Xmarksthespot wrote:
I think I see what your problem is. Take a step back and determine what the question is asking you to do. The question is NOT asking you to determine the validity or invalidity of the stimulus. It is asking you to determine the conclusion the author is likely trying to prove based on the way he/she has laid out the premises.
I don't know why you've chosen to adopt such a patronizing tone in your response, but I'd appreciate if you did not misrepresent what I've said. I've emphasized this point all along. If you want to determine the conclusion the argument is leading to, you must consider
why the passage is structured as it is - that is, why the example of two
identical homes is used. Establishing that two homes worth $200,000 will see their tax increase without Prop 13 proves only that homes worth roughly $200,000 will likely see their tax increase. For homes worth $20,000 or $2,000,000, the situation might be markedly different. If you want to think the author is arguing that
every homeowner will see his or her tax increase, you have to assume that the author is incompetent at structuring an argument, and that's not an assumption you ever want to make on the GMAT.
Xmarksthespot wrote:
1) Under Prop 13, the tax rate is 1% of purchase price in the first year and a 1% increase in the first year's tax amount in the 2nd year, a 1% tax amount on the 2nd year's tax amount in the 3rd year, and so on. What is the proof of this? Note that the way the author has framed his argument if you had bought your house 11 years ago for $75K, under Prop 13, your tax today would be $914. It goes on to say how the $914 came to be computed as such. Under Prop 13, your neighbor's tax rate on the house he bought today would be 1% of the purchase price of $200K. Do you notice how it's the same tax rate in the first year that applied to your house in the first year?
It's calculated by the same
formula, but not at the same rate. Those are quite different things; a formula is not a rate. The only reasonable interpretation I can assign to the phrase 'tax rate' here is 'dollars of tax per dollar of home value' (since "1% plus 2% increase per year" is not a rate). One house is taxed at $914 per $200,000 of value, or 0.46%, the other at $2000 per $200,000 of value, or 1%. If instead you want to interpret 'tax rate' as 'tax per dollar of purchase price', again the tax rate is different for the identical houses.
Xmarksthespot wrote:
2) If Prop 13 is repealed, the tax rate would be 3% of the current market value of the house. As proof of this, the author says that without Prop 13, you and your neighbor will both pay 3% of $200K, which is $6K. This in spite of the fact that you bought your house for only $75K, and 11 years ago at that, while your neighbor bought his house this year for $200K. The author goes on to say that your neighbor's house is identical to yours and located right next to yours. Do you see what he's trying to imply there? He is basically saying that your house has the same value as your neighbor's house, hence you both pay 3% of $200K. Whether or not this is a valid assumption is irrelevant to the question as the question is asking you to determine what the author is trying to prove.
I don't understand why you continue to imply that I've somehow questioned the validity of the author's premises and assumptions. I have nowhere done that. The author tells us directly (it's not, as you say, something 'implied') that the two identical houses will be taxed identically if Prop 13 is repealed. As we learned earlier in the passage, the two identical houses are not taxed identically under Prop 13.
Xmarksthespot wrote:
Look at choice B: If Proposition 13 is repealed, every homeowner is likely to experience a substantial increase in property taxes.
In real life, is there reason to doubt this conclusion, maybe even based on the points you raised? Certainly. But again, the question is not asking you to determine whether the conclusion or premises are valid. It is asking you what the author is likely trying to prove based on the way he has structured his premises and argument. As shown above, this is the likely argument he is trying to prove.
See comments above. An author arguing for the conclusion in B would not choose the specific examples in the passage. An author arguing for D would.
Xmarksthespot wrote:
Also, regarding your second response (bolded), you are completely lost there, my friend. Look at choice D again: If Proposition 13 is not repealed, identical properties will continue to be taxed at different rates. This answer choice is confined to a situation where Prop 13 is not repealed, and is not referring to the difference between the tax rate under Prop 13 (1% plus 1% increase) and the tax rate if Prop 13 is repealed (3%).
I have a typo in my previous post: where I wrote '3%', I meant '1%'; that is, I meant to draw a comparison between 1% of the home's current value, and 1% of the eleven-year-old purchase price, increased by 2% each year.
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