Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:April:23 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
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2007/4/23-25 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:46415 Activity:very high
4/22    What exactly is the "maler-roos" on new properties? Why is the
        property tax rate close to 2% instead of 1%?
        \_ A little history on CA tax:
           1978: Reaganomics advocates-- "Tax cut is good for everyone! "
                Prop 13 of 1978 will cut slacks for existing land &
                property owners, allow self-reliance, force government fat
                to be cut, and kick start trickle-down economy!
                \_ Were you here in CA in 78?  Your version of how this
                   went down has nothing to do with reality.
           1979-1981: Uh, we fucked up. We lost so much revenue that we no
                longer have money to fund government fat like public parks,
                new transits, new bike lanes, and public schools.
                \_ New bike lanes?  I'll bet they stopped funding linux too!
                   Schools got as much/kid then as now.  It is *how* it is
                   spent that matters, not the total number.  And the *how*
                   is that it is being pissed away on excess administation
                   and fake special programs while the bulk of students get
                   crap education.
                   \_ reference for school spending, please
                      \_ CA state budget is higher than ever before.  40% of
                         budget is mandated to be spent on schools, which was
                         not true in 1978.  Do math.
                         \_ Your claim was based on $/kid; please provide a
                            reference.  (Extra credit if it's adjusted for
                            inflation.)  -tom
           1982: Henry Mello & Mike Roos-- It's ok! We'll double the
                cost of property tax for *future* homeowners and since
                they're not here to speak for themselves, the Mello-Roos
                Community Facilities Act will get passed easily and save
                all of our problems!
                \_ Because forcing old people on fixed incomes to sell their
                   homes so they could eat is always a good idea and the
                   morally right thing to do.
                   \_ This is, and always has been a red herring.  The largest
                      beneficiary of Prop 13 tax cuts is not old people on
                      fixed incomes, but corporations.  If we really cared
                      about old people, we could have made Prop 13 apply
                      only to residences, but that's not what it's about.
                      Corporations not only own more valuable property, they
                      also resell property less often.  -tom
                      \_ I ask again: were you here in CA in 78?  I was.  There
                         were for sale signs everywhere.  People were leaving
                         the state young and old because they couldn't afford
                         their property taxes.  If corporations got a free ride
                         along the way, so be it, they weren't the ones who
                         voted on it, nor were they the ones who came up with
                         the idea.
                         \_ People were leaving the state because of complex
                            reasons. Property tax was simply one of the
                            many components. Trying to fix the root of the
                            problem by adjusting proprety tax is like
                            the Feds trying to stabilize an extremely
                            complex & globalized economy with 10000 of
                            knobs and switches with this single knob
                            called the interest rate knob. It's absurd.
                            \_ Were you here in 1978?  I was.  When your
                               neighbors tell you they are selling because
                               they can't afford it and it's the same story
                               in the newspapers, tv, everywhere, I'd go for
                               that long before I'd accept your "well there
                               was other stuff too but I won't mention any of
                               it, just claim that your thing is absurd".
                               None of this stuff is a big secret.  Apply
                               browser.
                               \_ You keep repeating this unverified claim
                                  that you were here in 1978.  Who are you?
                                  How old were you in 1978?  How does your
                                  anecdotal evidence outweigh all other
                                  input to this discussion?  -tom
                      \_ Real estate is not a large part of expenses for
                         most businesses. It's labor, of course. For most
                         corporations it's in the noise and they are
                         depreciating the properties anyway. Many of them
                         lease, too. Do you know what the average property tax
                         rate was before Prop 13?
                         \_ Throwing a lot of stuff at the wall there, aren't
                            you?  None of it sticks; if corporations don't
                            mind paying more property tax, Prop 13 is totally
                            stupid, since it gives them more tax benefit than
                            it does homeowners.  And whether corporations
                            buy or lease their space, they receive the benefits
                            of the lower property tax.  Non-residential
                            property taxes *dropped* by 5% from 1991 to 2001,
                            during the largest increase of property values
                            in CA history.  -tom
                            \_ Who gets more of a benefit?:
                               Me, saving $2K of my, say, $100K salary or
                               a corporation saving $50K of their, say, $100
                               million revenues? I think it's clear I do.
