Tuesday, July 17, 2018

They Never Get Enough

The taxes on our home and acreage was about $850 last year. To some of you, that will seem high. To others, it will appear laughably low. For my wife and I, living on a fixed income, it’s enough to make us wonder if it’s time to sell out.

Every year, the assessor’s flunkies supposedly stop by and update the taxable value of our house. Despite needing restained rather badly, having four leaks in the roof, and a screened-in porch with rotten eaves and whose gutter is falling off, the assessment always goes up around $50. So this year, I saved $100 a month for nine months, figuring that would cover the increase. Not so; real estate prices are up, so I guess they figured that I was sitting on a gold mine and raised my taxes $75, instead of $50.

For most folks, that might not be a problem, but when you cut as close to the cob as we have to, it means that we have to wait until next month to pay the bill, after our next funds are deposited. That means something else will have to be let slide to make up the difference.

I doubt if either the assessor or county commissioners are deliberately trying to force old people out of their homes, but some assessors in other states have openly admitted that THEY are. New owners means new money spent on the homes, thus upping the tax base, netting more money for the county.

Naturally, my own county government would benefit the same, whether they’re forcing old people out on purpose or not. Needless to say, there’s not much reason for them to fix the problem for older owners. Ben Franklin said that the only two certain things in life were death and taxes. At least the first cures the second (except for the heirs). Copyright 2018


Tony Tsquared said...

My tax assessment came earlier this year and they upped my property value $80K. My taxes would have increased about $600. I appealed and pulled recent sales of similar properties within a 1 mile radius. I also wrote up a summary of the McMansion neighborhood behind mine that has houses that are twice as big and selling for $200-300k above houses in my neighborhood and how that neighborhood is not representative of ours. I had a county appraiser inspect my home and got an adjustment $38k less than what it was last year. If I was to put my house on the market the asking price would be in the $230K range. Just about where the county valued it.

Gorges Smythe said...

I've appealed two times over the years. The first time worked, but not the second.