What we have now are tax avoidance schemes for rich people. This makes poor people bear a greater portion of the tax load.

What seems to be an issue lately is that people are buying solar panels too quickly. The electric grid in many places was not designed to handle residences putting energy into the grid, it was designed only for residences to draw from it. Solar power is good, we need more of it. Problem is that if the solar power is added too quickly to the system then it can become unstable. Giving people tax breaks to people for putting solar panels on the roof of their house means less tax money to improve the electric grid to accommodate the increased use of solar power.

Same goes for electric cars, CFL bulbs, windmills, and bio fuels. People would be making money with these technologies without the government subsidies. With the subsidies they are making more money by giving tax breaks to the people wealthy enough to buy them. It's rich people becoming richer by taking from the poor. Because solar panels are involved we're all supposed to feel good about ourselves. Everyone is going to feel real good when the power goes out because we gave tax money to rich people instead of improving an aging electric grid.

We don't need to encourage people to buy solar panels any more with tax money. The money saved in power produced is enough. The good feelings people have in saving the environment doesn't hurt either.

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