by Goldy, 04/30/2008, 6:31 PM

KVI host Kirby Wilbur introduced his new property tax initiative yesterday, and man would it save homeowners a lot of money. In fact, when I apply the math to my own house, it looks like my property tax bill would be reduced by a stunning 99.4 percent!

Initiative 1030, Section I(1) reads as follows:

The assessed value of property for all privately owned real property must not exceed the property tax on the same property for the tax year ending December 31, 2008, reduced by thirty percent.

For 2008 I received a property tax bill from King County for a total of $3,953.21 on an assessed taxable value of $433,000… a rate of about 0.91298 percent. So, according to the text of Kirby’s initiative, the new “assessed value” of my property would equal “the property tax on the same property for the tax year ending December 31, 2008″ (that’s $3,953.21), reduced by a further thirty percent. Multiply my new “assessed value” of $2767.25 by my 0.91298 percent levy rate and my tax bill for 2009 would be a somewhat more manageable $25.26.

Talk about putting money back in my pocket. How could I not vote for that?

Perhaps that wasn’t exactly what Kirby intended, but then, perhaps he should have consulted a lawyer before writing, you know… a law.

90 Responses to “BREAKING: Kirby Wilbur wants to reduce your property taxes by 99.4 percent!”

1. Marvin Stamn spews:

What hardworking american doesn’t want tax cuts?

2. "Hannah" spews:

AH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA can he say “OOOOOPPPPPPSSSSS”?

Although I definately would vote for a 30% reduction!!!! On both the assessed value (which is overinflated anyways) and my property tax!

3. Lily spews:

Hey, that would be a great deal if you didn’t want functioning police and fire departments, or court systems or anything.

Lawyers are human. They can be as big a doofus as anyone else. That initiative, as written, is a doozy!

4. Politically Incorrect spews:

I pay about $3,500 each year for property taxes here in Pierce County. I really don’t get much for my money, since I don’t have (nor have ever had) any kids in the Pierce County school system (or any other school system).

I’m thinking the county should provide us folks without kids some sort of additional services, like coming over on a Sunday and changing the oil in our cars or washing and waxing the vehicles.

I think three oil changes per year (with the county supplying the oil) and a wash and wax once a month ought to do it. I wouldn’t feel so bad about the $3,500 then.

5. JohnnyG spews:

Kirby’s not the brightest bulb on the marquee….

6. exelizabeth spews:

Oh I know, educating other people’s kids could not *possibly* have any positive effect on the society you live in, amirite?

7. Politically Incorrect spews:

exelizabeth,

With the kids coming out of the school system as fucking stupid as they are, I’d say we’re both getting shortchanged on the “education” they’re getting.

So, what are you? Some fucking bitch-cunt teacher? Proud WEA member?

Go fuck yourself, you arrogant goddam cunt!

8. Lee spews:

@4
Dude, you’re smarter than that (I hope). No one likes paying taxes, but the size of government is a function of what people expect from it. When people expect government to do things it cannot do (like trying to stop people from doing drugs or maintain occupations over foreign nations that don’t want us there), taxes become too high. When people understand the limits of what government can do, taxes are rightfully seen as an investment that is returned to them in some equivalent value.

You and I largely agree on the drug laws and probably to a great deal on our overseas military adventures. That’s good. But by taking such a simplistic view of taxation, you alienate a lot of potential allies in trying to make sure you get to keep more of what you make. Not all of our taxpayer money is spent on wasteful and stupid things. Don’t trivialize that fact.

9. Lee spews:

@7
Grow up. It’s really sad to see someone who has the potential to be smart about these topics choose not to be.

10. Politically Incorrect spews:

Well, Lee, I am politcally incorrect. I see government as part of the problem rather than the solution.

There are a lot of angry guys like me out there. They just keep it to themselves, so you never hear from them.

11. Lee spews:

@10
Well, Lee, I am politcally incorrect. I see government as part of the problem rather than the solution.

Government can be either. And being politically incorrect can either be crass or be witty.

There are a lot of angry guys like me out there. They just keep it to themselves, so you never hear from them.

Bullshit, I hear from people like you all the time. The world isn’t as simplistic as you wish it to be.

12. Plaidstacker spews:

Must concur with exelizabeth about educating those hoodlums…but am a bit miffed that I was half out of my chair thinking I had to look up the Amirites to see exactly what clever burn she was laying on p. incorrect.
It is my opinion that linking tax revenue ( and tax burden) to assessed values, and therefore to speculative run-ups in “value” like the one we have recently experienced is a terrible idea. Everyone is on a “fixed” income in some sense, and once the state gets a bite of that supposedly larger pie… it’s just like increasing a junkie’s dosage, damn hard to back it down to the previous level. As to the return on your tax “investment”, think of it as insurance. Just because you haven’t needed a fire truck or cop (or assessor!) lately doesn’t mean you won’t. TANSTAAFL.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

So if you hold another fundraiser next year, and I send you $25.26, that’ll pay your property taxes? Yeah, I can scrape $25.26 out of the $4,000 savings on my property taxes.

