Thursday, December 27, 2007

And you thought I was just kidd'in you...Sit back an do nothing and they are coming .

If you believe the Tribune editorial below do nothing. Just sit back and relax and wait until next year. That is exactly what the Realtor Association lobby wants you to do. But if you in your heart of hearts believe that computer mass reassessments are not the solution to all the problems and will create more problems, higher taxes and at greater expense, then for heavens sake do something! Write letters to the editors of the Salt Lake Tribune and the Desert News telling them how for the last three years minimum we have endured this mass reassessment act and look at the results. Gross disparate taxation which makes no sense to anyone. Millions more spent on record numbers of appeals which still have not been resolved. A separate contract with a Salt Lake Appraisal Firm to do the job the County Assessors were and have been tasked/paid to do for years. I say just sit back and say, "Hey ole D-Bell is raising Helen enough for all of us". But truth is they, the editors, are already tired of hearing only my voice. I CAN NOT DO THIS ALONE!!!! Oh and those "cooler heads" referred to in the editorial... Niederhauser and Harper HB 54 sponsors, both Developers and Realtor Association members...remember that.

Property tax fix: Use computers to keep values in step with market
Tribune Editorial
Article Last Updated: 12/26/2007 07:22:59 PM MST

Lawmakers are hot to reform property taxes in the Legislature early next year. But if cooler heads prevail, which we hope they will, legislators will confine themselves to technical adjustments that won't risk creating big new inequities in an attempt to fix isolated problems. One worthwhile technical reform is embodied in House Bill 54. It would instruct assessors in the state's 10 most populous counties to use a computer-assisted mass appraisal system to update all real estate values every year. Salt Lake County already employs such a system to keep assessed values in step with the market, and as a result, protests arising from rapid real estate inflation have not exceeded the norm of about 2.5 percent.
That has not been the case in pockets of other counties. Angry property owners in Bountiful (Davis County) and Ogden Valley (Weber County) are spearheading a tax protest movement.
Utah's system is designed to keep government revenues stable. As real estate values go up, the certified tax rate goes down. The two exceptions that cause higher tax receipts are additions to the tax base caused by growth, such as new housing or property improvements, or tax rate increases approved by local governments and school districts. Assessors are required to update property values annually based on a review of current market data. They also are required to complete a detailed review of property characteristics for each property at least once every five years.
Salt Lake County began employing computer systems more than a decade ago to track real estate sales prices and adjust values accordingly. Keeping assessed values abreast of the market helps to spare taxpayers sticker shock during periods of high inflation.
No tax system yet devised can deliver perfect equity. Within a given county, market values in some areas will rise or fall more rapidly than in others, and a single certified tax rate cannot perfectly compensate for those disparities. But better application of better data certainly can help.
This will come at a price, of course. Counties that do not already employ those systems will incur additional costs to create greater tax equity. Before legislators can evaluate HB54, those costs will have to be estimated.
We suspect, however, that most property owners would consider that money well spent.

And Oh brothern are you all in for a big surprise come next August. Unless someone someplace wakes up and gets a clue...



Frank Cumberland said...

Saw a heartwarming little item on the news the other night, about a
70-something retired schoolteacher in Tampa or someplace, whose real
estate taxes were in the neighborhood of $17000 per year, a sum
obviously difficult for her to pay. Accordingly, she and others are
taking advantage of a new "senior citizen relief measure" adopted by
the kindhearted local officials: they will allow up to a $1000 credit
against real estate taxes in return for targeted community service
(teachers can teach, accountants can audit, lawyers can lawyer, anyone
can pick up leaves, etc.) Here's the kicker: residents earn the credit
at the incredibly generous rate of $7.00 per hour of community
service, just a hair above Florida's minimum wage of $6.79 per hour as
of 1/1/08!

Now, I don't know how much that little old retired school teacher's
house is worth, nor do I know what kind of fabulous services Tampa
provides that generates a tax bill of $17000 (hell, they don't even
have to plow snow), but I can't escape the feeling that this little
scheme is the first step on the road to indentured servitude, or the
"company town" syndrome, whereby if you choose to live in an area, the
charge levied by the bosses for doing so is so onerous and
unmanageable that residents are forced, without real choice, to
perform work for the bosses for whatever the bosses want to "pay,"
which can and may well slip downwards to zero, which equals SLAVERY,
under the guise of real estate tax relief for the elderly. Sweet.

Let's hope our genius legislators don't come up with THAT one. Oops,
too late; I may have tipped them off.

Minor Machman said...

Holy Mother of Pearl! Batman... At that rate it will take her 2,428hours of public service. Assuming she could teach year round at $7.00/hour, that's 40 hrs a week times 51 (w one week off for Christmas or whatever they call Christ's birthday down there)is 2040 hours. So without any holidays off she would have to work one huge year plus another two and a half months to pay her property taxes.

I think someone actually came up with something which equals Representative Froerer's Deferred Taxes Bill for seniors he sponsored last year with the 6% interest charge kicker to make certain heirs would have to sell family property to pay off the heavy tax debt.

Are you sure someone actually proposed this Machevillian tax scheme or is this just an urban legend type thing.

God save us all if this is a true bill that actually passed in Florida!

Thanks for the comment Frank. Don't know why it didn't work for you unless you have not registered with Feedblitz or something...?