State of your Napa County taxes

State of your Napa County taxes

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The Napa Valley Taxpayers Association was organized in 2010. Our directors realize California has some of the highest state and local tax rates in the nation and critically review any new tax proposals. This has resulted in our opposition to most of the recent proposals for new or increased taxes in Napa County. Although we are a small group our efforts have been successful in defeating or avoiding over $1 billion in local tax proposals.

We have not opposed all local tax increases. Most notably we collaborated and worked with county supervisors and the Napa County Transportation Authority in the development of the Measure T sales tax which is providing significant funding for road repairs throughout the county. We also chose not to oppose a recent school bond and a sales tax hike in St. Helena.

Napa County property tax bills include a variety of parcel taxes and bonds. When bonds are on the ballot many voters do not know that the property taxes collected to fund a bond measure typically will cost them more than twice the dollar amount of the bond. Check your current property tax bill and you will see that in addition to the assessed property taxes it includes four bond measures plus a parcel tax.

In total these tax burdens are so high they become a major factor that make it very difficult for our adult children and many other local working people to live in the Napa Valley.

You may logically ask, "What about Proposition 13 which limits a lot of direct property tax increases in California?" Proposition 13 has built-in increases every year, and whenever a property sells, it is taxed at its new value. The reality is that property tax revenue in California has gone up 1000% since Prop 13 passed,

The upcoming attack on Proposition 13, by the split-roll initiative, should concern all residents in California. This bill aims to take away Prop. 13’s defense of commercial real estate tax rates. If successful in implementing a split roll,we can expect an effort to eliminate Proposition 13’s protection for residential taxes next.

Another confusing Proposition 13 will be on our March ballots. Unlike the original Prop. 13 this measure puts all taxpayers at risk for higher taxes in two ways. First it would allow school districts to double our allowed debt.

Also the Department of General Services would prioritize the use of project labor agreements meaning only higher-cost unionized workers would be allowed to work. Recently our county supervisors refused to limit bids to PLA contractors for the construction of the new jail as a means of reducing the projected costs.

We also urge you to again vote No (for the fourth time) on a massive increase in funding for the Napa Parks and Open Opace District as proposed in Measure K.

Jack Gray, Director

Napa County Taxpayers Association

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