Saturday, April 17, 2010

Property Tax

I got a notice of a re-evaluation of my home's assessment for property taxes. I, along with 100,000 others. Normally it would be a time of gloom because of the rising taxes. This time, it is a time of gloom because of the falling ones. My evaluation, like everyone else I spoke with has fallen - massively, nearly 40%. And I am going to appeal yet another $15,000 reduction since one of the nicer houses behind mine has an even lower price posted on the for sale sign in front of the house and is not getting any takers.
There are two parts of the property tax and they are handled differently. The County uses "the book", the total of all property value in the county and divides it by what the need to spend and set this millage*. No real problem, they will change the number of mils and we will pay the same for police, and firemen, and jails.
Now the schools on the other hand have a limit on the millage rate they can charge - 21 mils. Anything more than that requires an act of the state legislature. The City of Atlanta had one a few years back to go up to 25 mils. It was not a pretty sight. Some of the rural counties tax themselves 9 - 12 mils. These are the ones with no growth, and coincidentally (?) the ones where everyone knows all the school board members and the Superintendent. Well, in my county, we have been living pretty high on the hog between support tons (literally) of illegal aliens, and massive anonymous executive salaries (I don't know them, and I work there), and incredible technology we are constantly between 18 and 21 mils. So... there is nowhere up left to go. So down we go. No more feng shui decorations and fancy furniture for the front offices. No more "My room is too hot! It is 73 degrees in here." Now if they would just reduce some of the bloat at the central office. Much of it exists just to satisfy the insatiably demand from the Imperial Federal Government for paper; but some of the bloat exists because" I have a budget and I can get someone else to do the drudge part of my work".
Things are going to get ugly.

*one mil is one tenth of a cent, or one dollar for every thousand per mil. i.e. 20 mils on a hundred thousand dollar valuation = $2000 per year.

No comments: