Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Desperately Holding on to a Lifestyle" in Placer

From a Roseville Press-Tribune editorial:

The Placer County Board of Supervisors' decision to approve two new $1 fees on registered vehicle owners should be greeted with alarm by taxpayers. The money - about $740,000 yearly but with room to grow as more vehicles are registered in the county - goes directly to law enforcement.
That's all well and good - in a scenario based on the Placer County of say two years ago. But things have changed and the move can only be viewed as bad timing.

The new-home market is in a slump. The latest quarterly results from national real estate development companies - and projections over the next year - are far from the rosy picture painted in 2004. Interest rates are financially killing the little guy.

That's the Placer County resident who scrimped and saved to buy a home in this county and now fearing the American Dream will vanish in foreclosure as that adjustable-rate mortgage or second mortgage squeezes the family finances.

Perhaps supervisors may have missed some hard realities. The county's own revenues are slipping because of a cooling housing market that has left many homeowners watching their dollars more carefully as their equity drops and mortgage payments continue.

Perhaps they missed the most recent projections showing that revenue growth this fiscal year won't offset the $28 million forecasters say will be needed to sustain county operations at current levels.
They've found a way to put more money in government and take away from residents at a time when many are desperately holding on to a lifestyle they came to the county to enjoy.
The fee increase is symptomatic of a collective denial of the realities of the current economic climate. Adding more fees or taxes will only squeeze taxpayers even more.


Sippn said...

We're talking about $1. I can't believe we're talking about $1.

I think they should make it $10 and put it all into law enforcement.

What do you think a little beefed up crime prevention would do for property values? Elk Grove? Oak Park?

This is a big reason people move to the PC (Placer County).

rocklin renter said...

Yeah, it's gonna be a real bummer when their H2 gets repossessed and they can no longer afford to drink 4 vente carmel macchiatos a day while yapping away on their *insert latest cell phone here*.

It will also be a real bummer when all these folks' wakeboats get repossessed and we get our calm water back on Folsom. You, yes you, with the X-45 you can't afford being towed by your lifted F350 that you also can't afford. Get off my lake!

Whew... went a little out of bounds there.

Anyhow, this "lifestyle" is a farce. Financed with funny money from funny banks. Won't be so funny soon.

I agree, $1 ain't going to do much for anybody. Oh, and sippn, they would need a whole lot of beefin over there to make a dent. Tough to enforce laws when you are outgunned and outmanned by the criminals.

anon1137 said...

That cracks me up - all that verbosity over a $1 tax? I guess that's what you get from the county with the highest concentration of republicans in the state.

Diggin Deeper said...

No sippn...they're talking about TWO seperate $1 increases. Now that's gotta be worth talking about. Hell I'm losing that just responding to this blog.

The county's up-side-down $28 Mil this year. I suggest they charge $.50 to use the public restrooms, charge bridge tolls... both over and back, and up the fines by redesigning frameable/collectible parking and traffic tickets out of Tuscany colors on heavy cardstock.

Patient Renter said...

The author makes some valid arguments and hopefully brings these to many people who still don't know what's going on.

The platform for his bringing these issues up is pretty lame though... $1.

Diggin Deeper said...

"That's the Placer County resident who scrimped and saved to buy a home in this county and now fearing the American Dream will vanish in foreclosure as that adjustable-rate mortgage or second mortgage squeezes the family finances."

Now just a minute there, Podna, your mortgage company will be calling you to readjust your note
and make it right so you can continue to own the dream.

Mortgage pros scramble to modify loans


"NEW YORK - As home foreclosures mount, mortgage companies are knocking on doors, sending letters and making phone calls with a simple message for struggling homeowners: They'd rather modify your loan than foreclose.


EMC Mortgage Corp., which has a $78 billion loan portfolio that includes subprime loans made to homeowners with weak credit, this week launched a 50-person team it calls "the Mod Squad." Members will spend an unlimited time on the phone with troubled borrowers, sifting through their bills to compute a workable monthly payment. In an industry that often rewards workers for getting off the phone quickly, the team is preparing to speak to just three people a day."

rocklin renter said...