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@1 Funny how voters keep electing politicians who don’t cut taxes — and sometimes even raise taxes. Maybe it’s because they want things like schools to send their kids to, prisons to lock criminals up in, police and fire and 911 services, and all the other things our taxes buy.

Without taxes there would be no government; without government there would be no civilization; without civiliations there would be no economy; and idiots like you would still be living in trees and cracking open bones to eat marrow.

15. Two Dogs spews:

Amazing. Kirby was a real estate appraiser before getting into radio. So you’d think he’d understand what those words and numbers mean. So much for private sector competence. Or maybe that’s why he had to seek other work. Whatever, shut down the county governments and see how well these folks do without it. Given the demonstrated incompetence of KW and his ilk, I suspect they’ll still need us government types . Only now we’ll charge private sector prices for our work.

I pay property taxes in two counties — one stayed essentially the same this year and the other went down. Of course the assessed values went up, but the taxes didn’t. That’s our system now, idiots.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 “I definately would vote for a 30% reduction!!!!”

Fine. Would you like to tell us what government services you’re prepared to do without? Are you in favor of releasing 30% of the felons in our state prisons?

17. GS spews:

A 30% cut with Gregoire’s 33% increase would still put them close to the 1% maximum per year the people have demanded they adopt.

As I have seen a $950.00 per year increase on a single property over the last 2 years, we have all seen massive property tax hikes and it is time to see massive property tax cuts.

I will vote for any and all property tax reduction.

How can we afford this:

LAY OFF the 6600 additional employees Gregoire has hired in Washington state government since she took office.

Stop funding th enew free $50,000 college education giveaway

Stop funding medical benefits for illegals

Institute a 401k retirment plan “ONLY” for state workers, which is what the real world gets.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

@3 Please stop insulting us lawyers! Kirby Wilbur isn’t a lawyer — and it shows.

19. Plaidstacker spews:

@8 Whoa, I’ve stumbled onto the anarchy forum.
Lee–the drug “war” and the oil war as currently embodied in Iraq are both definately over-reaches of government power…and both may well be driven by capitalist forces within our ostensibly representative system. Certainly both are ill-advised misallocations of resources, particularly young men from poor-to-midling economic backgrounds.
As for p.i., if it is true that he never attended a public school, picnicked in a public park, drove of a public road, owned a Chrysler (see “bail-out”) or marvelled at the deep space images from Hubble, then he is totally right to feel slighted. May his fence be high and his community gate-watch be ever vigilant. Amen

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

@4 Cripes, you’re shortsighted. Just because you don’t have kids doesn’t mean you don’t benefit from schools. The farmer who raises the food you eat probably went to a public school. You should be grateful that the guy who changes your oil can read a label on a container — so he doesn’t put antifreeze in your crankcase and oil in your radiator. Odds are 99.9% he learned how to read in a public school. Do you believe we’d be anything more than an illiterate third-rate, third-world country if our population wasn’t edcated? Man you are godawfulfucking dense. How about if I come over on Sunday so you can kiss my bunny ass?

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

@7 If you used yourself as an example, I’d say you’re right.

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hey you wingnut whiners, if you want to cut the cost of government and pay less taxes, I know how you can save $2,000,000,500,000.

First, stop blowing $2 trillion on your losing war in Iraq.

Second, stop paying Bush’s salary. He isn’t worth a penny of it.

23. Plaidstacker spews:

@14 I could do with a little less growth in the prison system, but otherwise agree whole-heartedly. Marrow is just icky.
@18 Wait. You can be insulted? Didn’t they remove that organ when you passed the bar?
(Go ahead, tell me I dress funny.)

24. Lee spews:

@17
Get rid of the 6600 new tax collecting helpers Gregoire has hired in Washington state government since she took office.

I’ve never heard of this. Can you post a link for information?

Stop funding $50,000 college educations and medical benefits for illegals

A link here would be helpful as well.

Cut whatever the hell Gregoire spent 33% extra on over her first term, plus about another 20% per department

That budget information isn’t a mystery. There’s no reason for you not to know. The reason that you don’t know is because you’re too lazy to care. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re being screwed and that’s all you need to know.

25. Plaidstacker spews:

@22 I’m less concerned with cutting taxes than with the debt the fed is currently taking on. My grandchildren will be paying for this war when they should be funding my social security. I’d take that 2 trillion savings straight to the bank to buy back US govt bonds currently held by foreigners…okay, I mean China.
Bush can keep his salary. Maybe buy himself a nice spread out in the country…also China.

26. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

Hey, that would be a great deal if you didn’t want functioning police and

A police department run by liberals??….functioning?? You’re better off taking the tax break and buying a gun.

27. michael spews:

@4

I hear ya. I want a bike lane on my street and I’d even share it with the neighborhood kids.

28. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

It’s a lot cheaper to have a non-functioning police, schools and transportation with low property taxes versus a non-functioning police, schools and transportation with high property taxes.

