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September 14, 2006



A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species

So I guess he was opposed to prop 13 which oppresses new homeowners and rewards people who have owned property for a long period of time.



You're a smart guy, which is why I'm surprised you buy into that fallacy.

Prop. 13 protects new homeowners, as well, because it freezes their property tax at 1% of the assess value of their home they purchased it, and limits the growth of their property tax to no more than 2% per year.

That's called "protection."


Don’t get me wrong. I’m an ardent supporter of Prop 13 for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it makes older communities much more stable because it rewards people for staying in place. But I also think that it fails broad tests of fairness when two people living in identical houses can pay radically different amounts for exactly the same services. My neighbors down the street who inherited their house pay one tenth the property tax of their neighbors who have the same number of kids in school, the same demand for police and fire services, the same usage of streets, et cetera.

Getting back to the Prop 90 debate, I consider this a measure that really is designed to provide full employment for slimeball attorneys for perpetuity at the expense of everyone else. It allows anyone to sue government for a “damage” to the value of their property based on any regulatory action. If your local planning commission puts stipulations on a development to minimize impacts on neighboring homes, the developer can sue. If it lets him build to the maximum intensity that might be incorporated in setback standards, the neighbors can sue for the damage to their property because the environmental impacts weren’t considered. In Oregon, a similar measure has spawned billions of dollars in spurious claims. In a highly complex and increasingly densely packed society, we have locally elected officials who work to balance competing property rights and responsibilities in open forums that allow give and take. Prop 90 would take that process and turn it over to voracious lawyers. Instead of chasing ambulances, the scum of the earth could just attend every planning meeting and pass out cards to everyone. Quite frankly, I have more faith in local representative government to balance competing property rights than I do in attorneys and courts.

Prop 90 also goes from a commonly understood standard of “fair market value” to another standard that would drive up the costs of constructing badly needed roads and public works when eminent domain is clearly justified.

If we want an initiative that blocks the use of eminent domain for economic development by redevelopment agencies, we should pass one. I’d support that in a heartbeat. But Prop 90 doesn’t pass the smell test, and it could have vast costs that are being hidden under the smokescreen of property rights.

Keith Carlson

"a similar measure has spawned billions of dollars in spurious claims"

--If they were spurious claims they wouldn't result in billions, because they're spurious. Spurious claims get you nothing. Legitimate claims can get you billions though.

"balance competing property rights"

--There's no competing rights. You have a rigth to do what's legal on your property, I on mine. You don't have a right on my property, nor I on yours. There may be "competing interests" in the use, but not rights. If you have an interest in the use of my property, buy it.

"voracious lawyers"

--Ummm, I'm getting hungry.

(And, by the way, eminent domain already involves scumbag lawyers and courts, the only new question is should government have to pay if they take your property (by regulation.))

"drive up the costs ... when eminent domain is clearly justified"

--If you can drive them up that much, it sounds like some property owner was going to suffer a loss, why not make the entire city, and not just one guy who bought the wrong parcel, pay?

"I have more faith in local representative government...than I do in attorneys and courts."

--You and Locke and Jefferson and Madison and Augustine: "In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery? ~St. Augustine"

"it could have vast costs that are being hidden under the smokescreen of property rights."

--What's the smokescreen? I have property, my liberty to use it is limited, the goverment compensates for the limitation.

larry gilbert

Good morning critic.

Perhaps your attitude would be different if you were with me in Arlington, Va two months ago and met over 100 eminent domain "victims" from Riviera Beach FL, New London CT, Lakewood Ohio, Arlington TX, Lorain Ohio, Haverford PA, Long Branch NJ and many other cities across this nation.
You saw their faces on FOX News, NBC and in Parade Magazine. What you don't see is the "human toll" that they have endured fighting to save their homes, business and family farms that have been in their families for decades from a government agency "taking."
Until you walk in their shoes you will never understand their plight. Prop 90 must be passed by our voters. Senator Dick Ackerman recently stated that "Proposition 90 also offers voters a chance to send a clear message to government: enough is enough; eminent domain should only be used judiciously and only in cases where a government agency acquires the property for a true public purpose such as schools, roads and infrastructure projects."
On that we agree.

In World War I and II Uncle Sam had poster ads with him pointing his finger at us which read; "I want you for the US Army....enlist now." Millions of American men and women accepted that plea and honorably served our country fighting for freedom on behalf of people they never knew. Many made the ultimate sacrifice and did not return.
Fast forward fifty years after World War II. That same "Uncle Sam" is now saying "I want to take your home, business or farm" to some of these same veterans or their survivors. Is that the "Thank You" we are to expect for our service? To take away our freedom and property rights in hopes of generating more revenue?

I urge a Yes vote on Prop 90
Larry Gilbert, OC Co-Director CURE

Congratulations for Newport Beach! At the Cox Cable forum yesterday, the incumbent members of the Newport Beach City Council and the "Chosen One (Michael Henn)" to replace Tod Ridgeway joined the California Democratic Party, United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator Barbara Boxer, and State Treasurer Phil Angelides in saying No on 90!

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