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When Did It All Start?

money clipWhile penalty assessments only started to explode some ten or fifteen years ago, some people say the roots of the issue go back much further than that.

Most localities depend on property tax income as their primary revenue source. But California voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978. This tax relief measure capped annual assessment increases at 2 percent and tax increases at 1 percent. Furthermore, property cannot be reassessed unless there is a change of ownership or new construction. According to some, Proposition 13 had some unintended ripple effects.

With revenue increases well below the rate of inflation, some counties saw their income plummet over time. They turned to the state’s general fund for money, and politicians needed to find a way to boost revenue without unpopular tax increases. Hello, penalty assessments.

Penalty Assessment Theory

Smaller cities, such as Bridgeport and Mammoth Lakes, are really caught in a bind. Their citizens demand full-time police and fire protection, active code enforcers, and a large and responsive city government, in addition to services like frequent garbage pickup and a large water treatment facility. In many places that have little sales tax revenue, like Visalia and Porterville, there may not be enough money to make ends meet.

Until the system changes, penalty assessments will remain high. The good news is that an experienced attorney knows how to reduce the penalty assessments you must pay, which saves you money.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.