29. Ceri Cat spews:

It’d be nice if the taxes actually funded what they’re supposed to instead of being eaten up at each level before it reaches where it’s supposed to go. It seems like 90% of the funding for any particular project is taken up by the asses who don’t actually do anything productive.

And really it shouldn’t take $100M to do something like tell states and territories that gay legal unions (marriage in simple terms) are to be legal henceforth (example from Australia). It’s hard to see where that much additional infrastructure should be necessary.

30. Lee spews:

@28
It’s a lot cheaper to have a non-functioning police, schools and transportation with low property taxes versus a non-functioning police, schools and transportation with high property taxes.

Just as it’s easier to mischaracterize what we’re talking about than to engage in an intelligent discussion about it.

31. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

Politically Incorrect spews:

I pay about $3,500 each year for property taxes here in Pierce County. I really don’t get much for my money, since I don’t have (nor have ever had) any kids

How do you think the 40% of parent who live in Seattle that have kids that won’t send their kids to those public shit holes feel. hehehee

32. Roger Rabbit spews:

@15 I’m beginning to understand why the entire mortgage industry is melting down.

33. "Hannah" spews:

@14 – 30% of the felons…well I would bet alot of that 30% are in there for drug violations that most here think need to be gone with, people get sent to prison for a sellling drugs for longer terms than someone who rapes a woman or child nowadays…so yeah we could release some felons and save some money.

@24 – Washington State College Bound Scholarships: http://www.hecb.wa.gov/paying/waaidprgm/CollegeBoundScholarship.asp

And adding of new employees:
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20070701&slug=unions01m

“Since Gregoire took office, state government has added more than 8,000 full-time jobs, which has contributed to the union growth. And it was mostly nonunion jobs that were cut the past two years by her much-heralded move to eliminate 1,000 middle managers from state government.”

34. "Hannah" spews:

@29 – Kinda like Washington State Lottery when first started, the income from lottery sales was supposed to go to education and only education…for years every penny made off the lottery goes into the general fund, no longer education.

35. Roger Rabbit spews:

@23 You dress funny.

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

@35 This blog is full of people who worked through their hangups in the 60s and aren’t inhibited by fear of repressive social constraints anymore.

37. "Hannah" spews:

Ok Roger, now THAT was hilarious!!!!

38. Roger Rabbit spews:

@28 I can see why you’d be against funding for animal control.

39. Roger Rabbit spews:

@29 “It seems like 90% of the funding for any particular project is taken up by the asses who don’t actually do anything productive.”

Are you referring to the private insurance companies who take 25% of our health care dollars without providing anything of value in return?

40. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

35 This blog is full of people who worked through their hangups in the 60s and aren’t inhibited by fear of repressive social constraints anymore.
04/30/2008 at 8:19 pm

That is because it’s full of free loading democrats who don’t pay taxes. roof roof

41. Roger Rabbit spews:

I see in the news that Lurita Doan has been forced out of office as head of the General Services Administration.

Doan, in addition to steering federal contracts to personal friends and her party’s political allies, violated the Hatch Act by using her federal office to promote Republican candidates.

Making her resign is all well and good; but the Hatch Act is a criminal statute, so why isn’t the Bush administration prosecuting her?

42. Roger Rabbit spews:

Lurita Doan is another example of a wealthy business owner who has none of the knowledge, skills, or abilities required to run a public agency.

In fact, appointing business people as agency heads is usually a bad idea, because they invariably want to run government like a government.

Government has to be run in a manner that complies with the laws and is responsive to the citizens. Government employees’ foremost duty is to comply with, implement, and enforce the laws, not obey the boss.

43. Josef With Advice for Darcy spews:

Word to the wise: Kirby Wilbur homeschools his kids and has had it with the educational industrial complex for years. Probably explains why he’s going this frickin far… too far for me, frankly.

Marsha Louise Richards Michaelis for Superintendent of Public Instruction would be a far better solution.

44. michael spews:

@41

The choice to just ride-out the last two years of King George’s reign was made back in ’96. Don’t look for any of King George’s favorite folks to be doing perp walks.

It looks to me like the republic has dodged the fascist bullet and will continue on, but we’ve got one hell of a lot of work to do.

45. Johnny Pneumonic spews:

Thanks for showing us why ‘progressives’ have no place in school and why we had to drop the math requiremnts of the WASL.

Why would you multiply .91 of your house value by .91?

Because you :

A)Can Not Read
B)Can Not Add
C)Both A and B
D)Are a weasly voiced waste of air who knows that the cult he runs via ha.org will undoubtedly follow his willy nilly logic.

46. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

Are you referring to the private insurance companies who take 25% of our health care dollars without providing anything of value in return?
04/30/2008 at 8:25 pm

That is nothing. Social security is taking up 100% of a 20 year olds SS tax and they will never receive anything.

47. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

he choice to just ride-out the last two years of King George’s reign was made back in ‘96.

Actually we were riding out the last four years of Bubba’s administration while terrorists were training how to take off in 757s but skipped the landing part.

