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DOES TRUMP WANT TO DESTROY MEXICAN ECONOMY AND HURT THE AMERICAN ONE? The proposal by the White House -- call it "America First" -- would destroy the Mexican economy. That would mean more illegal immigrants would flow in, no matter how tall the wall. The proposal would have "disastrous consequences for workers and consumers in both countries," comments the New York Times.

NAFTA would have to be tossed out. This would disrupt the flow of goods from Mexico. Think how much Mexican fruits and vegetables would cost in the U.S. It would hurt American companies, such as the auto companies. Higher prices would be paid by American consumers.

Trump and those in his party are working on a "border-adjusted tax." The Mexican threat (which the White House quickly said was only an idea -- typical of Trump pronouncements that are walked back quickly -- will be deleterious all the way around. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 26, 2017

Big bucks developer with millions to spend to buy an election is now howling about pocket change in the hands of the out-gunned opponents? Do I have that right? I suspect that the developer is looking at defeat and watching the $4+ million swirl down the toilet. So, it's time to start to find some excuse or other way to have the failed vote negated in court. If the developer had just gone through the established channels, and spent the necessary time instead of all that money, they might have pulled it off. But when Bulldozer Bill Horn was forced (and it war a matter of force, not his voluntary recusal) to stand aside on the vote the developer tried to go nuclear with a mushroom cloud of funds pumped into a campaign. If you don't care to see development handled that way, make sure you vote accordingly.

Nov. 3, 2016

Lilac Hills is not a solution to housing. It is closer to Temecula than San Diego Temecula offers homes at reasonable prices and is only a few minutes north of Lilac Hills. While San Diego needs more housing inventory and affordable housing Lilac Hills is not the answer.

Nov. 4, 2016

WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THE WALL? Trump claims that the 20 percent tax on imports will force the Mexicans to pay for the wall. Huh? A 20 percent tax on imports would fall on American consumers who buy the imports, or, if competition keeps prices from being raised, it would fall on company owners, mostly American. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 27, 2017

Jarvis didn't give a crap about residential real estate owners anyway. They were just a convenient Trojan Horse. A way to stir up the folks and get them to the polls to vote for what was actually a way for corporations to halt tax increases on their real estate holdings. The biggest like Disney, Chevron, General Dynamics....

The Proposition 13 was set forth a game of Russian roulette with unintended consequences. My degree is in business with a real estate major, I passed the brokers exam years ago but never applied for my license. I'm an introvert and not very interested in competing with beautiful women in sales or slick guys with Armani suits.

Here's why Prop 13 is a mess.

Cont....

Aug. 28, 2015

The idea was simple. All real estate would be taxed at a base year rate, and there was an annual limit on how much the tax could increase each year. This allowed people to properly plan and manage their real estate taxes and ended a process where people would be surprised by massive increases in property tax from reassessment.

And all was good. But there was also a series of decisions that were made that would trigger a reassessment of real estate property. If a property was sold, then the sale would establish a new base rate for the property for future taxation. And if the property was altered (for instance more square footage was added to the property) this too could trigger a reassessment for the property.

There are different types of real estate. There is the real estate of a single-family residence or the home or condo where one lives, and then there is the real estate that is income-producing. Income-producing real estate is generally commercial in nature. A hotel, a strip mall, a multi-family apartment complex, a warehouse, an office building, a restaurant.

When was the last time that you saw someone add a 21st story to a 20 story office tower? Add another 20,000 square foot to an existing 50,000 square foot warehouse? Tear down the walls of an existing grocery store to add 15,000 square feet?

On the other hand we all know one person who owns a home on a street where they or one of their neighbors made modifications to their home and triggered a reassessment of their real estate. So we have defined two separate classes of real estate. One will almost never be affected by reassessment and the other will.

These two classes have something else in common. In most cases that single family home is in an individual’s name. And that commercial property? In most cases the ownership resides in a corporate entity. When a person sells his home, it’s generally sold as a transaction between two individuals (sometimes listed a a man and wife selling a real property to another man and wife, but in most cases between individuals.)

But different story with those commercial properties. In fact a change of real ownership can occur, with the listed real property owner not changing. For example, Company A, LLC owns a 20-story office building and, instead of selling the real property, all the stock in Company A, LLC is sold from Corporation Z to Corporation X. So Company A, LLC stills effectively owns the real estate, as the real estate actually was sold or transferred from one owner to another.

