Friday, November 6, 2009

funny math

I just got my property tax bill for my house. It went up...again.

Here's the thing. When we bought the house back in 2005 the county or state, or whomever determines such things gave a value on the property, and we paid into an escrow account towards that property tax with our mortgage payment.

Then last year someone decided to do two things, give a property tax break, and reassess the value of properties for tax gathering purposes. We have this thanks to the wonderful people at the state legislature, who's wisdom in all things financial are legion. Immediately my property gained 11.5k in value, and I didn't see a drop in what we paid in taxes. We were actually fortunate, we saw only a slight increase in our property tax bill, (under a hundred dollars) some saw their tax rates double or triple. Then the credit bubble popped and the bottom dropped out of the real estate market. Everyone's property's lost value on the real estate market. People were deep discounting sales on properties all over the county. Taxes apparently haven't wobbled downward one bit.

I know that we are in a recession, or depression, ok whatever it is the economy sucks. I am very grateful I have a job. I also know that my taxes help pay for public schools, our water and sewer systems, our public safety, our excellent library, etc. Apparently the raise in my taxes is helping to offset all those properties sitting vacent right now. Maybe next year things will improve, and we'll get a real break in our property taxes.

Selling my house is an option that may occur down the road, maybe, maybe not. However if I were to put my house on the market today I would love to get what the county says my home's value is. But I know better. I couldn't get what the county assesses on my home's value if I stood naked on the lawn for added curb appeal.

Granted this year's increase is less then $100 but I do have to wonder where they get their figures, especially when it is highly unlikely that anyone actually walked onto my property to check it's value. I know if they had come inside and seen my icky carpeting I could have gotten a discount, and I know good and well that homes in my neighborhood haven't been selling for what the county says the value is, at least for tax gathering purposes.

I guess I will just suck it up and pay like everyone else.

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