Yet another Ebay sap..

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*snip*

The problem with that is I'd happily buy my sister's house for $1 and she'd buy mine for the same $1. A couple hundred in title fees, and my property tax is just a few cents. Good for me, bad for government.
Puckdropper
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Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

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No, it would just be bad for honest taxpayers. What seems to be missed in all of these discussions on how the property tax should be structured is that they are just schemes to shove the tax off on someone else. None of them have anything to do with the spending side of the equation. I see no reason why my neighbor who has lived in his house for 20 years should pay significantly less than me just because I have only lved in my house for 10 years.
Dave Hall
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Partly because the only accurate gauge of the value of the home is the price for which it sold on the open market. Selling price is hard data. Appraisals and tax assessments are only guesses.
Also, you're assuming that your neighbor's property value has appreciated significantly during that time. While this is usually a valid assumption, it ain't necessarily so.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 23:33:49 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Well, I guess that I assume that in a world with an active market (which is true in most of the country, but could be wrong in some lightly populated areas) it is pretty easy to compute a reasonably accurate assessment and since most jurisdictions provide for an appeal process, I assume the overall assessment process is reasonably fair. If it isn't in your part of the world, that is a political problem, not a problem with the concept. However, to put a possibly clearer description on my point, "I see no reason why my neighbor who has" a house just like mine with the same actual market value as mine but who has"lived in his house for 20 years should pay significantly less than me just because I have only lved in my house for 10 years".
I have no problem with some kind of ability to pay measure, but in reality a very large percentage of "senior citizens" have a better ability to pay than middle aged people who have mortgages, car payments, kids to raise and colleges to pay for. Just being old should not exempt someone from supporting society to the extent that society has decided to spend society's money. If the argument would truly be about equitable distribution of the tax burden then it would be a good discussion, but it is pretty much always about how the person talking can screw someone else into paying the taxes. The best debate would be about how much society should actually be spending and only then an equitable distribution of the burden.
Dave Hall
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One would suppose so, yes. In practice, it normally doesn't work out that way, suggesting that either the assumption is flawed or the assessors are idiots. Maybe both.

That's *definitely* not a valid assumption.

IMO it's a problem with both: it's easier to distort a process that's flawed to begin with.

Assumption!
But until the house sells, you _don't_know_ what its actual market value is.

And a lot don't, too.

Agreed -- but IMO being too poor should.

I look at that a bit differently: I want to pay the bare minimum in taxes that I can pay while still complying with the law -- just what I'm required to, and not a penny more. Not quite the same as screwing someone else into paying the taxes.

Oh, absolutely. Seems these days everybody wants all kinds of spending, but nobody wants to pay for it.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 02:44:28 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Again, if in an active market your assessors are not getting pretty close, it is a political problem since it ain't rocket science. Even every little real estate agent gets pretty damn close when pricing houses.

Political problem again, must be bad judges if they allow gross over assessments when you bring valid sales data and comparable property data to the appeal.

Again, if there is any market at all you do "know", at least as well as you know the earth is round, that the sun will rise in the morning and that congress will do something stupid the next time it meets. All are assumptions, but pretty solidly based in experience.

Poor has nothing to do with age or how long someone has owned a home.

But the whole discussion has been about people considering tax structures that end up with them paying less taxes. By definition they are then talking about how to make other people pay more in taxes.

AMEN, brother!
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Dave Hall wrote:
.. snip

Why should that be the case? Isn't about time to start demanding that the government make do with the money it is already receiving and to live within those means?
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Wrong.
You fail to consider the alternative: talking about reducing government spending so that *everybody* pays less in taxes.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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(Doug Miller)

I am disappointed in this response Doug. I'll take up some of the slack for you...
For those of us who have finally gotten out from underneath our mortgages, many are still under the burden of those college educations we contributed to, still have car payments, now (or soon will have) have grand children that we contribute to, pay for weddings, and lots of other costs that the previous poster cannot yet see. In short, the previous poster is not well informed with respect to the costs associated with moving on past the child raising stage of life.

This is the one that you really let me down on Doug. Again - I'll take point on this one...
"has decided to spend society's money"????? Therein lies the problem in the previous poster's perspective. Society has no money of its own. It taxes people to raise money. Translation - it spends the money that belongs to people. It decides how to spend other people's money. It's an attitude like this that is so damned annoying. Folks run around thinking that because they want something, or think they need it, they have the right to impose upon the finances of those around them in the name of society, and then justify that by such empty arguments as were stated above, that other (older, richer, etc.) people don't need their money as much as the greedy ones need to get it from them, for their own desires.
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-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:

