April 28, 2007

USATODAY: Property taxes up as house prices fall

Your home value is plummeting while your ARM is resetting, your monthly payment is jumping, your insurance is skyrocketing, your homeowners association fees are climbing, and to really twist the knife, your property taxes are going up.


Kinda sucks, eh?

Property taxes were the Government's dirty little secret during the Late Great Housing Bubble. Not only did the bubble bankroll consumer spending these past few years, it also poured billions of new $$$ into government coffers, so they could go out and spend wildly.

And as you know, property taxes are REALLY sticky. Good luck Desperate Homedebtors trying to get the government to lower your tax bill on your depreciating debt bomb. Meanwhile, the bubble sitters and bitter renters are sitting pretty.

Property taxes will keep rising nearly everywhere for homeowners even as house prices are falling in many parts of the country, according to a USA TODAY analysis of government data.

A key reason: Despite the downturn, the market value of millions of homes still exceeds their assessed value used for tax purposes.

"Some people are irritated to learn the news," says Jim Todora, a property tax assessor in Sarasota County, Fla. "Their home's value may have gone down, but their property tax is still going up."

Fresh evidence of the slumping real estate market came Tuesday when the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes dropped in March at the highest rate in 18 years.

38 comments:

traineeinvestor said...

It's not just in the US that property taxes have been increasing at well above the rate of inflation for a long long time. Given that this is happening at the same time that the population (i.e. number of households) has also been growing, it is a pretty strong condemnation of the governments that levy these taxes.

In Hong Kong we got a break this year - the government has waived the property taxes for the first two quarters of 2007. I nice but all too rare reversal of trend.

Anonymous said...

Boy does it suck here in the States.

Colin FitzGerald said...

We live on Cape Cod and our insurance has gone up 60% in two years. We now pay almost $200 a month for insurance. Our taxes are also going up. We have a 30 year fixed at 6% and plenty of equity yet we are considering selling due to dropping property values and rising costs. We would rather rent and stop throwing money away.

Anonymous said...

Pure evil. One more reason to wait until all the detritis washes away before buying. Property taxes and government spending NEED to go down, not up.

Mort said...

Property bubbles are good fun. The hangover is a beotch though, 'cause nobody wants to pick up the tab. Bwahaha! Eat it grifters!

Anonymous said...

I dont think that Government spends wildly. Most of the tax money goes to pay off worthless debt created by a private federal reserve system. The government sure doesnt invest in infrastructure anymore.

By all recent reports the USA has a $12 trillion dollar deficit in basic infrastructure. The problem over the last 40 years is that government has almost been eliminated.

Private banks control our credit system now, instead of government.

Anyone remember John F. Kennedy's crash NASA space program? Now that was one of the largest government spending programs in our nations history. But it returned $0.12 cents to the economy for every $0.01 invested by the government. If Kennedy were alive today and President he would never get the US population to support his space program. He would likely not even get elected.

Kennedy also used the power of government to "direct money" in the private sector. He taxed "speculation" at higher marginal rates, while he gave a tax break to those corporations that re-invested profits into plant modernization etc.

That's the proper role of government. Money is "stupid" it doesnt know where to go, so you require government to direct money to the type of investments which increase the productive powers of labor,to regulate money and to regulate and protect the productive economy. They also have to make a commitment to building and maintaining basic infrastructure-water, rail, power, etc. And for that you require a "credit system" not a "money system".

If private banks are circulating money to speculate in real estate, stocks, derivatives etc. then you will end up with financial collapse and ruin sooner rather than later. Probably war too.

The housing debacle is the work of these large private banks. Institutions.They have been operating in a completely de regulated environment and not subject to government control.

The period of 1963-2007 has been a period of decline for the USA, a dark age period where progress was halted and a switch to a post industrial society was enforced.

Only government can get the US out of this mess.

Have any of the Democratic candidates even made a passing mention of this?

Anonymous said...

The G wants theirs too!

Anonymous said...

Democrats control local governments and tax the shit out of everyone. They then use that money to bribe teachers and other unions in order to maintain power.

The solution to this issue according to HP and other liberals...elect more Democraps.

Brilliant!!

Anonymous said...

That's the proper role of government. Money is "stupid" it doesnt know where to go, so you require government to direct money

That may well be the most idiotic thing I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone buy a home today?

Anonymous said...

