Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Shot at Prop. 13

Prop 13

The L.A. Times once again tackles the discriminatory (toward young home owners) Prop 13 --and in his latest column, discusses how Mayor Villaraigosa wants to take it on.

I'm not sure there's much Villaraigosa can do about it, but it's always worth taking another look at Prop. 13 -- particularly the commercial provision, which has allowed businesses to get away with dirt-cheap property taxes for years (while new business owners suffer).

As a relatively new, young homeowner, I of course will forever seethe about the inequities of who pays what. I know I shouldn't do this, because my blood will boil, but I sometimes check out real estate listings on Zillow of mansions that haven't changed hands in a few decades.

Above, this demonstrates how ridiculously uneven the Prop 13 rules are. This home, at 1937 Orchard Lane in La Canada-Flintridge, was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times. It's a 6,105 square feet house on a full acre property. The ask price? $3.4 million. (Zillow, to be fair, says it's worth $2.9 million).

What did the owners pay on property tax in 2010? $7,500. Because the home was assessed at $473,083. That's right. The County says this home is worth less than, say, a tiny 900 square foot shack in Echo Park. On about 2000 square feet of land. This is ridiculous. And exactly why people hold on to their homes for decades.

I don't know what the answer is, but quite simply, it's unfair to a whole generation of young homeowners.

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