On 1/2/2006 9:33 PM Texas Tommy mumbled something about the following:
The sign near the top of my driveway says "I'ld turn back if I were
you". The next one a little further down (with a couple of .45 holes
through the edges) says "If you can read this, you're in range".
LOL. The permits do not seem to have any weight with them. They want to
raise my taxes in Houston so suddenly my house is larger than it was when it
was built and nothing has been added. Suddenly my house got bigger and my
garage got smaller. Down here it is the air conditioned space that counts
as the square footage that determines the tax bill. I pointed out the
problem and they changed my garage size back to the real dimensions.
I don't understand why property taxes are ever based on anything besides
the value of your property. If you think tbe assessor has assigned too
high a value you can pay an appraiser to do a formal appraisal.
In your case, it sounds like someone with a large lot or large garage
would pay the same as someone with a small lot/garage but the same size
Personally, I would do a local income tax with a flat fee for services for
every house. A larger house doesn't usually mean more city services
except maybe if it starts on fire. An eldery couple living on social
security sometimes can't afford to stay in their house because the
property taxes get so high.
Yeah and that eats up your savings. They have raised the balue of my house
5 years in a row now. Just enough to cost me a hundred or 2 extra each
Yup. And oddly regardless of the size of the house, the price per square
food differs from one house to the next. A house 5 doors down from me is
twice as large as mine and a single story home and his $ per square foot is
Personally I think all houses in a neighborhood should pay the same per
square foot of living space.
On 1/3/2006 1:10 AM Leon mumbled something about the following:
So my doublewide trailer should appraise the same as my neighbors brick
home, or the other neighbor's stick-frame home, even tho we are all
about the same floorspace and about the same acreage? Sorry, I don't
IMO, that's the kind of thinking that's got us into trouble.
You're not paying taxes for the kind of house you live in, you're paying
them for government services, REGARDLESS of the kind of house you live in.
Why should the guy with the brick house on your street pay more of his use
of the street than you?
... think about it. ;)
It starts out just fine in theory, but it seems to end up being taxation
without representation, fostering inequities in the amount of taxes paid for
government services rendered, and ultimately encourages governmental theft
of private property with devices like the use of eminent domain for private
The elected bastards in office don't have to raise the tax rate to increase
revenues (for which you would vote them out of office), but instead of being
accountable to the taxpayer, rely on inflated appraisal values brought to
you in part by third party influences ... like a greedy real estate industry
(note the difference between a house sold/rented "by owner", versus one
"listed" and sold/rented by a real estate firm).
The appraisal districts set the price and have the final word, but the
burden of proof is upon the taxpayer. Retirees in many areas of the US are
having to leave homes they bought and paid for because they can no longer
pay the property tax bill based on rising appraisal values, and the late
fees on tax bills which have become such a burden are usurious and benefit
an army of lawyers instead of the public.
If that doesn't answer the question, then give me a good, logical reason why
a 1500 sf, _primary_ residence for a family of four in Waco, TX pays only
$900/year, while the same house on a comparable lot in a comparable
neighborhood in the Houston area pays $7000+/year for the EXACT same amount
of government services/public school/streets/etc?
In short, under the current "appraised valuation" system for home owners in
Texas, many pay more and get the same/fewer government services for their
money ... that's "inequity" by any definition.
It'll never happen because the local governments are now in the mode of
protecting their turf/benefits (and bent on increasing the "tax base" in
order to do so), but IMO, a homeowner should pay a state wide rate, based on
square footage, for a _primary_ residence and NOT appraised value.
It's time to put the "appraisal districts" out of business and make our
elected representative accountable for the amount of taxes being paid by the
Speaking as a Brit all of this is a bit of an eye-opener for me, as call it
what you will, Property tax, Council tax, Rates, it appears to be a topic
which generates is much 'anger and argument' on your side of the pond as it
does on ours, in fact I wasn't even aware that Americans were cursed with a
similar (in many people's eyes, unfair) annual property tax as we have over
Where the hell do you think we/our forefather's/current tax spenders got/get
Hell, we're still two or three years behind your curve ... that's about how
long it takes to get our versions of your taxes/government
edicts/intrusions/TV sitcoms/social ills/ad infinitum, up and running.
Maybe if you guys would dump some damn tea in the river and refresh our
memories of how it was done ....
AIUI some US states are even worse with families on hard times being
thrown onto the street and having their homes seized by the state for
In this country I've always advocated a local income tax collected
through general taxation and distributed to LAs under a formula based
on voter numbers and area. Property taxation should only happen when
the property changes hands either at sale or inheritance.
However, only today I read in our local shopper that due to an alleged mix
up over a missed payment in 2003, a woman has been threatened with the
bailiffs, or even prison. Threats which we know that local councils are not
averse to carrying out, as a couple of elderly pensioners who have recently
wound up in prison have found out.
Around here, if you have an"agricultural" use, permits are not required.
There is an astonishing number of quite complex buildings on property around
here that don't do much for raising chickens or vegetables, but that were
built permit-free. I halfway regret not getting a half dozen chickens, thus
being able to skip the permit process when I built my shop. Halfway.
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