The Property Tax is Pure Tyranny arrival of autumn means more than leaves turning color.

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Toward the end of September, California residents will be receiving their 2016-2017 property tax bills.

What they will also be receiving is an example of economic tyranny.

In the Golden State, the property tax on a $1 million home is likely to be several hundred dollars more in the 2016-2017 interval than in the previous interval (2015-2016). Government always wants more money for roads, schools and social programs.

The property tax is really a form of a wealth tax because the property tax is levied on an asset that is still in the owner’s possession. Another example of a wealth tax is a tax on one’s funds in a bank account.

There is no property tax on a person’s furniture, clothing or appliances. Nor is there a property tax on a person’s jewelry, computers or books.

There is no property tax on assets like stocks, bonds or businesses until the asset is sold (assuming the asset has appreciated in value).

And, worse, the tax on a new home in California can be much higher. For example, if someone purchased a home in 1975 for $50,000 and sold it in 2015 for $1 million, the new owner would pay a property tax based on the $1 million price.

During the 40 years (from 1975 to 2015), the home increased in value 20 times. However, the new owner — compared with the old owner — is not receiving 20 times as much in police, fire and school services that the old owner received.

If the owner of a home fails to pay his or her property tax, the home can be confiscated by government authorities or a tax lien can be placed on the property.

The time has come to eliminate the property tax. However, people will ask:  How will the schools, the fire department, the police department and other local services be funded?

The answer is to use an income tax. Using an income tax has the advantage of an owner not being forced to leave his home for lack of a tax payment. A person with no income simply pays no tax — property tax or income tax.

Imagine, the horror an unemployed person will face is he cannot pay his property tax bill. He has a good chance of facing foreclosure and, ultimately, homelessness.

The horror can be extremely acute for an older person living on a fixed income, and perhaps all such income comes from Social Security. Why should such a person face the humiliation of homelessness?

The time to end property-tax tyranny has arrived. California residents must demand that that city and state officials repeal the property tax.

Richard Colman is a the president and found or Biomed Inc, a biotechnology, publishing, and informatics company.  He lives in Orinda, California, a community of 18,000 people 15 miles east of San Francisco.


  1. EXCELLENT IDEA. How about just scrubbing income tax too and have a STATE SALES TAX. That way EVERYONE HELPS SUPPORT the state EQUALLY. No playing one class against the other. AND CRIMINAL Illegals WILL PAY TOO. It will help to support them since we already do.

    • Missiondweller says

      Let’s see,
      income tax? check!
      property tax? check!
      sales tax? check!

      Maybe the real problem is that they’re running out of things to tax?

      Or maybe there would be plenty of money for roads and schools if we weren’t paying so much for social services….for citizens of other countries as well as our own!

  2. Just read the piece on property tax when it said that you don’t pay tax on your computers and such, not true when you own a business all your fixture work benches computer any tool you use is taxed

  3. There is a property tax on business property — like computers. There is no property tax on personal property except land and housing. All kinds of property taxes should be eliminated. When we are talking about business, I suggest eliminating any business income taxes like the corporate income tax (a statutory 33% in most cases).

  4. Good article. It’s long past time to revisit our whole California tax system. California doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has an over-spending problem. Over-promised and under-funded public employee compensation and benefits are bankrupting the state, but the one-party government machine keeps asking for more. The taxpayer well is dry.

  5. this is too much 1 million dollars in a home from 1975 the home wont even be up to par with city codes and regulations this needs to be deducted, and furthermore we don’t get taxed on things we buy so often.

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