MY JULY REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE IS ABOUT, YOU GUESSED IT, RULES GOVERNING WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY
Last time it was moving dirt and trees. This time it’s fixing cars. Next time it will be something else. The rule makers are relentless.
Read all about it in my new Real Estate Law Update for the month of July, posted in the publications section at DeconciniMcDonald.com. Let me know what you think.
THERE’S A GUY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT WHO IS SERIOUSLY ADVOCATING FOR A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME; IT’S STILL A REALLY BAD IDEA
I’m not going to link to any news items about him, because I don’t want to do anything that will promote him or his ideas. I’m mentioning it because I want to do what I can to spread the word that universal basic income is a bad idea whose time has not come and never will. Just because a guy running for president is promoting it doesn’t mean it has any merit.
What’s worse, the guy wants to pay for the universal basic income by imposing a value added tax in the United States. That’s an idea that has its own major problems, as I have pointed out before.
I am often critical of law review articles. Usually it’s because I think the writers have an insufficient grasp of the potential real-world effects of their ideas.
A law review article linked at TaxProf Blog (which is where I usually read about them) last week seems different. It sounds like a straightforward analysis and proposed fix of the federal tax code treatment of sales of interests in partnerships.
Yeah, partnership tax. For me, the final frontier.
If a person dies without a will, it’s called intestacy. Another formulation is that someone who died without a will died intestate. Intestacy laws are laws that govern what happens to the assets of a deceased person who dies intestate. Those rules are necessarily one-size-fits-all to some extent.
A law professor thinks that intestacy laws “cannot truly reflect diversity of lifestyles and associations.” I can’t disagree with that. The Professor suggests “using big data to create personalized rules, tailored to the personal characteristics of each decedent.” I don’t know what data the professor is talking about, but it sounds complex. It’s also completely unnecessary.
It’s easy to avoid having the intestacy laws decide what happens to your assets. How easy? As easy as making a will. That’s personalized, and it avoids intestacy.
My late Aunt Gladys did business with Ross Perot. Like Perot, Aunt Gladys and her husband John were pioneers in data processing. For that reason, I have always had a favorable impression of Perot, even though I don’t really know much more about him than what I have read in the news.
Most of what’s been in the news about Perot since he passed away recently is, predictably, about his forays into presidential politics. That’s unfortunate, in my opinion. I think it’s a shame that a hugely successful businessman like Perot is being talked about mostly in terms of his involvement in politics.
The best article I have read about Perot since he passed away is on a site that I don’t frequent and wouldn’t ordinarily link to, but the article is worth the time to read. It’s not very long.
This might become a regular series. Recently I wrote about California property owners who got into trouble for moving dirt and trees on their property because doing so violated a conservation easement. More recently I read about a municipal ordinance in California that prohibits automotive repairs and maintenance on residential property under certain conditions. That kind of government regulation is probably the most frequent cause to ask, “what do you mean, I can’t __________ [fill in the blank] on my own property?”
There are undoubtedly many situations where car repairs being done on residential property create a genuine nuisance to the neighbors. This recent California example, however, goes way too far, in my opinion. The ordinance recites several prohibited actions when repairing a car on residential property, including “using tools not normally found in a residence.” Does that mean I can’t install a lift in my garage? I know car enthusiasts who have done that. And how does anyone know with any certainty what constitutes a tool not normally found in a residence?
The city government that adopted this ordinance might have been sincerely attempting to address situations that are a material detriment to their community. I suspect that there may be neighborhoods where there are people running auto repair businesses in their home garage or driveway, but the city sure did try to squash a mosquito with a sledgehammer, and in the process squashed a lot of other things that don’t do any harm, don’t you think?
I have expressed skepticism before about the notion that artificial intelligence will replace lawyers. A recent article in the Arizona Law Review backs up my speculation.
It may happen eventually, but at this point, I think that chances of it happening before I’m retired or deceased are pretty slim.
ONE NEWSWORTHY ITEM FROM THE ARIZONA LEGISLATURE’S RECENT SESSION CONCERNS RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS AND TENANTS
Now that the silly season, also known as the time when the Arizona legislature is in session, is over, we can begin to assess the good or harm done via the bills that the legislature passed and that the governor signed into law. The just-concluded session seems rather short on bills that will solve this or that monumental societal problem.
One bill signed by the governor that got some attention, but the impact of which may be narrower than it first appeared, changes the rules governing what residential landlords can and cannot do when third parties make partial rent payments on behalf of tenants. I told you it was a pretty narrow change.
If you’re involved in residential rentals, or are interested in the subject of residential landlord and tenant law for some other reason, you can read all about this legislation in my Real Estate Law Update for June. It’s posted, along with my earlier newsletters on estate planning, real estate, and tax law going back several years, in the publications section of DeConciniMcDonald.com.
I was interested to see that Los Angeles County is still doing “cash for grass,” a program to encourage removal of lawns as a water-saving measure. I wrote about that a long time ago because I was interested in the tax and land use law implications of it.
The author of the blog post linked above thinks there is irony in the fact that L.A. is paying people to remove grass while the smog there worsens. I’m no expert, but I thought the main things that make smog harmful are ozone and particulates, and I don’t think that having more green plants does anything to reduce those.
You would think that a group of billionaires would know that their request for a wealth tax should be addressed to Congress, not to candidates for president, since Congress, not the president, has to make it happen. That is, however, unless their request is really just to show everyone how virtuous they are. If that is really their goal, then why don’t they just make voluntary contributions to the U. S. Treasury?
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.