Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Politics

It takes a lot to get me riled up. I'm not upset about the increase in gas prices (I know the cause and I actually hope it will make people drive less). I don't particularly like all the decisions our current President has made, but I know this too will change. Like the weather, all you have to do is wait it out.

Taxes? A necessary evil. Everyone should pay their fair share. But THIS is where I get riled. Everyone is NOT paying their fair share around here. I won't even get into my thoughts on Social Security and Income taxes...what I want to rant about are our local real estate taxes. We currently pay about $8,000 a year on a house that the assessed value is $160,000. Am I crazy or is that insanely high? That's what I thought.

Now ordinarily around here your real estate tax only goes up when you buy a home. The town tax assessor takes advantage of that occasion to assess your tax burden based on the sale price of your home. Fine. I think it's fair to pay based on the current value of your home. But I think EVERYONE should pay based on the current value of their home. I think ALL the homes in town should be assessed on a regular basis and the tax burden allocated appropriately.

There are folks in town who bought their home decades ago, or inherited it from a family member and they are paying only a few hundred dollars in tax. The ones being screwed are the folks who recently purchased a home. Or, in our case, the ones the town decided to PICK on.

They recently decided to randomly reassess the value of homes in the area because they need more money to pay town debts. Who is being reassessed in this "random" deal? Only the homes that were built in the last 10 years. There aren't many of those around here. Just OUR development. We already pay an unfair percentage of the tax burden around here!

To add insult to injury? The assessor decided the sound barrier wall we installed in our basement to muffle the LOUD furnace down there has created a "partially finished basement" and added a 10 x 12 "room" to our home. How the hell is a room with exposed insulation and a huge furnace that takesup three-fourths of the space considered usable space?!?! So you know what this means?? We will be paying EVEN MORE since this increases the square footage of our home!!!

OK...homes in our development have been selling from around $350K to $420K. That's great...but the folks who buy them are SCREWED. Houses used to sell really fast here...now they sit for months and months. No one wants to buy if they are going to be paying these outrageous tax amounts. I don't blame them! I want to move away to somewhere with lower taxes because of this nonsense.

Homes in the older section around the corner have also sold for $300K. That means all the other homes are worth close to that much too. HELLO! The ENTIRE TOWN needs to be reassessed and some folks taxes should be lowered and some raised significantly. It's only fair. If EVERYONE was reassessed then I bet the increase wouldn't be that much, if the burden was shared equally based on real home valuation. Know what I mean?

I hope we can move soon. The folks in these older homes will fight just as hard to keep their taxes low. And there are WAY more of them than there are of us. They are probably loving the fact that us new construction folks are paying for their kid's education, snow removal, road repairs, etc.

Anyone know a nice place with good schools, nice weather (not too hot and humid), good high tech jobs, low taxes? Let me know.

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