Skip to comments.This man's thinking clearly about taxes, and he's clearly baffled
Posted on 01/04/2012 5:36:57 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB
Thank you - and your colleagues Edward Lotterman, Frederick Melo and Ruben Rosario - for shedding light on the city of St. Paul/Ramsey County real estate tax "system."
That system puzzles me. Should I conclude that it is broken? Perhaps even a less than artful attempt, like mine below, might add to your helpful analysis.
Compare the real estate tax system to the "progressive'' income tax. A published schedule indicates the basic tax burden that a particular amount of income will bear. Or, compare the real estate tax to the "regressive'' sales tax. A product purchase price leads to a predictable sales tax.
Income and sales taxes are self-executing and fundamentally tamper-proof: Any level of income or sales price attracts a pre-set tax.
Thus, jurisdictions on the receiving end of our income and sales tax payments, must, like the people of St. Paul and Ramsey County, reckon with the uncertainties and risk of reality.
(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...
-- Does this mean that taxing jurisdictions decide what they believe they should receive in real estate taxes, then back into a program to produce such a take, and accomplish this by grabbing our credit cards - aka our homes - and charge the desired expenditures, more to some, less to others? Soucheray, 12-11-11.
-- A Ramsey County official explains dramatic increases on certain properties as the result of previous undervaluations. Rosario, 11-12-11. Does this mean that other properties were improperly overvalued? If so, are refunds in order?
-- A St. Paul City Council member, responding to a taxpayer's complaint about a real estate tax hike, states that "other properties lost more value than yours did. It's a relative thing.'' Melo, 12-8-11. What governs this relative treatment?
-- A letter to the editor suggests that higher-valued homes should pay more in taxes because the police and fire departments will be protecting more valuable property. Where does that line of thought lead? Insurance protects property owners against loss, not property taxes. Soucheray 12-28-11.
-- The Ramsey County tax assessor's report discloses that "of 156,761 taxable properties, only 5,689...(will) see an increase in taxes in 2012." Rosario, 12-2-11. In other words, only 4 percent of all potentially tax-revenue-producing properties will see tax increases. They are singled out to soak up a disproportionately larger tax burden. What legitimizes this distortion of equal treatment?
-- A taxpayer comparing valuations in her immediate neighborhood sees "no rhyme or reason" to the assessments, house to house. Rosario, 12-2-11.
And any taxpayer, reviewing the land values assigned to similar lot sizes in similar locations, will be equally baffled. Does this mean that the appraisal process is off track?
geez these GD politicians couldn’t speak plain english if you held a gun to their heads...
what he means is simple:
We decide how much we want to spend FIRST.
Then we tax as much as we want to pay for it, based on property values.
“And any taxpayer, reviewing the land values assigned to similar lot sizes in similar locations, will be equally baffled. Does this mean that the appraisal process is off track?”
Absolutely yes it is off track. There is no rhyme or reason to the system. In my neighborhood all of the homes are of the same ilk and vintage, yet I was singled out for a 37.5% property tax increase this year. Everyone else’s went up by about 6% while their home valuation went down slightly. My home valuation went up by 32K magically in this market and economy.
They know that it is financially punitive for the individual to go to tax court because they will need an appraisal and have to pay court fees just to get into court to plead their case! By the time that happens; the individual is out at least 500 bucks and they don’t even know how they will fare in court.
This is all under the guise that homes were previously undervalued - even though they were on track with exact footprint, amenities and upgrades throughout the genesis of the valuations for at least a decade.
Do you display yard signs for candidates the existing powers don't like?
I'm just sayin'...
The govt is a mafia organization at all levels.
It exists to steal your money, period. Even the real mafia is preferable to what we have now.
This article illustrates why it is generally a good idea to examine and then contest your county and or city property tax evaulation.
Right, in the spring the of year (based on proposed values and tax statement) is the only time to do it. Expensive lesson learned on my part. After about March you can only contest it through the tax court during that tax year.
did your kid beat his kid out at hockey tryouts?
isn't that how all of gubbamint works?
Nice piece. I’m lucky enough to own a vacation property in New Hampshire (shack near a lake), and I tell you what: I’d LOVE to be able to get, on the open market, what the town assesses my property at. The best part is I get absolutely zero services in return for my tax dollars.
Nope, I’ve been tempted, but I didn’t want the extra drama the yard signs would likely bring.
Nope, no chance of that, my kid isn’t in sports yet (too young).
I have been toying with the idea of how would the town governments be able to run if they had to operate on user fees alone. This would automatically put in an incentive for private contractors to supply the services that we have been convinced only a government can do. (I have a friend in NH that pays over 15K every year in property taxes alone)
The big cost is the government indoctrination centers AKA public schools. If the schools were required to operate under a tuition system they would close down because existing (non union) private schools would be far more efficient.
Private trash haulers could directly compete with the (union) sanitation departments
Road maintenance could contract to private contractors
Fire and Police are more difficult to privatize or operate under a fee system but I'm sure there can be a way to offer contracts for either town or neighborhood coverage.
It'll probably never happen but it is an interesting exercise.
It's a great exercise, and one I do myself from time to time. I think government does have a role to play in terms of delivering services, but mainly as a general contractor, of sorts, that farms out those services to specific contractors, like you describe. Hell, at one point in our nation's history, even firefighting was done by a private concern. It strikes me that there are few services government should provided directly.
all I know is here in MN, property taxes go up, while generally, test scores go down.