48. Lee spews:

@45
Um, I think you need to read the post again. The reason he calculated it that way is because the initiative is written that way.

And it’s not .91 of his house value times .91, it’s .91 of his house value times .7, times .91, which is – again – how the initiative was written.

49. GS spews:

From somebody who has watched his property taxes increase $942 just between 2006 and 2008, I and most Island County residents are damn ready for a 30% decrease.

2008 – $5097
2007 – $4720
2006 – $4156

50. michael spews:

@8, 20

You mean he wasn’t joking? I thought he was joking.

51. michael spews:

@47

Yeah, Bubba’s FBI was tracking them and turned all the info over to you boy, who just so happens to be a friend of the Bin Laden family. When Bin Laden’s boys were ready to actually commit a crime your boy, Bin Laden Bush, dropped the ball.

52. slingshot spews:

“exelizabeth,
@7
“With the kids coming out of the school system as fucking stupid as they are, I’d say we’re both getting shortchanged on the “education” they’re getting.

So, what are you? Some fucking bitch-cunt teacher? Proud WEA member?”

Go fuck yourself, you arrogant goddam cunt!”

Man, if you ever said something like that to a woman I was with, I’d stomp your pathetic empty skull in. What a piece of garbage.

53. slingshot spews:

@49
How much did your property gain in market value over the same period? If you don’t want to pay to live here, move to Arkansas or Texas.
Don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out. Adios, amigo.

54. GS spews:

Market Value don’t mean Shit if you are not selling! I don’t expect my government to drive me out because of their massive over taxation either.

So I’ll stay and vote to cut these damn excessive taxes.

55. ArtFart spews:

Gee whiz, it sucks to be a taxpayer in King County! I pay thousands in property taxes here, but only $60 a year in Jefferson County. What are they doing different there? There are a lot of Republicans there. Yeah, that must be it!

Oh, wait a minute….the property I own there is worth only about $5,000. Uh, never mind.

56. notaboomer spews:

mayday! mayday! merka down. mayday!

57. ArtFart spews:

Hey folks, look at it this way. We’re lucky all these people got hoodwinked into speculating on their houses.

If they’d done the same thing with pants, there’d be a hell of a lot of folks running around with their naughty bits hanging out.

58. ArtFart spews:

31 I’m sure Jane’s mutt is more interested in licking his crotch than he is in getting called on his presumptive statement, but we live in Seattle, we put our kids through Catholic school, and have never had a problem with helping pay the freight for public education.

59. Puddybud spews:

Interesting

60. Bax spews:

From somebody who has watched his property taxes increase $942 just between 2006 and 2008, I and most Island County residents are damn ready for a 30% decrease.

2008 – $5097
2007 – $4720
2006 – $4156

Hmmm. Let’s see here. Between ’06 and ’08, voters in Island County have approved a whole slew of property tax levies. Typically 30-40% of the average property tax bill is voter approved levies. If you want lower taxes, look in the mirror, because you and your neighbors are voting over and over again for higher property taxes.

Why can’t you take responsibility for the consequences of your own choices?

61. Two Dogs spews:

To follow up on the above — up here in low-tax, conservative Skagit County, my annual property tax bill is slightly higher than Goldy’s is in King Co for about the same assessed value. Why? Maybe one reason is the local government here provides less basic services and more voter-approved levies are necessary to make up for some of that. All in all, though, we get much less for our tax dollar up here. And that’s the way we are all headed, and worse, if Eyman/Wilbur get their way. Idiots!

62. Troll spews:

Good article over at the Seattle Times ….

“Lawmakers bristle at green-car rule.”

“Under a new amendment, lawmakers will have to give up gas-hungry SUVs and luxury sedans for leased vehicles that are more eco-correct.”

63. Puddybud spews:

Troll@62: You mean FUWA lawmakers would have to live and work like us?

64. ByeByeGOP spews:

This could work if we’d stop spending money so the government could be the morality police. Stop putting people in jail because of what they smoke, who they fuck, etc, and we might be able to afford this.

65. Troll spews:

Here are some of their excuses:

Of one congressman’s Expedition, he says “It’s not a Cadillac. It’s not a Lincoln. It’s a Ford.”

Another says, “A Prius isn’t made in the United States.”

A Texas congressman said “I guarantee you my district is not upset that I’m driving a Chevy Tahoe.”

And yet another complains that while she may drive a gas guzzler, it has GPS tracking, so that if she ever “got stuck in a snowbank, people could find me.”

Here’s the article

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004384686_congcar01.html

66. rhp6033 spews:

Late to these commments: We need to fully fund education, so we don’t end up with more morons like “politically incorrect” at #7. Obviously, he’s tired of being alone at the bottom of the intelligence pool, and wants us to stop educating our children so he can have more company there.

Sounds to me like he’s still upset about his poor academic showing in grade school, perhaps it contributes to his anger issues about women and teachers in general.

67. Ceri Cat spews:

@Roge I wouldn’t know about that, I still live in a country with public healthcare that works (for now). I find the discussions here interesting as an Australian because sadly we’re as screwed over here these days.