                               I am not sure I understand your last
                               sentence. Are you saying total revenues
                               dropped? You do realize that the commercial
                               property market was not part of 'the
                               largest increase in property values',
                               right? It's very possible that commercial
                               property taxes might rise even as residential
                               home values fall. In fact, I predict that.
                               \_ You really have no idea how much corporate
                                  real estate is worth, do you?  Property
                                  taxes on a big commercial building go
                                  into the millions of dollars.  So, you
                                  saving $2K get hurt because you lose more
                                  than $2K worth of services due to Prop 13
                                  and the relief it gives corporations.  Plus,
                                  cities then do things like raise sales tax
                                  (CA: highest in nation), which, guess what,
                                  you pay!  -tom
                                  \_ How much do you think commercial real
                                     estate is worth? The most expensive
                                     skyscrapers sell new for a few
                                     hundred million dollars. Most
                                     buildings are far less. So even if I
                                     own 100% of the TransAmerica building
                                     (whose property taxes are paid for by
                                     many tenants and not just one) then
                                     the property tax is still only a
                                     couple of million per year. How much
                                     in revenues is generated there? Your
                                     typical industrial building is only
                                     worth a few million, which is at
                                     most 10x a house, and yet revenues
                                     are likely much more than 10x higher.
                                     As for sales taxes, CA's are not that
                                     much higher than anywhere else.
                                  \_ No matter what the corporations pay in
                                     taxes it will get passed down to the
                                     consumer.  And corporations doing well
                                     isn't necessarily the horrible thing you
                                     imply considering how much retirement
                                     money is invested in these same corps and
                                     how many people they employ, etc.  The
                                     anti-corpo screed is insufficient to make
                                     an honest claim that prop 13 was bad for
                                     the people of california.
                                     \_ It's clearly bad for everyone who
                                        doesn't own property in CA.  It's
                                        very likely bad (negative total
                                        ROI) for residential homeowners.  It's
                                        not even clear that homeowners pay
                                        less tax, overall, due to Prop 13.
                                        It's clearly good for major commercial
                                        real estate holders.  -tom
                                        \_ It reduces carrying costs for
                                           real estate holders, which
                                           means they can charge less rent
                                           and/or develop the land more
                                           intensely. I am guessing that this
                                           is a net benefit to the economy in
                                           terms of taxes. Imagine if
                                           property taxes were back at 20%
                                           like they were. Who do you
                                           think would be doing business
                                           here? What would the tax base be?
                                           Low property taxes are even
                                           good for people who don't own
                                           land, because they (renters and
                                           consumers) carry the costs
                                           anyway, as alluded to above.
                                           \_ Corporations don't just "pass on"
                                              costs. They charge what the
                                              market will bear, no more and
                                              no less. It is important to
                                              understand the difference between
                                              the two ideas. -ausman
                                              \_ I understand economics, but
                                                 property tax is a fixed
                                                 cost. It will be paid
                                                 even if the land lies
                                                 fallow. (In fact, for
                                                 this reason high property
                                                 tax encourages sprawl,
                                                 since the cost of holding
                                                 land is high.) There can
                                                 be no market at all and
                                                 yet the taxes are still
                                                 due. This is different
                                                 from most expenses. The
                                                 tax represents pretty
                                                 much the baseline cost of
                                                 holding the property. If
                                                 an owner were to lease
                                                 for less than the taxes
                                                 owed, he'd rather just let
                                                 the property go rather than
                                                 take a loss on it to hold it.
                                                 So when the tax increases, so
                                                 does this "minimum rent".
