RUSH: All right. Shelly in Port Angeles, Washington. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi there. And thank you to you and Snerdley for putting me on.
CALLER: A couple of weeks ago you spoke of this skills commission on the American worker, and what piqued my interest was it talked about one of the unfairest taxes of all, property taxes, and separating it out from funding education. What I wanted to talk about is there was a property tax crisis across this United States. It’s affecting low income and mainly senior citizens. There’s going to be 70 million of us baby boomers retiring to fixed incomes. What’s going to happen to us when our property taxes can go up from year to year with no predictability at all, no way to budget for the future?
RUSH: Yeah, it is a crisis. It’s happening in a lot of places. In fact, here in Florida where I live —
RUSH: — I saw something in the paper — I wish I could remember where — and I couldn’t believe this, because it doesn’t jive. You know, the theory has been that 800 people are moving to Florida every day.
RUSH: And that in another ten years we’re going to have more electoral votes here than New York has. Yet, I read the other day that last year, for the first time more people left than moved in and the people leaving are indeed the people you’re discussing: the seasoned citizens.
RUSH: And property taxes was one of the reasons, property taxes and the cost of property, period.
RUSH: Those two things together were mentioned as leading factors.
CALLER: Well, Rush, not even the IRS taxes you on unrealized value! If you’re planning to go out from your house feet first like my husband and I are —
CALLER: — we’re never going to enjoy the appreciation on that property, nor do we want to. We want to live there and enjoy our home.
RUSH: Well, yeah, you’re right. We’ve been sounding the warning bells about every form of taxation since I’ve been hosting the program.
RUSH: Frankly, I’ve come across some frustration. I’ve experienced some because the way the taxes are happening now, in terms of income taxes, more and more people are paying less and less, and more and more people are paying more and more.
RUSH: There’s a divide there. Social Security is still, the FICA taxes are big, but for some reason property taxes, cutting taxes, any kind of taxes seems to be a tough sell because the #1 voting bloc is the senior citizens, and they benefit every time there is a tax increase on other people. Now they’re starting to feel it themselves in the form of their property taxes, and there’s a little bit of nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah! How’s it feel?
RUSH: But after I get over that — and of course it’s for education, and I wanted to be like Barbara Boxer, I would say, “Wait a minute. I don’t have any kids! Why are you taxing me to pay for education? I’m not burdening the education system.”
“Mr. Limbaugh, because it’s the future of our country.”
CALLER: Historically, funding education was never part of property taxes. Property taxes were for bringing services.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah.
CALLER: So that’s part of the fairness.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. The best way to illustrate the absurdity of property taxes is Manhattan.
RUSH: In one block of Manhattan, the average residential block of Manhattan with high-rise, condos, apartments, whatever, the number of people that live on one block in New York, the property taxes that they pay should pave the streets in gold!
RUSH: That city is perpetually out of money, and Bloomberg is not going to reduce property taxes, even though there’s a huge surplus. It’s in the news today. He said he’s not going to do it, because he says he knows there will be future needs. He’s handing onto the money.
CALLER: The other thing, too, is many property tax laws…
RUSH: Oops, oops, oops. I misread the clock. We only have two seconds.
RUSH: Hang on. Don’t go away.
RUSH: And it’s Open Line Friday, and we sit here serving humanity simply by being here, ladies and gentlemen. Back now to Shelly in Port Angeles, Washington. I didn’t want to cut you off while you were in the middle of making your point.
CALLER: Well, thank you very much. A couple of things. In our state and I know a lot of other states, they penalize you for pride in ownership. If your neighbor has old cars in the front yard he’s going to pay less taxes than you who had to put a new roof on because it was leaking, not only do you have to pay for your new roof but you’re going to be paying higher taxes.
RUSH: What are you doing living in a neighborhood with vacant cars in the front yard?
CALLER: (Laughing.) Well, we love it, but not necessarily the cars.
RUSH: Do you really have neighbors that way?
CALLER: Oh yeah. There’s rural areas, and not everybody has their pride in ownership on their property.
RUSH: Wait a second. Wait a second. The picture you just created is —
RUSH: — you have a fashionable home and a new roof —
RUSH: — and across the street is Rio Linda.
CALLER: That’s it. That happens.
RUSH: So right across the street from you — not a mile or block down the road or two, right across the street — somebody just because they got a bunch of junk in the front yard pays less property tax?
CALLER: Because their assessment is lower.
RUSH: Because they got junk in the front yard?
CALLER: That’s exactly it.
RUSH: Well, then put some junk in the front yard.
CALLER: Hey, look, we heard that there was an assessor here who left Tyvek on the outside of his house for 17 years solely to have his property assessed lower to pay less property taxes.
RUSH: Well, can you blame ’em?
RUSH: Look, I left New York for a whole host of reasons. I had lived there for eight years. I didn’t have a home anywhere else, and living in Manhattan 24/7, it’s a great place, but I came to Florida, I met some people, I liked the climate, liked the lifestyle, and the capper was when I learned there was no state income tax here.
RUSH: Okay. People told me, “You are greedy, and you are selfish!” Really? I think I’m pretty smart. Why is it okay to shop for deals at Wal-Mart at Christmastime but not okay for shop for deals in taxes?
CALLER: Right. Absolutely, and one other point. Funding of education, one of the things the Democrats now who are in power, our state, want to do is they want to change the approval for a school levy, which is part of your property taxes from a supermajority to a simple majority, which means it’s going to be easier to pass on taxes to homeowners.
RUSH: What do you expect? They’re Democrats!
CALLER: Of course.
RUSH: I can’t believe you’re stunned about any of this.
CALLER: No, I’m not.
RUSH: The Democrats in Washington D.C. have done the same thing. The Republicans had instituted a rule to say you gotta have three-fifths, a supermajority, to raise taxes in the House. The first thing Pelosi did, before anything else in the hundred hours agenda was get rid of that. They got rid of that waiver, and so now simple majority can raise taxes. They’re Democrats! That is what they do! You know, elections matter? Isn’t it really great we showed those Republicans a lesson?