Diggin - I'm sure most of us here saw that one coming a mile away.

Time to get to the bargaining table. Better to get something than nothing plus still end up holding the bag.

Smart move by EMC, IMO. I'd expect some other lenders to follow suit and start figuring out how they can restructure some of these time-bomb loans.

Diggin Deeper said...

rocklin renter

EMC sounds pretty desperate to me. They're wanting to slow the burnrate and prolong things until a turnaround occurs, if it occurs. At $78B, that's alot of calls to make and they're likely to find out that subprime really did mean "poor credit". At least they're being proactive and trying to somehow stop the bleeding on both sides. I like the idea of extending the ARM because nothing changes on the side of the borrower. The only problem is that rates have to stay the same or go lower, and that's a big question mark right now. Then you've got to refi having enough equity to qualify... not to mention good credit. Too many "maybes" for me

RMB said...


It's not the $1 dollar that is the issue. In the greater scheme of things who cares about a dollar today, I personally think they should do away with change it is just a nuisance anyway.
Instead it is the fact that the average tax payer is currently paying 50% of their income to the gov't and said gov't can not make ends meet. As the old saying goes it is not a "Revenue problem it is a spending problem" and the govt seems to only have one solution go get more money from the tax slaves.
As an aside, if the tax revenue actually went to line workers (street cops, firefighter, teachers) instead of administrators I would be in favor of paying more, but our current system adds 1 administrator for every 1.5 line worker added. Doesn't seem to be a good use of tax dollars to me.

Diggin Deeper said...

RMB said...

"I personally think they should do away with change it is just a nuisance anyway."

I wholeheartedly agree!

Just goes to show how weak and worthless our dollar has become when change is no long regarded as money...but rather a nuisance. Maybe that's why it takes so many of them to buy a home these days.

rocklin renter said...

DD - Not all of that $78bb portfolio is subprime.

I think, if they can structure it right, they may be able to slow the bleed to a manageable point. "I think" and "may" being key words here. It's all speculation from me on this particular subject.

Jeff said...

Sippin! It's not the $1 issue, it's that is starts at $1 and it NEVER ends. Don't you recall when we didn't have an income tax, or sales tax? Started at 1%, just one percent Sippin, now it's 10% for income and over 7% for sales, where does it end? Look beyond the NY Times you read each day and learn something constructive Sippin. Govt cannot be trusted. Has anyone heard of a propostion a few years back earmarked for law enforcement only??? Ever law enforcement was against this since they knew they'd never see that money, guess what happened??? they never saw the money. you think this will be different? Why? Grow up people. The govt loves stupid voters.

Max said...

I say, pass the costs on to the users of the service. Why don't we charge people $1 for each time they dial 911? Call it an emergency levy. :)

anon1137 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon1137 said...

Where would you rather live, in a blue county or a red county?

Republicans will never vote for the things that make an area a great place to live: public schools, parks, planned development rather than development by the highest bidder.

The bluest counties in the state (%kerry) have some of the most valuable real estate: san fran (83%) , marin (73%), san mateo (70%). Compare the reddest counties: modoc, lassen, shasta.

This doesn't bode well for the future of placer county: 63% bush. Sacramento was evenly split in the last presidential election.

Sippn said...

Jeff - dude I may be old and remember 29 cent gas, but there's always been taxes.

Agreed more money needs to get to the line, take away admin and entitlements, please!

Sippn said...

Anon 1137 - Orange?

RMB said...

Actually sippn, for the first ~140 years of this "Republic" income tax on the citizens was forbidden by the constitution. Then in about 1916 through some nefarious dealings on the part of the Wilson administration, an amendment (16th) to the constitution was passed that would only tax the rich at a rate of one percent. Hmm look were we've come since then, progress...

Hasten the decline of America, vote for Democrats.

anon1137 said...

Sippn- Orange was 60% bush, slightly less red than Placer. I've never lived there. How does it compare to San Mateo, SF, and Marin? Are there any parks or open space, or is every inch of coastline owned by some millionaire? What are the major public attractions, other than disneyland and the nixon library?

Sippn said...

Valid point.