When there’s a change of ownership in that single family residence, that triggers a reassessment of the property’s valuation and taxation, but the change in ownership of the real estate between the two corporate entities through the change in ownership of the LLC does not.

cont...

Aug. 28, 2015

Why is this all important? Because these two specific loopholes have changed the tax burden in every county in California. Individuals who own their primary residence have, year after year, been paying a larger share of the property taxes received by the State of California, while at the same time the amount of property tax received has been declining as these commercial properties are not being reassessed.

Within tax policy circles this actually has a name, it’s called a split-roll. And one of the key things that a split-roll does is shift the tax burden over time away from one side of the split and to the other side of the split. Commercial and industrial property have a free ride while residential homeowners are really the ones with the increasing tax burden.

Now let’s look at two properties. The first is a single-family residence and the second is a four-story office building. Both properties were built prior to Prop 13. In the almost 35 years that Prop 13 has been in effect there have been no additional feet added to the four-story office building, and the LLC that has owned it, although having been sold three times, still owns the real estate. In all those years, the property has not be reassessed. The single-family residence on the other hand has been sold three times in that same time period, and at least two of the owners have made additions to the property. So that property has been through at least five reassessments.

Now anyone can tell you that this is clearly “not fair.” And that’s the primary cause in the tax-burden shift that’s pushing a greater burden of property taxes from commercial property owners to those that own their homes. In simple terms it’s costing the State and the Counties billions of lost revenue, an at the same time rewarding those commercial property owners and punishing folks who live in their homes. Something tells me that was not what the people that voted for Prop 13 were intending to do to themselves.

Now, let’s look at some other things that are happening at the same time. Since the income is going down for the State and the Counties because these commercial properties are not being reassessed the State and the Counties, in fact all of government, has had two choices. It’s either had to find creative ways to increase revenue, or find ways to cut what they spend. So parks that were generally free to access in the late 1970’s and 1980’s now have entrance fees. The fees for licenses and registrations have risen. The cost for attending college or university has risen. In other words, rather than sharing the pain for these items of common good there has been a shift of the burden to those that use these common services. And when the costs could not be covered by new fees for service, the services have been cut. A high school arts program here and a music program there, and suddenly California went from having the best public schools in the nation to being much further down the list.

cont....

Aug. 28, 2015

But this is a shared pain for us, we all suffer equally, right? Not quite. Let’s look at an example of two commercial buildings side-by-side in downtown San Diego. The first is a 10-story office building built pre-Prop 13 and the second is a 10-story office building erected in 2010. As you’d expect, the older building has a much lower property tax based on the early assessment and the capped increases of Prop 13. So, one would assume that the rent per square foot charged in these two buildings would reflect the fact that the renters in the older building are paying a much lower rate. But that’s the problem with assumptions. Both building are well within the going rate for square footage in that area – the older building may have a slightly lower rate, but it’s well within the same range.

If that’s the case, then the owner of the first building, with substantially lower overhead costs brought about by the fact that his property taxes are set so low by the Prop 13-protected assessment, is clearly making a much greater profit margin due to his lower overhead costs and comparable rental rates. In other words, not only is the older building’s owner not feeling the pinch, he’s getting maximum benefits from exploiting the loopholes that have kept his assessments low.

And now you know why developers get rich.

Aug. 28, 2015

Thanks for the detailed article. Unfortunately the current owner never listed the property for sale so many people did not know it was available. To complicate the matter, he overpaid originally, deferred maintenance and neglected the business operations in the hopes that he could develop the property. But the land is zoned Agricultural and located in a semi-rural area where development is severely restricted. It is also located within a community that is united in its support for maintaining open space/recreational values. Mitigation land banking under the Clean Water Act is an option for a very small part of the property but the owner did not subdivide so he can't sell that area to a mitigation land banker and he did not start the lengthy paperwork process to pursue that option himself. Now that negotiations with Mr. Vaubel are terminated, potential buyers are returning. They must recognize that they will have to overpay upfront for a much-loved course in need of TLC. But they must also realize that the key factor for success of a new owner is present in Fallbrook's Gird Valley: overwhelmingly strong community support. With a dedicated team of volunteers, a touch of community spirt and a bit of creative fundraising, we will ensure that a new owner is made whole and profitable very, very quickly! SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com!

July 28, 2016
Where endangered species thrive

The Manchester Preserve is an island in an urban-suburban setting where endangered species such as the Del Mar manzanita, Orcutt’s hazardia, San Diego thornmint, and California gnatcatcher can thrive. Since the Center for Natural Lands ...

September 7, 2016

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