                                                 E.g., I have to rent my
                                                 house for ~$400/month just
                                                 to cover the property taxes
                                                 - $700/month if I just
                                                 bought it. This is *with*
                                                 Prop 13 if I paid *cash*
                                                 for the house.
                                \_ BofA building just sold for $1B:
                                   http://www.csua.org/u/ijt
                                   \_ Which is too expensive and unusual,
                                      as the article says. The most expensive
                                      building in LA just sold for $600 million
                                      and most of the office towers are ~$300M.
                                      But even using this ($1B) figure, it's
                                      still just $10M/year in tax. I pay
                                      ~4% of my income in property tax. If
                                      I bought my house new it would be
                                      ~8%. So the equivalent in revenues
                                      is still around $200M/year. I am
                                      guessing that the businesses housed
                                      there will have more than $200M in
                                      revenues per year for the operations
                                      based in that building. I am
                                      guessing a *LOT* more, given the
                                      (presumably high) salaries of people
                                      working there. Actually, doing the
                                      math in the article (1.3M sq feet @
                                      $75/foot) shows they are hoping to
                                      lease it for $100M/year, which means
                                      10% of the rents would go to property
                                      tax. Using my own house as an
                                      example, I pay ~$24K/year rent and
                                      $4K/year in property tax so my
                                      burden is higher. Why would you want
                                      to eliminate Prop 13 when it helps
                                      me more? (Being I have a higher tax
                                      burden.) Now factor in that most of
                                      the corp tenants (other than the landlord)
                                      are probably paying much less as a
                                      percentage of revenues in property
                                      taxes. If you double property tax
                                      then my burden goes to, say, 33%
                                      (where it was in the 1970s) and the
                                      landlords goes from 10% to 20%. Who
                                      will be more hurt by that? BofA or me?
                                      Now, if you want to eliminate Prop
                                      13 for commercial buildings (as some
                                      propose) that is something else
                                      entirely.
                                      \_ "You're talking a lot, but you're
                                         not saying anything."
                                         \_ Prop 13 benefits homeowners
                                            more than businesses. That's
                                            the gist. To say otherwise is
                                            ridiculous and to repeal it
                                            completely would be ludicrous.
           1990-2007: Future homeowners paying 2X property tax-- Why the
                fuck is my property tax bill near 2X my parent's rate?
                \_ The rates are known before you buy your house and directly
                   impact the sales price.  If property taxes were lower the
                   house base price would be higher.  Your monthly wouldn't
                   change.
        \_ Google will find you more info under "Mello-Roos"
        \_ The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 was a reaction
           to 1978 Prop 13's cutting of property tax for existing home
           owners while not cutting back on government spending.
           In layman's explanation, Prop 13 in 1978 cut taxes while gov
           fat remained so money had to come from elsewhere. Thanks to
           rich people like you, your 2% prop tax (w/ Mello-Roos)
           benefits everyone else, including those who are only paying
           1% tax on nice (but older) homes. Thanks rich guy!
           \_ This is not true. Mello-Roos is a special assessment that
              applies mostly to new development, to pay for things like
              sewers, roads and schools in new areas. The beneficiaries
              of the tax pay the tax.
              \_ Yes, it is true that the beneficiaries of the tax pay the
                 tax. In theory, that is absolutely correct.
              \_ To some extent. In the future, the bonds will be paid
                 off and future owners of the same house may not pay
                 the tax despite being beneficiaries of it.
2007/4/23-25 [Uncategorized] UID:46416 Activity:low
4/23   Hrmmm...all of my mail disappeared over the weekend.
        \_ Mail root to fix mail.
           \_ Fix mail to mail root to fix mail.  Recursion ftw.
       \_ That's part of the new politburo's CSUA Modernization Plan.
          They did an analysis on the signal/noise ratio for email over
          time, plotted the curve and found that the signal will soon be
          below zero, so they took the bold step of removing it all now.
          To further support the Modernization Plan, they've forwarded all
          their email to /dev/null.
