To reach the status of one of the dumber tax ideas I have heard recently, the idea must be pretty dumb, but I think this one qualifies: take a sales tax that was enacted to protect an urban area’s water supply and divert it to pay for public transit instead. Huh?
If the tax is needed to protect the water supply, how could it possibly make any sense to divert it to pay for public transit?
On the other hand, if the objective for which the tax was levied has been accomplished, then how about repealing it? Why don’t politicians ever think of that?
A court said that in denying a homeowner’s request to seal the records of the homeowner’s lawsuit against his insurance company. The homeowner sued the insurance company to force them to pay for water damage to his home. The homeowner claimed that despite the fact that he had completely fixed the water damage, no one would buy his house, nor would any broker even list it for sale.
I’M NOT INTERESTED IN INVESTING IN AN ENTERPRISE THAT DOESN’T CONSIDER THE RETURN ON MY CAPITAL TO BE ITS FIRST PRIORITY
If I invest in a company, I’m an owner. Why would I, or any other owner, countenance that company being managed in any way other than placing a return on my capital at the top of its priority list?
What I’m talking about is simply the fiduciary duty that company managers have to company owners (stockholders). This quote neatly summarizes the problem with CEOs pledging to prioritize the interests of “stakeholders” other than stockholders:
Capitalism is not named after the managers; it is named after the providers of capital, the shareholders. Its foundation is the strict and scrupulous fiduciary obligation (“the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive,” as Justice Benjamin Cardozo said in Meinhard v. Salmon), that gives credibility to capitalism by addressing the agency cost risk of entrusting money to others. Why should investors entrust their money to people who want to turn the fiduciary duty of strict loyalty into some version of “just trust me?”
The Maricopa County Assessor has been in the news because he has been indicted for allegedly running an illegal adoption business. I don’t have an opinion on the merits of the charges against him. I can tell you that his alleged crimes have nothing to do with the office to which he was elected. In fact, he was allegedly running the business before he was elected.
What is function of the office to which he was elected, county assessor? The function of the county assessor is to determine the value of all property in the county for tax purposes. That’s essentially it.
Why would someone who is running an allegedly illegal and lucrative business that has nothing to do with property run for the job of county assessor? I have no idea.
At what point does government red tape become so onerous that it amounts to a taking of private property for which the property owner must be compensated under the Fifth Amendment? That has been a much-discussed question for some time now. I know that some people say the answer is never, but there are indications that the courts may be heading in the other direction.
Two recent cases are illustrative. One is a decision that allows local governments to be sued in state court when a property owner claims that regulations amount to a taking. The other is a California case involving the imposition of historical review requirements after the property owner was allowed to demolish the purportedly historic building on his property.
At least one blogger, and a number of commenters on the blog where he posts, think that historic preservation of private property should be the sole province of the property owner.
That viewpoint is consistent with consistent with the more general opinion I have expressed about building aesthetics: if it’s private property, and there weren’t any rules in place regulating the building’s appearance when the owner bought it, then the owner I should be able to do pretty much whatever he or she wants to the appearance of the building.
It has huge emojis painted on it! What a great idea. I’m surprised that I haven’t heard of that particular form of expression being painted on a house before. The neighbors are angry, but based on the many similar situations I have written about, I think the emoji house owner is likely to win the argument over whether or not the city can tell her, no emojis on your house, just as she would if the city told the owner that she can’t paint her house purple.
I would have linked directly to the newspaper article, but the link in the blog where I saw this story didn’t work, so I’m just giving you the link to that blog.
The question is, what happens to a one-foot wide strip of property that remained in the ownership of the builder after construction of two attached houses on two lots on either side of the one-foot wide strip?
Pro tip: don’t buy the one-foot wide strip at the tax lien sale. Buyer beware.
NOW IT IS DEFINITELY A REGULAR SERIES: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I CAN’T PLANT VEGETABLES ON MY OWN PROPERTY (IN THE FRONT YARD)?
Lowering the Bar spotted this example of government trying to control what citizens can do on private property. I think I have heard of “no gardens in the front yard because they are unsightly” rules before, but as long as there are busybodies in a position to make rules, there will be rules that say you can’t [fill in the blank], no matter how innocuous [fill in the blank] is, on you own property.
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.