Question: Did your property tax bill go up or down in 2012?
One of the talking points used by the Yes on Q campaign is that declining property values have led to reduced property taxes, so residents should have no problem paying higher taxes. This argument is as incorrect as it is cruelly insensitive to the financial distress experienced by many Contra Costa families and small business owners. It is also insulting to taxpayers who object to the County Fire District’s track record of fiscal mismanagement and budget-busting pension benefits.
Nevertheless, County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff is fond of saying her annual property taxes have dropped by ~$1,000 so she has plenty of money to pay new taxes. After removing the foot from her mouth, Mitchoff might stop to consider what a limited viewpoint her statement reflects. She apparently assumes that everyone in the county is similarly situated financially and has experienced like tax reductions. In addition, she must believe that others share her zeal for paying more taxes to fund pensions.
As fate would have it, Contra Costa property tax bills will be mailed soon – at roughly the same time that sample ballots will hit mailboxes. So now’s a good time to compare your property tax bill to last year’s to test Mitchoff’s hypothesis. Or you can compare this year’s tax bill with past years using the Assessor’s Office online lookup.
Once you’ve checked the facts, take the online poll above and tell us whether your property taxes have gone up or down. Before voting this is one question that should be answered, whatever your position on Measure Q.