        \_ This should be self evident by now: stop using soda for mail.
2007/4/23 [Uncategorized] UID:46417 Activity:high 72%like:46425
4/23    Sheryl Crow says you should only use 1 square of TP per sitting
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/21/AR20070\42101385_pf.html
        \_ Remind me never to shake her hand.
           \_ you'll never be allowed to get that close, so dont worry about
              it.  just buy her albums and have some bread with it and do
              what you're told and all will be fine.
              \_ Just don't buy one that she autographed. :-)
2007/4/23-24 [Computer/Rants, Recreation/Food] UID:46418 Activity:nil 72%like:46431
4/23    NYTimes, reform the farm bill!
        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/magazine/22wwlnlede.t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
2007/4/23-25 [Reference/Military] UID:46419 Activity:low
4/23    http://www.csua.org/u/ijj (nytimes.com)
        An Accounting of Daily Gun Deaths.
        \_ I'm sure this would have been avoided if banned all guns.
           It worked in the Soviet Union, it works in China, North Korea,
           Cuba, and Vietnam
           \_ interesting that more than half (45 out of 81) are suicides
             \_ There are a heck of a lot of suicides by jumping in South
                 Korea.  All those 25 story apartment buildings...
           \_ It worked in Japan.
              \_ Yes, along with stripping and restructing their entire country
                 and culture from the ground up after nuking them into
                 submission.  Is that what you suggest?
                 \_ Actually, gun control was in place long before WW2.
        \_ why you are not complaining about ban on automatic rifles?
           anti-aircraft gun that can be use to take out escaping vehicles?
           how about cheap cruise missle made by the Chinese?  Why there is
           a ban on these weapons?  I mean, if we want a free society, we
           should have the right to buy anything we can afford, right?
2007/4/23-25 [Uncategorized] UID:46420 Activity:nil
4/23    RIP Boris Yeltsin
        \_ Wow, this doesn't even make the front page of http://www.yahoo.com  It
           only appears in the "World" section.
           \_ Yes, it did. It was a featured story this morning.
2007/4/23-25 [Recreation/Dating, Consumer/TV] UID:46421 Activity:nil
4/23    How many of you have homes that actually somewhat resemble the ones
        on HGTV or Country Living magazine?  My wife's been going nuts
        buying things that look nice but are totally and utterly
        useless. In fact, the home's is now pretty much non-functional.
        In the bathroom, I have to hide my toothpaste, toothbrush, cups,
                         \_ What about your balls?
                            Are you looking for advice or just venting?
        listinerine, etc. In the shower, I have to bring my own basket of
        of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, etc instead of
        leaving them in the shower. The living room-- no remote, no
        bills, nothing, just a plant in the middle of the coffee table,
        for looks. I can hardly do anything or find anything nowadays.
        I ask again, how many of you have homes that actually resemble
        the ones on TV and magazines, AND still feel at home?
        \_ Suggestion:  Take away the TV and the magazines.
        \_ I kind of have the opposite problem, in that I like everything to
           be "put away" while my wife is fine with clutter. But I am not
           as extreme as your wife. -ausman
        \_ Nah, I'm against non-functional living conditions.
        \_ Last night my wife accused me of living like I was still in high
           school.  (Since I don't clean up as much as she'd like.)  I then
           described to her how I lived in high school and early college, and
           she conceeded that I had improved a lot and let it die.  Go, go, low
           standards!
        \_ Nothing like it.  Get balls or a new wife.
2007/4/23-25 [Transportation/Bicycle] UID:46422 Activity:nil
4/23    I bought a $300 Tandem bicycle from Walmart and I regret it because
        it weighs almost 60 pounds and the parts started to rust after 2
        months. I'm now convinced that +$1500.00 tandem bike is the way to
        go and I'm wondering what you guys recommend as a lightweight,
        performance orienced tandem bike? Thanks.
