A semi-secret re-evaluation of property by the UK Labor government is going
on and will be made public after the next election. The authorities are
adding to a home-owner's evaluation such intangible things as scenic view
and proximity to a bus stop.
I'm not making this up.
On the scenic view business, there are eleven categories that range from
"general scenic view" and "partial sea view" to "partial view of river."
There's even a classification for "available street parking."
Other than the stealth part, I am not sure what the beef is. All of
those (with the obvious exception of bus stops since busses aren't as an
important travel consideration on this side of the pond) are
considerations for property assessments, at least in Indiana. My
assessed value went down for a few years while the gravel pit behind was
active. Went up when they were done and pulled down the berms because I
was suddenly water view.
Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought
of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.
Apparently you didn't notice that this is common practice in lots of
areas including mine. And just ask yourself why the same house sells for
more money if it is in a scenic location or has access to a school yard
or whatever compared to one that doesn't.
Your taxes are based on property value and that, in turn, is based on what
people will pay. Your tax is not assessed, directly, based on how many
swimming pools you have, whether your gazebo is double-glazed, or whether
your second-story balcony overlooks a nudist camp.
True, there's often a connection between property values and property
amenities, but not necessarily. Suppose you had a modest shack situated
between a hog-fat rendering plant on one side and a sewage treatment plant
on the other. Your property value is close to zero. In the UK, if you add a
swimming pool or the city puts a bus stop on the street, you get hit with a
But maybe, to be fair, the authorities subtract assessed taxes for a
non-scenic view. Or smell.
Just think of the regulations and bureaucrats necessary to implement this
plan. You've got to have inspectors without number, computer programs,
clerks, referees, administrative judges, printings, rolls, rules,
uncountably many notaries public, writs by the wheel-barrow loads, and so
Where I live, valuation and taxation really strange and involves the
use of a Ouija Board.
First off, most of the town is on an Indian Reservation. Therefore,
ALL homes and other improvements are technically leased for about 65
more years. The land is Indian-owned and therefore not taxed, just
the improvements are.
Then, everything owned by the Nation has sovereign immunity and not
taxed. All property owned by Indians is "immune" (not exempt).
Then, the for O/O homes the first 25,000 in value IIRC gets at STAR
If you are over 65, it goes to $50,000.
That eliminate most taxes.
Then if you're low income O/O, you get another exemption.
Veterans gets exemptions.
Volunteer Firemen get exemptions.
It goes on and on.
So if you're a 65 year old, low income, veteran; you don't pay much in
About 40% of our homes are completely exempt (not counting the immune
To calculate the taxes, though, that's where you need the Ouija
Board. It seems the world stopped in 1968.
In 1968 they assessed the entire community based on Replacement Value
using a Means Average. They take the squarefootage and look up the
per s.f. value of that type of construction in the old 1968 book.
Then they depreciate it as of 1968. A house built in 1900 would have
about a 60% depreciation but a house built in 1968 or later has -0-
depreciation. They take a per. s.f. value and multipy it by 104%
because in 1968, it was 4% more expensive to build here than it was in
Buffalo (the base city). It didn't seem to occur to them that if you
multiply EVERYTHING by 4%, it is the same as multiplying NOTHING by
So with everything stuck in 1968 you get some interesting results. If
you build on an addition with a nice porch, the addition (with 0%
depreciation) might be valued about the same as the rest of your house
(which has 60% depreciation). It's really weird.
Oh, for those who live on the Rez, there's a lease payment as well.
It's about 5% of the value of the land and it's not appealable.
Yeah, they did something similar here, any way they can to get more money
out of a person.
Governments are the only organizations that can adjust their income to fit
their spending. Just try to do that yourself.
Coming soon to a town near you.
Here in CT some towns are doing the water thing. There is on the water,
water view, partial water view. Some people are being forced from the
family shore home that has been in the family for a few generation because
of the big tax hit.
And here in Illinois, my tax assessment took a 78% jump a couple of years
ago. When I asked why, the answer was "Well we looked at what they were
getting for river frontage lots in that new subdivision upstream and decided
to look at older river front homes and reasses them". Didn't make any
difference when I explained that the new subdivision had city streets in
front of the homes, city water and sewer along with the city services such
as snow plowing that go with that. I'm on my own well and septic and at the
end of a private lane that gets no service from the city. Seems to me that
if they think the riverview is such an amenity to me, they should be paying
the $11,000 I've just had to contract to rip/rap the bank to stop it from
getting any closer to the house.
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