@65 Better use of the GPS is feeding telemetry to a cruise missile while she and her family are at home. It’s a fuel guzzler too, but I’d feel better with less stupidity in the gene pool. You can stick a GPS tracking system in my old Peugeot 505 SRDT, she’s old and clunky but it’s still a good reasonably efficient Diesel engine until I can afford a newer more economical vehicle.

PI isn’t that bad rhp, and he’s entitled to his opinion, which when he feels like being so, he can put forth quite eloquently.

68. Tlazolteotl spews:

@10: Politically incorrect is one thing, but nasty, sexist ad homenim attacks are another. Your momma ought to hear you. I don’t know what exelizabeth said specifically to set you off, but your response was totally disproportionate, inappropriate, and uncalled for. And, what rhp said at 66.

69. rhp6033 spews:

Okay, ignoring the rather humerous gaffe which Kirby Wilber made in drafting the initiative (note to Wilber: always have somebody proofread your work before filing the initiative), let’s take a broader look at what he intended to do.

First of all, I suspect his primary intention was to promote himself and enchance his minor celebrity status. Perhaps he was jealous of Eyman’s status as “tax slayer” in the neo-con trogladyte community? Maybe his ratings were slipping, and he just needed something to help rally his base? Maybe he just needed a “humerous” political campaign as material for his program, similar to the perpetual Pat Paulson campaigns for President (1968, 72, and others?), or the current Goldwater/Miller campaign (promoting Stephanie Miller’s morning radio show)?

Or is he really trying to enact a California-style Proposition 13 Initiative? If so, let’s take a look at some of the unintended consequences of that initiative, ASIDE from the obvious reduction in public services and the perpetual “budget crisis” which California finds itself in each budget cycle.

In essence, Prop. 13 freezes appraised value for tax purposes. This was initially hailed as a way of protecting senior citizens from losing their homes when they could no longer pay the rising property taxes. But one of the consequences of Prop. 13 is that it took a large amount of property OFF THE MARKET.

My father-in-law has owned a house in one of the Los Angeles suburbs since the mid 1960′s. He’s improved it considerably over the years. But his property taxes have been based upon the assessed value in 1978, I believe. Obviously, his property tax bill is very low.

Now, all his kids have long left home. The four-bedroom house is pretty empty, except for holidays. He is approaching 80 years old, but still works as a contractor/landscaper, on a reduced schedule. It would make sense for him to sell his house, cash in on the considerable appreciation to help fund his retirement, and “down-size” to a much smaller home or condo.

But to do so would mean he would lose the property tax advantage he has from his “frozen” appraisal at 1978 rates. Even if he sells and buys a new home at half of the value of his existing home, the new property tax would be a very significant additional expense, essentially wiping out his equity nest-egg within a decade.

There are lots of others like him – Prop. 13 acts like “golden handcuffs” tying them to their property. With those properties off the market, younger home buyers are hit with the bill twice: in increased prices due to an artificial shortage in available properties, and also in a higher property-tax rate which is necessary to offset the fact that existing homeowners are being subsidized by Prop. 13.

So, is this the type of result which Kirby thinks is a good idea? Tax policy has lots of unintended consequences, especially when dealing with real estate, so you need to be EXTREMELY CAREFULL about changing the system.

70. "Hannah" spews:

@52 and 68….wow glad someone here called someone out for calling a woman the “C” word!!! But you should also attack the ones on your “side” who do this on a recurring basis…ByeByeGOP finds the “C” word to be his favorite word in the dictionary.

71. rhp6033 spews:

Of course, we can’t ignore the possibility that Kirby, like Eyeman before him, intentionally put clinkers in their initiatives to make sure they don’t actually become law.

Certainly Eyeman’s repeated failures to properly draft an initiative to comply with the legal requirements, after all these years of experience, must lead one to wonder if it isn’t something beyond simple negligence.

Which leads me to wonder: do Eyeman and Kirby actually plan for their initiatives to fail, either at the ballot box or in court afterwards? If they win, what would they do to keep in the public spotlight? How could they maintain their “celebrity status”?

We know that the Republican Party has long maintained their hold on the Evangelicals with the issues of abortion, gay rights, and prayer in public schools. But they have expended exactly NO political capital towards advancing their agenda on those issues, despite holding the Presidency for the past seven+ years, having control of Congress for the fourteen out of the past fifteen years, and with eight of the nine current justices on the Supreme Court appointed by Republicans. Obviously, the Republicans must conclude that the WORST THING which can happen to them is for these issues to be resolved in their favor – because then they would have to campaign based upon their ability to govern, which we know is a proven loser for them.

72. rhp6033 spews:

Speaking of Eyeman:

“Faced with lackluster donations and the indefinite loss of his main financier, citizen initiative sponsor Tim Eyman is for the first time putting his money where his mouth is.

After more than a decade of working on socially conservative and anti-tax initiatives — and turning the campaigns into personally profitable ventures — Eyman has been forced to mortgage his home for $250,000 to keep his latest effort going….”

