Morongo Basin: Living costs, local wages, taxes, newly revived MUSD property tax bond

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By Branson Hunter ‡

Local and county homeowners are experiencing a whole slew of  taxes, new taxes, fees,  assessments, state taxes, new state taxes and proposed taxes and measures.

So how are property owners in the Basin fairing? Well as we can see from the three image inserts below, homeowner and renters in our depressed area are having problems.

What is a livable wage in Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, unincorporated areas, and San Bernardino County?

Posted below is The Living Wage Calculator for our areaspecific data to gauge the basic needs of local individuals and families on an hourly basis. It estimates the cost of food, child care, healthcare, housing, transportation and other necessities in our depressed areas and communities.

While County Fire has tripled fees and assessments (taxes) and then is pushing for an another added assessment on top of that assessment, the Morongo Unified School District is going through the administration process to ultimately float a new property tax bond measure.

Homeowners are facing taxes on the tax assessments and fees. Local and county taxing authorities never have enough money; they will always come back for more after they are given more and more.

Z107.7 – June 10At tomorrow’s 10 a.m. meeting of county supervisors in San Bernardino, supervisors are expected to add a 3 percent increase to the new Fire Protection Zone 5 fire tax, continued from the May 21 meeting

Ouch! Property owners in the Morongo Basin are already paying for the last MUSD bond, as follows:


Outside casino money in the amount of $100K will ostensibly be used to advertising for a ‘yes vote’ on the school district’s property tax increase bond measure.

Is it too much to ask the Tribal leaders to stay out interfering in our local elections?

Very little thought is ever put into the needs of local property owners or their ability of property owners to pay  more and more taxes, and more bond measures on top of bond measures still being paid for (see property tax bill).

Living Wage Calculation for San Bernardino County, California

The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2080 hours per year). All values are per adult in a family unless otherwise noted living wage


San Bernardino Typical Expenses Living Wage Calculator


We continue to be a depressed area. Yet, the MUSD saunders forward with the required administrative process to put another bond measure before families, veterans, Americans with Disabilities and old folks living in financial fear or just cannot pay any more property taxes.

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, 

Against formidable odds, taxpayers scored a significant victory last week against big progressive interests. Measure EE, sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District, would have imposed a $500 million dollar annual property tax on all property owners within the district’s boundaries. 

Overcoming the tired “it’s for the kids” mantra isn’t easy, but voters are no longer reflexively supportive of higher taxes if they perceive that it really isn’t helping the kids.

There are many take-aways from the Measure EE fight. First, it is possible to win a tax fight in a progressive jurisdiction as long as the voters are well-informed about the underlying issues. 

Second, the abysmal failure of EE has reverberated throughout California and caused the education establishment to rethink the entire strategy of “let’s first strike and then ask for a tax hike.” If that model doesn’t work in Los Angeles, it probably won’t work elsewhere.

 It always follows that with new taxes – rentals in an area also rise accordingly and often more so. This is an ongoing story and will be followed-up as it unfolds.


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