That's the proper role of government. Money is "stupid" it doesnt know where to go, so you require government to direct money

That may well be the most idiotic thing I've ever read.

=================================
I feel so embarassed. Hey, I know most American's are absolute idiots. Otherwise why would we be in this mess?

That you dont even know your own country's history does not surprise me.
Money is a "idiot" it's only paper.It does not know how to develop a real economy The real economy is what you can produce! Improving your infrastructure, education, culture, agriculture etc.

Try thinking it might help you figure out just how the United States became the greatest industrial power in all known human history.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

Dear Keith,
Please send in the Flying Monkeys to here. Please Post away HPers.
Thanks.

State leaders 'falsely claiming' 'wild spending' by locals


Susan Latvala | Special to the Sentinel
Posted April 27, 2007



Ask yourself this question: Are you willing to accept fewer police and firefighters in your community, fewer open hours at your parks and libraries, and fewer local transportation options to lower your property-tax bill?

As we head into the final, frantic week of Florida's annual legislative session, your response is critical. That's because state leaders are once again turning up the misleading rhetoric against local governments in their zeal to pass property-tax reform. And if they're successful, the results in your community will be dramatic.

State leaders are falsely claiming that wild spending by cities and counties is the prime reason that some property owners have seen their tax bills soar. And they're insisting that local governments are bluffing when they say essential programs and services will face deep cuts if their Tallahassee-mandated rollbacks are approved.

Make no mistake about it: Crucial local programs and services that you depend on are facing real cuts or elimination if state leaders prevail and slash local-government revenues by tens of billions of dollars over the next five years. These cuts will undoubtedly impact the quality of life in your community in some manner.

For example, Orlando may be forced to halt a three-year initiative to add dozens more needed police officers and firefighters. Orange County may reduce contributions to local nonprofit agencies. DeLand may be forced to close a fire station and eliminate a fall Little League schedule. Winter Park said it's considering everything from trimming aggressive traffic enforcement to no longer hanging flower baskets along Park Avenue.

These are real, current discussions that local governments are having as they struggle to figure out how they will handle these state-driven cuts; this is not political posturing.

Is this how you want property-tax reform to go? It doesn't have to be this way; we can achieve property-tax relief and protect local communities if all sides are willing to work toward thoughtful solutions to this complex problem.

Local property-tax revenues and spending have risen for three basic reasons. Our state is growing rapidly, and our citizens demand more services. The terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, and a succession of natural disasters in Florida have required more investment in public safety and disaster preparedness. And local governments are increasingly left to pay the tab for unfunded mandates handed down by the state.

While they rail against local governments, state leaders conveniently neglect to tell you an important fact: The largest portion of your property-tax bill -- about 30 percent on average -- is the "Required Local Effort" you pay to fund the state's public schools.

Remarkably, state leaders are planning to increase your local property taxes for public schools this year by $458 million -- or about 7.4 percent -- at the same time they're demanding local governments reduce property taxes.

In addition, state leaders fail to tell you they are also pushing down unfunded mandates for programs such as Medicaid, juvenile justice, mental-health treatment in jails, local environmental protection and growth management. Local governments pay more than $1 billion annually for these state responsibilities.

This shouldn't be a state-government vs. local-government debate. Florida's 67 county governments understand that many citizens need property-tax relief. In 2006, two-thirds of our counties reduced their millage rates, saving taxpayers $500 million. We agree with Gov. Charlie Crist, the Legislature and property owners that our property-tax system is broken and that reform is needed.

Counties should be part of any solution. We support relief for businesses and non-homesteaded property owners who have faced the tax-burden shift brought on by Save Our Homes. We also would accept reasonable limits on local government-revenue growth, but cannot accept tens of billions of dollars in state-mandated cuts that would harm urban and rural counties in vastly different ways. The dialogue emanating from Tallahassee is all about further eroding local control of taxes and spending.

It's time to end the unproductive rhetoric and finger-pointing in Tallahassee. Stop pitting one branch of government against another. Our state leaders should strive to adopt reforms that bring relief to the property owners who truly need it, while at the same time avoiding devastating cuts in your hometown and mine.

Susan Latvala is a Pinellas County commissioner and president of the Florida Association of Counties.

Anonymous said...

But, but but all my coworkers who bought at house last year says to me:

John, you can ONLY GET RICH by buying a home.

You mean to tell me they are ALL goning to be proven WRONG??????