73. Mr. Cynical spews:

GBS–
Speaking of taxes, just a little update for you. Despite my intense dislike for Short-term Capital Gains, I just sold most of my stocks held outside my Retirement Account. My belief is the next crisis is going to be the Credit Card crisis….every bit as bad as this Mortgage debacle.
Since folks are having a tougher time refinancing or taking out Home Equity Loans to get cash…they are running up credit card debt due to a lack of SELF-CONTROL. Also, concerned about the jobs report tomorrow. The market is waaaaaaaay up today 189 points right now…good time to sell???

Anyway, I reported these buys to you previously as follows along with the sell prices:

Wells Fargo I bought in March @ 27.25 (SOLD today @ 31.65…that’s 16.2%)
McDonalds on 3/24 @ $54.10 (SOLD today @ 60.70….that’s 12.2%—You said it was a foolish trade–CHUMP!)
National Oilwell Varco (NOV) on 3/28 @ $56.10 (SOLD Tueswday @ 72.85…that’s 30%—thank you Rog Rabbit!!)
Microsoft on 3/31 @ $28.10 (SOLD today @ 29.05—not much gain here 3.4% IN A MONTH!)

You see GBS, there are occassionally wonderful buying & selling opportunities. Never been much of a trader because of the S-T Capital Gain PENALTY! If you spent more time working, making capital investments and less time spewing…you would be a Republican!!

Remember GBS this Rasmussen Poll–
Friday, April 25, 2008
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 65% of Likely Voters oppose an increase in the Capital Gains tax. Just 16% favor an increase, while a fifth of voters are not sure (see Scott Rasmussen’s video report).

Eighty-five percent of Republicans oppose an increase in the capital gains tax along with 50% of Democrats and 62% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Of course Conservatives like Kirby Wilbur want hard-working capitalists to keep more of their own money! ….as opposed to supporting government BlackHole Programs.
Duh!

74. YLB spews:

Hey yeah! This Wilbur bullshit is yet another Proposition 13 only even MORE poorly written.

Unfortunately, politicians of all parties only inspire junk like this by their cowardice.

If we had an income tax, we’d have much lower sales taxes, a lower tax burden on small/medium business AND lower property taxes.

75. YLB spews:

Not to mention a much lowered sense of crisis each biennium.

76. ByeByeGOP spews:

Cynical I didn’t know sex-offender unit residents could buy and sell securities. How do you do it?

77. ByeByeGOP spews:

Hannah you just can’t get enough of me can you. You lied when you said you were a Dem and we have proof you lied when you said you’d ignore me here since all you can do is talk about me. I bet you masterbate thinking about me fucking your fat ugly wife in the ass don’t you? Oh yeah – you’re a cunt.

78. Mr. Cynical spews:

ByeByeGOP–
Hey thanks for your help in making certain Goldy never gets another decent, permanent Radio Gig.
Your foul-mouthed comments reflect mainly on you…but don’t help Goldy.

Have you ever sought professional help….or considered a lobotomy??

79. Mr. Cynical spews:

Perhaps Goldy can start another Fund-raiser:
Lobotomy for ByeBye
A Lo-ByeBye-otomy!

80. "Hannah" spews:

A reader of the PI sent a letter…which makes such perfect sense, I had to copy and paste it hear…any ideas on this? Example, my home was assessed at $542k (I paid $540K in January 2007) the other homes exactly like mine can’t sell (for 8 months) when asking $450k…so yes they have way over assessed my house as there is no way in hell I could get $542k if I were to sell it today!

“My Wednesday morning P-I has yet another news story about sinking home prices in Seattle. I haven’t counted all such stories, but surely this is not the first. Nor, I suspect, will it be the last.

How, then, or maybe, when might we expect to see stories about county assessors LOWERING assessments? They are always huffin ‘n puffin’ about how “we’re required by law to assess at full market value.” Well, now that the market values are going down, where are the corresponding assessments?

And where are the news stories and/or editorials, if there aren’t any reduced assessments?”

81. rhp6033 spews:

Well, proving that even a stopped clock can be right at least twice a day, I think Cyncial @ 73 may well be right that the massive profits the credit card companies are experiencing right now may well be the boom before the bust.

But although Cynical puts this the fault of an impending consumer credit crisis squarly on the consumer, I would disagree that they deserve all the blame . The credit card companies have been agressivly marketing to poor credit risks for quite some time, using teaser interest rates which jump up to a usurious 25% + at the first opporunity. They argued that the interest rates were justified by the higher risk. But then they pushed for, and recieved, bankruptcy reform which pretty much removed most of their risk on the loans, and they are pretty much guaranteed to receive not only their principle back, but also their interest and fees.

You might argue that it’s the consumer’s own fault, they need to take responsibility for their own actions, etc., etc., etc. Sure, as a general principle, I would agree.