... snip

Thank-you for that very cogent and absolutely spot-on assessment. This attitude and idea that it is "society's" money is quite frightening as it implies a certain entitlement mindset; i.e, there is a certain amount of a country's wealth and prosperity that should be used as some ruling entity determines vs. the idea that a society and country requires a certain level of government activity to allow private endeavors to prosper but that amount should be the absolute minimum required to allow government to perform its most basic functions.
Evidence of this is apparent in such things as one of Hillary's recent speeches were, when speaking about oil companies' profits she made the comment, "When I'm president, I'm going to take those profits and use them to fund health care, .... " That is an entitlement mindset, seeking to reap from the work of others and use it to buy a dependency class votes
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 09:03:48 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Wow! I don't know how you managed to so thoroughly misinterprete what I was saying. I certainly did not say that retired folks have an ability to pay MORE than others, I was refuting the concept that just because you are old you should automatically pay LESS. Being old does not make one poor and should not be an exemption from taxes. Being poor, at any age, may be such a reason.
I also did not imply that all money belong's to society. However, society does (via its laws and people's votes) decide how they want to spend money. They (really meaning us as a society) then must get that money from us citizens. Instead of us always focusing on how "they" are going to get that money from us, maybe we should focus on why "we" are spending so much of it. To debate how to raise the money is simply an excercise in trying to make the other guy pay for the stuff that we all (via our freely elected government) seem to want government to buy for us. By the way, my house is paid for, my kids are grown and out of college, my grandsons are a joy that I wish we weren't saddling with all of our deficit spending, and I am still working and paying taxes (federal, state, county, municipal and school).
Dave Hall
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(Doug Miller)

No - you said that a large percentage have a greater ability to pay ("but in reality a very large percentage of "senior citizens" have a better ability to pay than middle aged people who have mortgages, car payments, kids to raise and colleges to pay for"). I disagreed with this broad generalization. Being old is not what resulted in a lower property tax payment as was I believe, the point at hand. It is not a matter of paying less because of age.

And societies get out of hand with their desires and expectations too. Simply because society (really, a portion of that society) may have a whim, does not justify that whim.

Society is the citizenry. The problem really stems from the fact that society does not make these decisions. Special interests makes these decisions. School Boards decide upon what you'll pay in school taxes (the fox guarding the hen house), politicians empowered to spend your money decide on how much money you'll pay in taxes (that fox again), etc.

Agreed - but that is different from the initial statement that I responded to.

There is no real association between what "we all want" and an elected government.

You old fart...
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-Mike-
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 23:52:04 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

In many areas there is indeed a specific exemption in property taxes for those over a certain age, regardless of wealth, income or any other measurement of "ability" to pay. This exemtion was addressed in this thread, I believe, in the message that I was directly responding to when I first posted. My point was and still is that if you own a $100,000 house and are age 65 and earn $75,000 a year (including pensions, investment income, social security and any wages) and I own a $100,000 house and am age 50 with a total income of $75,000 (including all sources as above) and we both live in the same community, I do not see why you should pay a lower property tax than I simply due to the age difference. In most cases the generalization made in support of passing these blanket exemptions is that the "poor retiiree" is living on a "fixed income". In reality it is because a much higher percentage of people over 65 vote than those of a younger age (shame on those youngsters). They are in fact a "special interest" such as those that you take umbrage to later on in your response. My statement was that older folks are often painted as being unable to shoulder the burden (a painting they often brush oin themselves) when in fact many are at least as able to shoulder the burden as those folks of somewhat lesser years with similar total incomes. I stick by that assertion in the context presented. I do not assert that because a younger family person has family cost responsibilities that they should get any tax reduction, just that they should not be penalized.

We all vote for the folks that have the authority to act or choose not to act on that whim.

Who elected them???
politicians empowered to spend your money

Who elected them????

Who elected them??? They did not get into power by some birthright, "society" chose these leaders. "Society" chose the structures by which we are governed. I also have problems with what elected officials and governing bodies choose to do, but I cannot divorce myself from them - I am part of the citizenry that selected them whether I like it or not.

Getting older (and fartier) by the day as my wife (who is 3 months younger than I) loves to point out - especially during the 3 months during which I and "a year older" than her ;-)
Dave Hall
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Nobody said that.

Nobody said that, either.

The phrase "society's money" does indeed imply just that. Neither "society" nor government has any money of its own. It's my money, your money, his money -- our money as *individuals*. Whatever the government has, it has only because it took it from us as individuals.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Puckdropper wrote:

Then, the gov would come along and tell you they need to put an off ramp where your property is, and since it's only worth a buck...
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It's an awful funny place for an off ramp... Imagine a mound of dirt, new asphalt, nicely painted lines, starting off in a field and ending there.
That's the problem with going by the last sold price. Now, that's not to say that last sold price shouldn't play a role in the assessment of the property's value. Perhaps use it as a beginning point rather than an end point.
Puckdropper
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To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Just for the sake of argument/illustration, assume two identical houses in equivalent locations (ATSG, the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location). One has been owned by the same person for many years and was purchased at the market value existing at that time - say $100,000. The other was purchased in the prevailing market last week for - say $200,000.
So, the owner of the first property pays half the taxes that are paid by the owner of the second identical property. Something about that seems a little inequitable to me.
I like the idea presented in Heinlein's Number of the Beast. I'm sure there are methods that could be implemented to prevent deep-pocket takeovers of contiguous properties.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Why bad for Government? To me, anything that aids in keeping money OUT of the hands of Government is a GOOD thing.
After all - giving money & power to govenment is like giving whiskey & car keys to 17 year olds.
-Kevin in Indy To reply, remove (+spamproof+) from address........
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 22:08:00 -0500, Kevin M. Vernon

In what way did this process keep money out of Gov't's hands? They just raise the tax rate until they get the same total amount. You won't be paying your share so, by definition, you will have screwed someone else into paying your share. We need to talk about spending, not taxes.

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I agree the spending should be addressed. But, assume the spending is cut in half and you're still facing the problem of how to equitably spread the tax load to support that reduced level of spending.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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