Ah, let the games begin!

Chris said...

Forget taxes...my homeowners insurance went from $2,600 to 7,334 in Dec 06. I live in Florida and didn't suffer any damage from the hurricanes (no claims). Lucky my loan was with a local lender who had not sold it off to an agency; therfore I was lucky to get an exception on my insurance coverage and was able to get it down to $3,900 a year. Still way to much for an 1,800 sq ft home built in the 60's. I live in West Palm Beach and my insurance is the one that claims to be a "good neighbor" more like I paying for protection from the mob.

I wonder how many folks will be shock this year when their new coupon books are mailed to them with their increased Escrow changes due to taxes and insurance? There coming....

K.. W. said...

Someone earlier within this blog stated the situation like it really is ... this housing bubble was a very intelligent scheme to transfer more money to the wealthy.

Eventually, there will be no more middle-class - those getting hit hardest by all of this.

Once that happens, we'll be joining the ranks of other
3rd world countries.

K. W. - Southern Ca.

Anonymous said...

In Baltimore, property values are up 130% with assessments and taxes increasing the same amount, albeit lagging.

And the mayor has said that the city may not be able to afford a 5% reduction phased in over 5 years!

The rate is over 2% of market value a year! That's $10k on a $500k townhouse, which is standard. Of course, due to temp abatements for new construction and the lag effect of new construction, the taxes listed in the MLS never come close to the statutory 2% of market value amount. Of course, not 1 realtor would give me the straight answer, "yes your taxes will quadruple to 2% of market value after you buy this formerly $125k house for $500k.

Yet another rude shock in store for homedebtors.

westchester chick said...

Just for fun I went to a new building in a neighboring town with crappy schools and heavy illegal immigration. They want $499K for a 2 bedroom 1750 sq foot condo $650 carrying charges and $11,000 in taxes!! They are well situated geographically but I am curious to see the type of people that are willing to pay that for crap schools and no property but a terrace and a parking spot.

Frank said...

A girlfriend who works in the appraisal industry explained to me that the assessed values are always wildly inflated over real market value. This was going on in Arizona well before the housing boom even begun, and they still have tax appraisals, for example, at $800k for a house that is selling for $500k now. They even have the gall to have 2008 assessments already posted on their site which of course are much higher than the 2007 appraisal.

Tax appraised values have *nothing* to do with real market value.

www.scottsdale-sucks.com

Stuck in So Pa said...

"FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...
Ask yourself this question: Are you willing to accept fewer police and firefighters in your community, fewer open hours at your parks and libraries, and fewer local transportation options to lower your property-tax bill?"

I always love it when the "pigs at the trough" are faced with budget tightening, and resort to the old standbys: lies and scare tactics! You will notice that its always services that actually affect YOU, the little guy, that will have to be cut, never the pay, pensions, and perks for the fat cats at the top.

Here in Taxsylvania, the county supervisors are axing senior centers (which by the way are mostly volunteer staff) left and right, citing budget restrictions. After all, "You don't want us to have to RAISE PROPERTY TAXES do you?" Some local reporter did the math, and figured out that all the supervisors had to do was give back just the fat pay RAISES they awarded themselves this year, and there would be more than enough money to cover the senior centers.

I wonder how the "pigs at the trough" are going to weather the coming storm. So much unaccounted for fat is supported by the property tax. What happens when the revenue stops coming in. I mentioned in an earlier post that the local tax collector revealed to me, in a moment of honesty, that the list of properties listed as "uncollectable" is uncomfortably growing more every year, much more than the taxing authorities want the public to know. The FB mails in the keys, the bank goes under, and no one will buy the place, even for one dollar, because of the sky-high property taxes.

I am not looking foreword to hearing on the news that one or more sheriff's deputies were gunned down trying to seize someone's home for unpaid property taxes, but considering the “hair-trigger” mentality of America, I believe its just a matter of time!

TM said...

"Democrats control local governments and tax the shit out of everyone. They then use that money to bribe teachers and other unions in order to maintain power."

Wow. Democrats completely control all local governments everywhere. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

TAhe schools are a high priced horror designed to harness political power rather than education, the insurance co.s buy politicians and force buyers, a total rip off, taxes empower the vultures, and for ever penny of "help" gov't does for someone, it must do a penny plus the costs of administrators, executors,regulators,researchers, insurers,ect,ect plus interests plus tax, harm to someone.....