But a lot of the consumers have been hit with some pretty unfair business practices by these same credit card companies. Let me just recount one:

The “Guaranteed Late Payment” (TM). This is a term I have coined to apply to credit cards, usually marketed to college students and similar young people without credit experience, which is pretty much guaranteed to make sure that at least some of their payments are made late. It works like this. The payment is due on the first of the month. The credit terms tell the customer to “allow ten days for processing of payments”. The credit card issues it’s statement on the 15th of the month, the customer receives it somewhere between the 18th to the 20th. Even if the customer writes and mails a check on the same day they receive it, it will be received by the credit card company within that ten-day window. Where it will sit in stacks of mail to be processed on the tenth day, and not before.

Now that the payment is recorded as being late, the account will be assessed a late payment charge, usually between $30 to $50. And if the interest charge + late payment charge puts the card over its credit limit, there is an overlimit fee (also between $30 to $50). I’ve seen a couple of credit card companies that ensure this process proceeds unimpended by charging $10 or $25 for payments made over the phone, and one even would take the payment over the phone, charge the extra fee for the phone payment, and then have the nerve to say “your payment will be credited to your account in five to ten days from today’s date”.

Of course, the first late payment triggers the “default interest rate”, often 27%.

One young lady I was counselling at my church had actually purchased less than $300 on her card, but had spent the next three years trying without success to pay off the accumulating interest & charges on the card, now totalling over $2,500. That’s not even counting the $1,500 or so she had made as payments. As a student, she simply wasn’t able to just pay off the card and be done with it, and she found that her $200 per month monthly payments hardly made a dent in the balance.

Of course, the “default” also allows the credit card company to reduce the credit limit once the card reaches a substantial balance. Suddenly a student with a $2,000 balance might find that their credit limit has become $500 overnight, meaning that they will also get a $50 “overlimit fee” every month until it is paid off.

So I’m not going to shed many tears for the credit card companies.

82. rhp6033 spews:

Remember also that the whole reason we have to be concerned about identity theft is that it is more profitable for the credit card company to encourage people to apply for credit, site unseen, or upon a whim or in response to advertising, than it is for them to carefully determine identity.

Sure, they have to write off some bad charges. But most of the cost of this business practice has been effectively passed on to the consumer. They have convinced most of us that if our identity is stolen, then it is our own fault, we didn’t purchase additional insurance against the theft, shred our garbage sufficiently, or protect against computer virus, etc. The victim bears the burden of proving the fraud to the credit card companies, law enforcement authorities, etc., sometimes over and over again.

Imagine a world where you could safely advertise your social security number, knowing that a thief couldn’t use it against you! It’s certainly technologically possible, it just means that the credit card companies wouldn’t be quite as profitable as they are now. Instead, life for you and me is much harder now – even if we never choose to use a credit card ourselves.

83. rhp6033 spews:

Hannah @ 80: Reduced assessments do happen. But remember that unless you have an event which triggers an actual assessment (recent purchase, improvement, etc.), the assessed value usually lags behind the real value by a couple of years.

In my own case, I know that the assessed value is about 20% behind my actual value.

By the time the actual regular assessment is made, the trend is usually upwards, so you don’t see the dips in between.

Besides, nobody complains when the property values are down that their assessment is too low. They only complain when the assessment comes in at the top of the market. So you only hear about the latter ones, not the former ones.

84. GBS spews:

Mr. Cynical @ 73:

It’s always better to sell on the way up than the way down, that’s for sure.

I agree with you that the credit market is about to melt down and I believe we haven’t seen the rest of the write-off’s in the housing market either.

Good call on the MCD play. I tend not to argue with CEO’s who dump large portions of their stock. I still wouln’t be holding this stock regrdless that it’s up several points today.

I will make one recommendation to you in the financial secotor HCBK (Hudson City Bancorp). This is one banking institution that has a write down of only 0.01%!!! When 99.99% of your mortgages are good paying customers you know the bank has done it’s homework.

I bought 200 shares two days ago @$19.26. I’m looking for a 10% gain and then selling 100 shares to protect my proft and writng one covered call contract on the remaining 100 shares to lower by cost basis and put a little option premium in my account. Probably 30-45 days out and no longer. I want to keep the shares if possible.

I’m a little leary of the financial sector XLF (Exchange Traded Fund for financials) but since it broke the 10, 21 & 50 day EMA last week and is rising off a triple bottom and the MACD heading up with a good divergence I’m comfortable with a small play in the financial sector.

For some reason big money is rotating into the XLF but I’m not certain as to why.

85. Mr. Cynical spews:

GBS–
Right now, I’m letting my money rot away in a couple different Muni-Funds @ 3% or so Tax-Free.
My wife & I also opened a number of promotional CD’s with banks that were offering 1-1/2—2 year CD’s at 5.2% Rates about a year ago. They were the kind you can add $$ at any time up to $100,000 PER CD.
The 1st 6 nature in November.
The problem with doing that is we are kind of hostage to what is happening when they mature.
We might miss some opportunities.
On the other hand, the opportunities I miss might be opportunities to LOSE!!
I never tied up money in long-term CD’s before.
6-9 month promotional CD’s max.
Kind of strange.
I did buy a couple 30-year Trearury Bills back in the Carter Glory Days and held them for a number of years. That worked out. But those are easy to sell at any time.

