Can there be a better metaphor for the tyranny of our provisional COVID-19 government than the looming California commercial property tax due date, of Dec. 10?
Large sectors of the California business world have been fully, or partially, locked down for 10 months now. Many businesses, such as bars and restaurants, have been prevented by government edict from actually occupying their leased spaces. Many have been restricted to serving meals in what are actually public spaces — sidewalks, parking lots and streets.
Since property taxes are essentially paid by commercial tenants, the state is making your favorite local business pay tax for the privilege of not occupying or fully using their leased premises.
However, if you deign to ask your elected officials, or your local tax assessor or tax collector, why you have to pay when the state has essentially confiscated your property, they will shrug their shoulders and say: “Sorry, but you have to pay up.”
It doesn’t matter if your tenants can’t pay rent because the state of California has closed their business. It doesn’t matter that the government has essentially seized your property and made it worthless.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently threatened that counties ignored the new and improved COVID lockdown rules would risk losing their share of state dollars. That is the language of a mob protection racket. “Nice little county you got there. Would be a shame if something happened to it.” That threat alone is criminal.
Only a bullying tyrant could prevent you from fully using your own property and force you to pay taxes for the privilege.
Call it what it is.
It’s a racket.