TM said...

To Chris, I feel for you on the insurance rates. It's not totally company greed driving those rates.

Many carriers would like very much to exit the Florida homeowners market completely, but the FL Office of Insurance Regulation has forced companies to write homeowners, if they offer that same coverage in other states. So to write in a sound and profitable auto market, carriers write homeowners, at really high rates.

And they've made huge profits doing it... so far. The problem is that the disaster modeling and actuarial research points to big problems in the sustainability of insuring structures in FL.

Expect to see in the future a more comprehensive state-run insurance scheme in the future. It will bankrupt the state when you'll need it most, though, because it's nearly impossible to charge enough to cover the risk you're facing.

I come here for the schadenfreude, but actually feel real sympathy on this issue. Florida property owners stand in the face increasing risk, but their options for mitigating or transferring it are decreasing.

Anonymous said...

up until the logical point of greaster than 50 percent of the people are part of the"help,harm" system employees and by definition in a voter bloc, in a communist state, without property rights or freedoms unless one is the appartachik, or of the party and thats the way it is today, or bend over, cause you got it comming and going err "we"

Anonymous said...

Property taxes up.....values declining........hmmmm?

Welcome to the Twilight Zone!

Anonymous said...

At least the twilight zone was entertaining!

Pete said...

>>>That's the proper role of government. Money is "stupid" it doesnt know where to go, so you require government to direct money<<<

Money is 'Stupid' the same way televisions and cars are 'Stupid': They are inanimate objects incapable of thought. People direct where money "goes."

>>>so you require government to direct money to the type of investments which increase the productive powers of labor,to regulate money and to regulate and protect the productive economy.<<<

What you're saying is human beings in gov't are better at 'directing' money. But are they? Look at our deficits. Our national debt. Money spent on Congressional Pork. How about the 'Predatory Lending' bailouts being voiced by Chuck Schumer and many others in Congress? How do you like the direction of THAT money (if they get their way)?

Hayley said...

Whaddya think, that the American middle class is going just stand by and let themselves be marginalized out of existence. C'mon. The only reason they tolerate the rich is because life isn't all that difficult for them.

Ditto on Flying Monkey Warrior's post. Greedy locals, please, anyone here trotting to the grocery store on gold plated sidewalks? Are they picking up your garbage 3 days a week? Is all the public transportation getting in the way of your morning commute?

Did the Feds hack the hell out of federal revenue sharing? (Yes)

Also this discussion about the fact that there's supposed to be a correlation between dropping home values and lower property taxes is a bit of a mystery to me. It doesn't cost the city less to provide services because your property value drops due to market conditions. It simply means the tax rate per thousand of assessed value rises because the gross value of taxable real estate is less. (I'm not talking about rising property taxes due to increased budgeted expenses, only that your crazy if you think you're entitled to a huge tax break because the bottom drops out of the housing market.)

To me this is another example of the MSM not being able to process information. For example we had screaming headlines here about how my city's tax rate per thousand was so high relative to other local communities. But the reason for that was that the homes in my city were never part of the bubble. It wasn't as though it cost any more to run our local gov't than the one ten miles away, it's just that if your average house costs $200k then the per thousand tax rate will be half that in a locality where the average home price is 100K.

Anonymous said...

Only government can get the US out of this mess.

Government caused this mess. By giving the implied backing of the US Government, banks made loans they NEVER would have in the past. Give a 103% LTV loan to a total loser?? Never would have happened.

Government is 100% at fault for this.

Paul E. Math said...

"so you require government to direct money to the type of investments which increase the productive powers of labor,to regulate money and to regulate and protect the productive economy."

You could not be more incorrect. And your ideas are more dangerous than you realize.

The source of our rising standard of living is rising productivity. Competition is the source of all productivity improvements, NOT some 'smart', well-meaning bureaucrat.

The more you try to outsmart the invisible hand, the more you screw things up. That's exactly how Greenspan created the successive stock bubbles and real estate bubbles. And if you try to stop real estate prices from returning to their natural level then you will create even more problems.

Have a little faith and patience and let nature take it's course.

Anonymous said...

>> I am not looking foreword to hearing on the news that one or more sheriff's deputies were gunned down trying to seize someone's home for unpaid property taxes.

Me neither, but these news stories are coming.

