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  • longpickuptruck longpickuptruck Dec 23, 2010 11:41 AM Flag

    Real estate values-taxes

    BO's administration is trying to brain-wash the middle class that their taxes are not going up. What bull. Across the country real estate values have fallen about 30%, but did you know that real estate taxes have gone up OVER 35%.
    Poor people were just getting by before, with local taxes going up their standard of living is going down.
    The local assessor's statement to me, "The taxes have to go up, the counties need the money".
    We the people sure have a great knack for electing idiots to govern us.

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    • Bloated government isn't cheap.

    • mcmsbm Jan 5, 2011 4:29 PM Flag

      The comment is correct: local real estate taxes will be going up. And there is a rational basis for the increase.

      Local governments and school divisions are handmaidens of the federal and state governments.

      Local governments and school divisions raise money to operate local programs of their own choice plus a great number of programs mandated from above.

      As a general rule, federal and state governments are famous for unfunded mandates to local governments and school divisions. Federal and state government pass programs that local governments and school divisions are required to fund and operate. Local governments and school divisions must have a balanced budget, so funds to pay for mandated programs must be raised.

      State governments have generally limited the largest source of revenues to local governments and school divisions to property taxes -- mostly real state taxes. So real estate taxes go up to pay for programs. Real estate assessors place value on the real estate, so that similar properties are treated as equitably as possible.

      In an ideal world, real estate values advance moderately year by year, and things stay in balance. But disruptions in the real estate market, and/or expansions of mandated program and/or loss of federal and state aid to local governments will have devastating effects on local government finances. When more local revenue is required, look for real states taxes to increase.

      As long as federal and state governments keep passing/increasing unfunded mandates to local governments, local governments will have to raise funds to finance those programs.

      Undoubtedly, there will be some efficencies and better ways to spend money. But in the grand scheme, those numbers are limited and tend to be one-time events.

      Since the government levels operate as a team, the blunt options across federal, state, local governments are: A) we want the programs, so we raise money at the federal, state or local levels and keep the programs; or B) we refuse to raise more money at the federal, state, local levels so programs must be restrained to function within existing revenues.

      There must be a balance between how much/how many government programs we want and how much we are willing to pay for. Considering all taxes (income, real estate, sales, FICA, Medicare, gasoline, utility, telephone,and so forth), how much money/what percentage of our personal income (15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35% or higher) do we want to give to the governments to spend?

      How much government do we want?

      • 1 Reply to mcmsbm
      • Have you noticed the way the selected groups that want increases in benefits work the system?
        Special elections for increases for: police, firemen, libraries and teachers. Election day all of the above get out to vote, which is 15% of the registered voters and all vote for the benefits. Headlines, special election approved and passed by 85% of the voters. What a sham. Bill is passed by the 15% of the registered voters that will get the benefits. Special elections to raise taxes should be eliminated. We are so stupid.

    • VERY GOOD!!

    • Clear demonstration that tax reform is a red herring.

      SPENDING is only part of the equation! With the advent of computers there is a mentality that any level of government oversight is just a few more lines of computer code. WRONG!!

      The government is an artificial device, important but artificial. ANY money the government spends MUST be taken from the people, and the tax laws are the mechanism.

      Tax reform is important to assure taxation does no more harm to the people than absolutely necessary to pay for spending. If too little is collected - pay me now or pay me later with interest.

      Our government has evolved into such a complex operation it is difficult to point to one thing, or even a specific dozen things and know THEY are the problem.

      For anyone interested to read this far, my best example (my own device) that there IS a problem is our infrastructure. In the 1950s we built the interstate highway system, God only knows how many dams and bridges and tunnels and public transportation systems. In addition we had an extraordinary proportion of our population under working ages, we educated the baby-boom generation, admittedly with various degrees of success.

      53%± of our working age population was in the workforce in the 1950s, starting in the 1990s that percentage has been on the order of 75%±.

      With 40%± larger portion of working age adults in the workforce we cannot even perform preventative maintenance on the infrastructure legacy of the 1950s workforce!

      WHAT are all of those people doing?

      One component is micro-management by government at all levels, with the Federal government the worst offender.

      As I recall, when I first started professional practice in the late 1960s the IRC (Internal Revenue Code) was one book about 2½ inches thick, and the regs related to my profession one book about 2 inches thick. Lucky for me the explosion started shortly after I began my career - NO! I did not cause it. I do remember a lot of people saying how the new laws were going to generate a lot of work for professionals, but that work literally shuffled papers and built nothing you could eat, wear or use for travel.

      I think it was Milton Friedman to whom is attributed the statement "Whenever two people set about to spend someone else's money fraud is the inevitable result."

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