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Home Values Down, Property Taxes Up

May 22, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

property-tax-up-home-value-down

No doubt that this is, and has been happening all across most of America. While local governments continue to search for ongoing funding for their fiscal policies and expenditures, they have mostly NOT cut back (like most of the private sector has had to do), and instead have continued to increase their deficits and debt. And now, we’re hearing more and more how these governments are looking for ways to increase tax revenue.

Trust me. As a general rule, governments will tax you before they will cut back on their own expenses. Governments will continue to grow, unless we the people get off our lazy butts and stop them. Complaining about it does nothing. Doing something, is what is needed.

The following letter to the editor which I happened to read recently, surely reflects the sentiment and happenings in many areas around the country where cities and towns are continuing to increase their property taxes (or other tax revenue sources), all the while the average Joe’s property value has been decreasing (as well as Joe’s effective paycheck).

How long will the majority of the private sector allow their governments to continue to tax and spend as they have for so many years? How much pain will have to be inflicted upon the majority of the public before they will actually get off their a$$’s and go to a town hall meeting to complain to their ‘leaders’?

To the Editor:
Over the past four years property tax rates have increased 29 percent, from 2008-2012. Over the same five-year period home values have decreased by 18 percent. For fiscal 2013 the [town] Finance Committee is forecasting a 3 percent drop in home values and an increase of 7 percent in property tax. These increases cannot be sustained. I realize the difficulty some have in attending Town Meeting. However, this is a great opportunity to send a message that [town] has had it with the “tax, borrow and spend, spend, tax and borrow” minority.

Many have expressed their anger, over the current tax rate and spending; now you have an opportunity to do something about it. Not just complain about it. If you are a registered voter, please attend the Town Meeting on [date-time] at [town] High School and vote yes on Article [x].

Vice Chairman [name] and the town administrator made mention that when Article [x] passes that some services may be cut back, employees may be laid off, furloughed or hours reduced to 32 hours per week; and that some town employees responded directly to Selectman [name] that they would not be able to make it on 32 hours per week.

I do not know of anyone who wants any of these possible scenarios. However, there is a reality to what has happened and is happening. Hard choices may have to be made by town officials, voters of [town] and town employees. There are seniors and unemployed and young families who are finding it extremely difficult, financially. The “Public Sector” like the “Private Sector” has to make hard choices in the short run, to make the longer run better for all.

Everyone has choices, some are tough to make. The Town of [town] is not unlike any private business, as the running of the town is a business. The “revenue” for [town] is derived from property taxes, motel/food taxes, fees etc. When a private business incurs debt such as [town] has, it is time to look at everything. Everything should be on the table.

We don’t need new taxes. We need new taxpayers … people that are gainfully employed, expansion of businesses, making money and paying into the tax system. And then we need a town government and voters that have the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again.

When governments are faced with their first real hard choices of facing cutbacks, they will squeal like a stuck pig… Most of us in the private sector have been feeling the pain for a number of years now – and it’s almost comical to watch as local, county, and state governments are finally staring over the edge of the cliff for the first time as their money trough is running dry. What will they do first? They will come after you and your money. Hold on to your wallets folks…

 

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