        \_ You're right, cheap tandems are nearly unrideable.  You might be
           able to get a good start with Cannondale, which makes some things
           in that range; they at least have frames that are stiff enough
           for tandem use.  Probably the most respected maker is Santana, but
           that's big money.    -tom
2007/4/23-25 [Uncategorized] UID:46423 Activity:nil
4/23    Thanks to the VT Killer, gun sales are going up.
2007/4/23-25 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/Korea] UID:46424 Activity:kinda low
4/23    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/us/22vatech.html
        One month ago, Cho rented a van, spent an hour practicing at an indoor
        shooting range with his Glock, and recorded many videos in the van
        while parked in the range parking lot.
        http://tinyurl.com/ytau8u (huffingtonpost.com)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome
        Parents say Cho was diagnosed with autism upon arriving in U.S.
        More recent symptoms consistent with Asperger syndrome.
        "a contributing factor - compounded by vicious bullying by his peers -
        which led to multi-diagnosis, sociopathic rage and delusions"
        \_ Man murders 33 people in pre-meditated cold blood.  Didn't know
           any of them.  Diagnosis: sociopath.  I didn't need a degree or
           a study to figure that out.
           \_ Autism and Asperger syndrome.  If you really know what those are,
              I'm satisfied.
           \_ Autism and Asperger syndrome.  Do you really know what these are?
           \_ Autism and Asperger syndrome.  IMO you should really understand
              what these are - then you'll understand what I wrote.  At that
              point it's fine by me if you return to your old conclusion.
              \_ I know exactly what autism and asperger's are.  What does
                 that have to do with anything?  Are you trying to claim that
                 autism/asperger's victims are more likely to be sociopathic
                 killers?  If that wasn't your point then you'll have to
                 clarify.
2007/4/23-25 [Science/Space] UID:46425 Activity:moderate 72%like:46417
4/23    Sheryl Crow says you should only use 1 square of TP per sitting
        http://urltea.com/f50 (washingtonpost.com)
        \_ Remind me never to shake her hand.
           \_ you'll never be allowed to get that close, so dont worry about
              it.  just buy her albums and have some bread with it and do
              what you're told and all will be fine.
              \_ Just don't buy one that she autographed. :-)
        \_ In much of the non-Western world it is common to use 0 squares of
           TP per sitting. A hand and some water is all that is necessary. W
           Washing your hands afterwards clears up any hygine issues.
           \_ Yeah, cholera is really no big deal.  I'm sure in place that
              use their hand and some water that washing their hands with
              clean water and anti-bacterial soap is common place.  You're
              joking, right?
              \_ The point is that in Western countries, accesses to clean
                 water and soap is not a problem -- there is no reason to
                 toilet paper at all, recycled or otherwise.
        \_ Well - we can start using a bidet (like in Europe), or get one of
           those smart Japanese toilet that sprays to clean. Did I mention
           it also comes with seat-warmer?
           \_ Absolute luxury: http://www.washlet.com/default.asp
              \_ Oh my.  The demo vids are priceles..
                 \_ That animated guy looks like he had an orgasm with all
                    that anal action.
              \_ How does it keep the nossle clean when it's used by more than
                 one person?
                 \_ It deploys after you've defecated. Also, the nozzle is
                    aimed at an angle so it's not directly under you; the jet
                    of water acts at a distance so there's no contact.
                    \_ Two words: diarrhea, explosive
                       \_ But when the nozzle turns on it will spray that
                          back onto the guy who had the diarrhea. And then
                          wash that off with the rest of his ass dirt.
                          \_ Supposed the guy with diarrhea doesn't use the
                             spraying function after taking a dump.  Then you
                             take a dump and try to use the function ......
        \_ Switch to 100% recycled toilet paper would help as much.  One can
           buy those in Safeway and Trader Joe and probably other stores.  The
           brand I buy actually works better than those premium extra-soft
           brands.
2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/22    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:April:23 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>