Property taxes are pure EVIL. You can never TRULY own something as long as it is taxed. But what's the solution? How WOULD we pay for fire, police, streets, schools, etc.? I've NEVER heard ANYONE propose a solution to this dilema.

As for myself, I sold my house late last year and am happily renting. Besides the coming crash, I simply couldn't afford my home anymore. And by that I mean the property taxes. The mortgage was not a problem (I had just over 80% equity).

I fear that the American tax payer/property-tax-paying home owner is at the breaking point, and that violence is going to seem like the only solution.

Hmmm...2nd American Revolution anyone?

Hayley said...

People will bitch about paying property taxes and then pay the guy who mows their lawn $1,500 bucks every summer.

They'll spend $3 bucks a day on bottled water (over a $1,000 a year), drop a $1,000 to fix a $10 car part (because general motors makes it impossible to fix your car you now must r-e-p-l-a-c-e your car) and spend thousands on non-deductible credit card interest without so much as a word of complaint.

Then they'll drive down a paved road with nearly instantaneous medical attention if their car crashes and make no connection between the taxes they pay and those services.

Raptureman said...

Mort said...
Kennedy also used the power of government to "direct money" in the private sector. He taxed "speculation" at higher marginal rates, while he gave a tax break to those corporations that re-invested profits into plant modernization etc...... That's the proper role of government. Money is "stupid" it doesnt know where to go, so you require government to direct money to the type of investments which increase the productive powers of labor,to regulate money and to regulate and protect the productive economy. They also have to make a commitment to building and maintaining basic infrastructure-water, rail, power, etc. And for that you require a "credit system" not a "money system".

Un-Oh. Cue the Libtard response. "The government should not be picking winners or losers...."

Kenduffelsniffenspotzen said...

Stuck in So Pa said...
"I always love it when the "pigs at the trough" are faced with budget tightening, and resort to the old standbys: lies and scare tactics! You will notice that its always services that actually affect YOU, the little guy, that will have to be cut, never the pay, pensions, and perks for the fat cats at the top....... Here in Taxsylvania, the county supervisors are axing senior centers (which by the way are mostly volunteer staff) left and right, citing budget restrictions. After all, "You don't want us to have to RAISE PROPERTY TAXES do you?" Some local reporter did the math, and figured out that all the supervisors had to do was give back just the fat pay RAISES they awarded themselves this year, and there would be more than enough money to cover the senior centers.
.......I wonder how the "pigs at the trough" are going to weather the coming storm. So much unaccounted for fat is supported by the property tax. What happens when the revenue stops coming in......
April 28, 2007 6:37 PM

I work for a large company. The people making six and seven-figure salaries at the top are multiplying like rabbits. But down at the level that deals with customers and brings in revenue, our salaries are frozen. Competition is fierce, so only the "talent" at the top gets the raises.

Anonymous said...

County Tax for Police, Fire, roads, etc ok. But why School Tax forever. If you pay scchool tax forever, it looks like that public school education is one hell of a private school bill. I never went to public schools, I do not have kids, and I resent that school tax is based upon my home. At 39 my house is paid off and my largest bill is the school tax!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Greenspan, you FIAT WHORE, and the rest of the FED for this mess! May all of you FIAT WHORES BURN IN HELL.

Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania "Taxylvania" is looking to shift taxes to give the appearance of a tax cut.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07116/780886-55.stm

Anonymous said...

Florida doesn't have a property tax problem for anyone with a brain. 'Save Our Homes'limits the tax increase on your house to 3% yearly. But you have to have a brain to sign up for it. Also, you ahd to buy well before 2003. I don't pay taxes on over $120000 of the value of my house. On top of that, the state is considering eliminating property tax all together and socking it to the poor and renters.

BRAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

TM said...

Florida doesn't have a property tax problem for anyone with a brain. 'Save Our Homes'limits the tax "increase on your house to 3% yearly. But you have to have a brain to sign up for it. Also, you ahd to buy well before 2003. I don't pay taxes on over $120000 of the value of my house. On top of that, the state is considering eliminating property tax all together and socking it to the poor and renters.

BRAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!"

I guess my explanation of the insurance problem in FL was too prosaic. Let me rephrase: you are very soon going to have bend over and take it up the keester to pay for homeowner's insurance that will fail you when a large-scale disaster strikes.

So my question: is that laughter at the end of your post, or rather the noise you make while being violated?