OT: Iceland

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wrote:

If I read it right, you also have a 6.25% - 8.25% (my bet is that Houston is at the high end) sales tax. We also have an 8% sales tax, but I don't pay anything like $10.5K in state income tax. Yikes!
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On 3/9/2010 12:16 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

8.25% sales tax in Harris County.
No state income tax is correct. Property taxes are out of hand due to the collusion between the politicians, the Real Estate industry, and the non-elected "Tax Appraisal District", created by the politicians so that they citizens can't hold their feet to the fire with regard to "taxation without representation".
Simply put, my $12k in property gets me the EXACT same services, streets, roads, hospital districts, police, fire, etc that those who live in Waco get for 80% less taxes ... it just costs me eight times as much due to my appraisal district and home values inflated, in large part, with the help of the real estate industry.
More than 50% of the total property tax bill goes to HISD, one of the worst run school districts in the state with an entrenched, politically correct, primarily minority bureaucracy that you couldn't unseat with a stick of dynamite thanks to Federal policies.
In Texas, you just think your own your home ... try not paying whatever the tax appraisal districts think your can bear and see how long your supposedly inviolate "right of ownership" lasts.
I'll say it again ... fuck all you liberal bastards!
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Everyone in Texas has the same "mil rate" and a state-wide tax bucket? Everywhere else I've lived property tax was local (more or less) so the assessed value didn't much mater (at least in theory). Each district had its own tax (there was state sharing, but that's another thing) and rates, so reassessments didn't matter (at least in theory). The assessments were all done once a decade. A house added inbetween assessments would be added to the list at its current value but everything would correct within ten years (give or take).

In VT, 75% of the property tax went to the school district. The state has a student to teacher ratio of 13:1, but that doesn't count the non- teaching teacher for every other teacher and teacher's aid for every other teacher, making the ratio really 6:1.

Texas is hardly unique in this.

I'm with you on that one.
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On 3/9/2010 12:41 PM, chaniarts wrote:

Houston does. Texas doesn't need it, just Houston.
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This is wrong on so many levels. Mostly about your daughter. To realize if she was in the welfare system, or in jail it would all be paid for. I think our welfare system was originally designed for people like your daughter, but now if you have property you pay into the system and get little in return. And if your a drain on the system everything is paid for. I'm sorry your having to deal with this as I'm pretty sure I know what you'll do if you can.
Mike M
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Swingman wrote:

You really need to have a look at something.
I live in Houston in a house with an appraised value of $260,000. The total property tax load (state, county, school district, mosquito control district, Zombie Monitoring, etc.) is $2,900/YEAR.
With your property being appraised - assuming the same ratio as mine - at a bit over $1 million, maybe you could pay for your daughter's operation by looking under the sofa cushions in your home theater room.
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On 3/10/2010 6:49 AM, HeyBub wrote:

Way off ... no where near a $1m appraisal on my 2800sf home, land and improvements. I build houses in that range and can guarantee you the property taxes for a home of that value in this area (SW Houston, inside the loop) are well into the $20k range.
Where they are getting us in this area is on appraised land value. My 50 x 100 foot lot is on the tax rolls for $380K, and the value of the "improvements" is less than yours, and only because of being frozen with an over 65 exemption.
Basically, property taxes have doubled since 2001.

LOL ... I'm self employed, no corporate safety net, work seven days a week for a living when there is work, and there is NO change in my pocket, after taxes ... and no "home theater" and only 30 year old sofas. :)
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On 3/10/2010 7:15 AM, Swingman wrote:

Do you live in the city limits and in Harris County, or just in the Houston "area"?
2009 Tax rate = 2.2437
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Swingman wrote:

Oh, I'm in Sharpstown. In a modest little bungalow.
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On 3/10/2010 6:49 AM, HeyBub wrote:

Shit, I wish. About the same appraisal value, in Pflugerville Texas (suburb of Austin). My annual property taxes: $6500! Of course, you couldn't drag me to Houston kicking and screaming (sorry Bub, Swing, Leon, et al.) and I really like it here, but DAMN!
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TX seems to make up for a lack of income tax with property taxes. I have a relative in Jollyville and his house taxes are about 4% of market value.
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Nonny wrote:

We make up for it also by being a "low-service" state. Our state insurance board does not mandate health insurance companies to cover chiropractic, naturopathy, aroma therapy, homeopathy, tattoo removal, hair straightening, sex-change operations, or voodoo. If my pet has hallucinations, wets the bed, or is afflicted with PTSD, I have to pay for the psychological counseling myself (and the pet psychologist is not licensed by the state).
Heck, if I call 911 to report a home invasion, the first thing the operator asks is whether I can handle it myself. If I request an ambulance, she asks if the bone is sticking out.
A couple of months ago, some fool stood on the steps of the capitol and fired a few shots in the air. Studies were undertaken over this flagrant lack of decorum, meetings held, and opinions solicited from near and far. Just today, the committee looking into the matter released its recommendations. They were:
* Implement a wide-alert warning system ("Run Away! Run Away!) * Increased bicycle patrols * Installation of easily obtainable First Aid kits * Additional First Aid training. * Maybe explosive-sniffing dogs
Nothing add to one's sense of security than a Texas Ranger on a Ten-speed.
I'm not making this up:
"State Leaders Call for Tighter Security at Texas Capitol" http://www.news8austin.com/content/your_news/default.asp?ArID &8928
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Why not just shoot the bastard? ...save the taxpayer a lot of money.

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Actually there is Business Income taxes, seles tax and property tax. I'm in the greedy 4% range and now 4x property value tax value. Yes bought for 100 now 400. Crazy taxing.
Martin
snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

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Purely from a personal interest standpoint, what was the insurance company's reason for refusal? (Take that off-line if you wish. My website topworksdotca "Get Info" button puts you into my Crackberry) It is stuff like that which drives me nuts. Is that what Obama wants to do? Remove the right for an insurance company to refuse? IOW remove all pre-existing conditions?
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On 3/10/2010 7:43 AM, Robatoy wrote:

Yep, the reason for denial is "pre-existing" condition, despite five separate medical diagnoses that it is not.
In any event, it's a moot point as we would be paying for four more years before "Obamacare" would kick in, even assuming it is effective in that regard, which is not without a shadow of doubt.
And, while there is nothing "experimental" in any way about this particular surgery, the incentive and medical innovation that led to its development will, under "Obamacare", arguably be only a distant memory by then.
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On Tue, 09 Mar 2010 08:19:02 -0800, busbus wrote:

I bought a 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch style house in a nice middle class neighborhood about 1960. It was 1000 sq feet :-). Me, 1st wife, and 3 kids.
Now me and 2nd wife live in a 1500+ square foot mobile home in a seniors park and it seems too small.
Only difference is perception and the amount of junk we call necessities nowadays.
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Well, 1,500 sqf isn't all that big! LOL!!! Not when I see these 3,000 - 4,000 monsters being built up here in Pittsburgh. Seem slike all the new houses are that big. And the yards are getting smaller (and not because there is more house sitting on the yard--the properties are smaller). It saddens to see that there is not enough space for a guy to throw a baseball or football to his kids let alone have them hit a ball or kick one. I guess I just value the property more than the house. Growing up on 20 acres does that to a person. We could hit those big, black super balls they used to sell back in the 1960s/1970s and never have to worry about hitting anything.
And to swing this pedulum back, the people who are buyiung these houses are the 25-year-old kids who just got married. Sure, they got a college degree and jobs (notice PLURAL jobs) but I always tell the ones I know the sage advice an old man once told me:
"Just because you can make the payments doesn't mean you can afford it."
And he was and IS right. I shudder to think what they will do once a kid or two come along and somebody loses their job. Heck, just having a couple/three kids will bankrupt them if they have to send the kids to daycare.
I guess I am saying these kids do not need to buy this size house. Buy a smaller house and build some equity and then go bigger and better. That is where things today are out of whack. That and the fact that these kids think they need two nice, expensive cars/SUVs and a houseful of furniture to go along with the McMansion they bought.....
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My sage old dad, an accountant, told me... ONE week net pay. Never pay more than ONE week net pay on your dwelling. ONE week for expenses (Transportation, car etc), ONE week for savings, ONE week for having some fun.
Now, that does not include such variables as converting the bulk of a student loan into a stereo system, then finding an excellent deal on a bag of weed and then getting evicted for playing the music too loud... I think it was Drei Hunden Nacht (The German cover for Three Dog Night..I kid, I kid...).. yup.. I think it was Eli's Coming... that did it...well.. to somebody I knew.....<sheepish grin>
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....wait... or was it Uriah Heep?'s EEeeeeesy Livin'?..no..wait...Grand Funk?..NAAA Couldn't have been Alice Cooper....
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