We would like to offer the Libertarian view concerning subjects that affect affect us all, such as education, interference with free markets, social mores, individual rights. .
The Libertarian Party of San Francisco gives heartfelt thanks to the participants of our First Annual Symposium on Tax Policy. “Pros and Cons of Proposition 13” was indeed a “first” for us, but we succeeded in presenting a meeting packed with information, energy, and confidence that “We the People” can bring about effective solutions via the ballot box – if we stay informed and participate in the political process.
Our two panelists, Laura Wells and Trish Cypher, were impressive in their wealth of information and their ability to clearly communicate their views. Moderator Starchild did a fantastic job moving the discussion along. Our audience asked numerous questions and made excellent comments.
Here are the key points brought up and discussed,
Laura Wells: We need to keep the good parts of Prop 13, and get rid of the bad parts. Prop 13 keeps property taxes reasonably affordable, so that people do not lose their homes because they are unable to afford the tax. It ensures a local source of revenue; thus avoiding centralization of power in the hands of state and federal governments. However, we need to eliminate the corporation loophole -- corporations can exist in perpetuity, regardless of current management or ownership, thus they can avoid the reassessment brought about by death of a private owner or sale of a private home. Because property taxes are based on assessed value, not market value, new owners unfairly pay much more tax than older ones, even when living in the same neighborhood.
Trish Cypher: California corporations pay a significant amount of property taxes, in spite of their perpetuity advantage. Life is not fair, and it is not the function of governments to impose their view of fairness through legislation. The function of governments is to ensure fairness of political process, not fairness of outcomes. We need to keep legislation such as Proposition 13 in order to force governments to be fiscally responsible. Funding challenges are brought about by unnecessary spending rather than by too little tax revenue.
Additional Information on Our Panelists:
Laura Wells is a Green Party activist and 2014 candidate for California Controller. Her two major proposals are, 1) “Keep only the good of good old Proposition 13,” and 2) Establishment of “State Bank for California,” to “provide good loans to homeowners, small businesses and students."
Trish Cypher is co-author of Governments Working Together: A Citizen’s Guide to Joint Powers Agreement. Her principal focus is calling the public’s attention to rapidly-growing “Regionalism,” which transforms cities and counties governed by elected officials into regions managed by unelected government employees.
So far, few pieces of legislation have had as deep an impact on Californians' everyday life as has Proposition 13, officially named the People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation.
Since its passage in 1978, "Prop 13" has affected home ownership, who runs our schools and how, what projects can be proposed, what services need to be forgone, whether seniors can afford to stay in their homes.
Few pieces of legislation have been as controversial -- Is Prop 13 "fair?" Is Prop 13 really a commercial property protection law? Is Prop 13 the one instrument keeping legislators from treating home owners like ATM machines?
At our Tax Day Symposium, we will have panelists exploring these and other questions on Prop 13. We will have audience participation, since the idea is to hear as many points of view on this subject as possible.
We hope this event will be a safe and friendly venue, where participants can hear one another out. Please join us!
Tax Day Symposium
Pros and Cons of Proposition 13
Sunday, April 13, 2014
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
San Francisco Richmond Branch Library
Community Meeting Room
351 9th Avenue, San Francisco
This event is FREE,
and all are welcomed
At the beginning of the movie Thrive, Foster Gamble notes that species were made to thrive. The thought of little weeds pushing their way out of tiny cracks in our sidewalks comes to mind. Nevertheless, there is misery, and according to Foster and Kimberly Gamble, there are specific reasons for that incongruous misery in a world designed to thrive. Visit their website to find those reasons. Also on their extensive website, you will find a concise list of 10 things you can do, right now, to counter the effects of misery makers. Here is the list. Visit the website at http://www.thrivemovement.com/
Top Ten Actions:
1. Get informed. Speak Up & Connect with Others
If you learn more about what's really going on, you can figure out how to respond more effectively. You can help seed new ideas. Join an electronic network of support.
2. Bank Locally
Centralized banks use customers' deposits to make destructive loans. Find out what projects your current bank is supporting, and if you don't like those projects, pull you money out. Find a community bank or credit union that invests in good local community projects.
3. Buy and Invest Responsibly
Whenever you buy something you are voting with your money. Make environmentally and socially conscious purchases.
4. Join the Movement to Audit and End the Federal Reserve
Join the movement to expose the Federal Reserve's destructive practices and create honest alternatives.
5. Keep the Internet Fair & Open
Help maintain absolute net neutrality.
6. Support Independent Media.
Get your information from diverse sources and contribute to independent media.
7. Support Organic. Non-GMO Farming.
Avoid food produced by large corporations that threaten our health, the environment, and our ability to grow our own food. Buy local.
8. Require Election & Campaign Finance Reform.
Help get big money out of politics.
9. Advocate for Renewable and "Free" Energy.
Reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, support clean alternatives, spread the word about new energy technologies.
10. Take Part in Critical Mass Actions.
Join critical mass rallies that catch the media and Congress' attention to issues you care about.
We Libertarians are firm in our conviction that social engineering and manipulation of free markets will inevitably bring negative consequences. To such injury, insult is added when politicians dispense largess in order to keep their positions while they look everywhere but under the sofa cushions for money to finance the largess.
The current economic upswing the City is experiencing is a result of the incentives San Francisco offered the technology industry in order for companies to move in. However, as the companies moved in, so did their relatively well paid workforce, willing to pay top dollar for a nice place in a beautiful city. Now, old-time residents clamor for protection against the inevitable displacement they are experiencing, and the City feels obliged to come up with subsidized, below-market rate housing at great expense and opportunity cost. It also feels obliged to talk about strengthening rent control and Ellis Act exceptions.
Will the City find a way to pressure the technology industry into subsidizing housing? Will voters vote themselves a big property tax hike to “save” the City’s character? Will the City go broke trying to keep their traditional voter base housed if the answer is “no” to the first two questions? We guess we will all stay tuned, since this subject has become a constant drumbeat, as class warfare, the ultimate injury of social engineering and market manipulation, settles in.
The following was posted on the Libertarian Party of San Francisco Facebook page by La Mesha Irizarry in reference to a photo of Kenneth Wade Harding Jr’s killing:
“La Mesha Irizarry: This Kenneth Wade Harding Jr, killed on 7-16-11 by officer Richard Hastings (who ever since was arrested in Concord for sexual abuse of a 14 yr old boy over a period of two years). Kenneth was left to choke on his own blood until he stopped moving, while the cops held a horrified crowd at gun point all around the scene. I hosted the first press conference about this killing 2 days later at that very corner, 3rd and Revere in SF Bayview. I manage Justice 4 Kenneth Wade Harding Jr. Facebook group since that day. Denika Chatman, Kenny's mother, does a community feed + coats and shoes for the Poor at that corner every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11 am.”
La Mesha Irizarry’s work to bring police accountability not only to disadvantaged neighborhoods, but to all of San Francisco and beyond is well known to the Libertarian Party of San Francisco. She is no stranger to tragedy. Her son Idriss Stelley was shot and killed by police in 2001.
Our City leaders say San Francisco is experiencing unparalleled economic growth; while we at LPSF worry about the ineffective governmental micromanagement that is fuelling this growth and keeping a lot of folks relegated to government assistance. We urge citizen involvement in demanding top-rated schools in all neighborhoods, encouraging small businesses in all neighborhoods, voluntarism, and of course accountability – by police and everyone.
Let us all work towards a prosperous 2014 for everyone. Best wishes for the New Year to all from the Libertarian Pary of San Francisco.