Regarding the Financial Sector–
Hard to figure.
It may be awhile before the crap hits the fan.
I’m uncomfortable doing it because I would consider it a short-term play….and you know I hate paying taxes on ST Capital Gains!!
Even though I’m going to get clobbered in 2008 for my short-term plays.

86. Mr. Cynical spews:

Regarding the Credit Cards–
We have never, ever paid 1 red cent in Interest on a Credit Card.
I had Finance Charges show up on 2 statements over the years because they said I made my payment 1 day late. That was Bullshit. I called & said remove it or I cancel my card.
Both times they removed it.

Despite wonderful upbringing by Conservative Parents, one of our 4 kids fell into the Credit Card trap. We always made them save and I think he just rebeled. Our other kids have credit cards and only use them for emergency purposes like major Car Repairs.

I agree that some of the Credit Card marketing practices are predatory. The ads are from real sharks. HOWEVER, you have to be a real moron in this day & age to not understand when you buy something on credit, you must pay it back. And you need to look at the Credit Card interest rate. Young people today are very impulsive. Excessive consumerism is pounded on them..I agree. BUT ultimately they make the purchasing decisions…and many of the troubles are from folks make bad DISCRETIONARY purchases of things they WANT, not NEED.
Know what I mean?

87. GBS spews:

Mr. Cynical:

Oh HELL yes I know what you mean. Despite my father warning me about credit cards I was too fucking stupid to heed his warnings and got myself all F’d up in the mid 80′s. It took me until 1998 to get out from almost $40,000 in credit card debt.

It’s bad debt, dumb debt and I must’ve paid $2,500 for a fucking toaster as Sears that was on “sale” for $19.99, if you know what I mean. Today I have 3 credit cards and I never carry any debt on them for more than 20 days. On a very rare occasion I may carry some debt for up to 90 days if an emergency comes up or an unforeseen situation.

But what I learned is that poor people pay about 23% more for everything, compounded.

By poor I don’t mean how much you make, I’ve met people who make 6 figures and were always broke or near broke at the end of the month.

I’ve taught this lesson to my kids. My son is entering his 3rd year of college in the fall, we’ve just figured out today that between what I’ve kicked in, what he’s earned, and grants he’s won, he’ll finish year 3 without borrowing any money yet!!

When he goes to dental school, that’ll be a whole ‘nother deal though. But, I told him he’ll be able to pay those loans off and to think of it more as his first line of credit as a businessman, because that’s what being a dentist is first and foremost – a business owner.

BTW – you wrote “If you spent more time working, making capital investments and less time spewing…you would be a Republican!!

You just sealed my fate, I’m going to be a life long spewer now for sure!! LOL. Maybe not a wildly rich one, but comfortable at the very least.

PS: while your money is sitting in CD’s losing opportunity rates, my money will be working.

As the old saying goes “Bulls make money and Bears make money, but pigs go to slaughter.”

Just because the market is turning is no reason not to short stocks, play puts, or just look for rising stars in a down market. Hell, man, when the market is bad is EASY to find the stocks on the rise.

But then again, I’m a swing trader and you’re a buy and hold trader. Two styles that work for two different reasons.

Here’s to profitable trading.

88. Mr. Cynical spews:

GBS–
Kudo’s to you for working your way out of the credit problem you created…as opposed to going Bankrupt (the easy way out).
Too many people lived beyond their means and then had no problem stiffing the Credit Card companies…which in part, results in higher rates for everyone else.
Someone has to pay for the deadbeats.

Kudo’s to your son for not incurring undergrad debt. 2 of our kids have some debt. 1 decided to take some time off & get his degree over 8 friggin’ years. We made him pay 100% beyond 4-1/2 years. Now he wishes he had been more focused. Another went to flight school…his choice and costly. The others have no debt. Period.

You never know why kids in the same family turn out so different…other than God gave all of us the free will to make many choices…including bad ones.

GBS, I am of the age and financial situation where I could use the sure but steady approach with a little luck of getting in and out of the market with pretty good timing a couple of times.
Not all my investment plays have been winners.
But that approach has served me and my family well.
Here’s too profitable INVESTING (not trading!)

89. Blue John spews:

What hardworking american doesn’t want tax cuts?

Then a question for the conservatives, what government program that you currently use, would you like to give up? Want to get rid of the department that ensures when you buy a gallon of gas, that it actually near the volume of a gallon? Want to get rid of the cops or fire department? Want to get rid of public schools or the guys who make sure the bridges don’t collapse? All services cost money. Or are you the kind of conservative that only cuts the programs that YOU don’t use?

90. Mr. Cynical spews:

Blue–
Anything that is not Public Safety/Defense or Infrastructure MUST go.
Public Schools should be managed & funded by local school districts…period.
And many of those should be consolidated first.
The Feds & States should stay out!