December 26, 2007

Even when you really do "own" a home (vs. rent money from a bank), do you really "own" the home? Or does the government "own" you?

One more nice thing about renting during the crash - no stress about soaring property taxes and insurance.

There will be a housing-led revolution in the United States soon HP'ers. Even sheeple have point where they get mad as hell and won't take it anymore.

Thanks to the housing crash, soaring insurance costs and greedy and needy states jacking up property tax bills based on false valuations, we're getting to that point.

Wake up America. You've been had.

Skyrocketing property taxes leave homeowners struggling

Maurice Gunyon thought he was set for his twilight years.

He bought a deteriorating house on Indianapolis' north side, had it torn down and a new one built. The 73-year-old retired from his government job in 2004, thinking he was financially secure. His income included his pension, personal savings, Social Security and rent from the other side of his two-family house.

Then he got his property tax bill that had nearly tripled. His bill in 2005 was about $2,900 and was $4,600 last year. This year's bill — $7,568.

"I almost had a heart attack," said Gunyon. "My reaction was one of pure anger."


Anonymous said...

So the geezer wants to up a brand new house with an extra unit to collect monthly rent, and pay property tax based on the run down POS he tore down?
I think his taxes are too low...and is he reporting the rental income on his 1040? Audit, the greedy old fart and give him something to really worry about.

Anonymous said...

Revolution means war, and war means killing. Americans don't have it in them. They will let the government become a police state.
I'm glad the middle-class scum will be impoverished.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to retire on a fixed income in a high tax state, you might consider moving to a state (like mine, Nebraska) that offers homestead tax exemptions. Next year, homestead kicks in for me and my property tax goes from the current $660.94 to zero.

Anonymous said...

Texas Property Tax Revolt

"When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression."
First Sentence, Texas Declaration of Independence - March 2, 1836

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal well meaning but without understanding.
Louis D. Brandeis
American Judge

The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
Karl Marx
Why Revolt?

The stated purpose of both the United States Government and Texas government is to protect the persons and property of their citizens. When government is filled with lawyers and paper-pushers who have no compunction about levying taxes on other people's homes and property to advance programs that serve their personal aims, or give them the appearance of fighting for the poor and the children to gain political points while actually undermining the rights of all citizens, it is time to take government back from these socialist nimrods and put people in their places who understand that the government is supposed to work for the people, not the other way around. Under the current property tax system, all of us are effectively RENTING our personal property from the state, who can seize it and dispose of it if their demands are not met in what they determine is a timely fashion.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and it appears that Texans let this violation of our personal property rights slip by. Now it has grown into a monster that threatens the very existence of private property ownership in Texas.

We're all serfs.

Under the current system of property tax, liberty is just a word. The state is lord of the manor and we are all, high and low, rich and poor, in a state worse than serfdom. Here are some salient points to consider:

Serfdom is the forced labor of serfs, on the fields of the privileged land owners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields.
The state has the advantage of not even owning, or investing in, the property. It waits until an industrious citizen accumulates enough capital to buy a homestead and then asserts its right to be paid an annual sum to allow the worker to keep it. At least the lord of the manor had some legal claim to ownership of the land and provided a degree of assistance to aid the serfs in their efforts. Government has not bought the property or spent any time or money improving it for the benefit of the tenants. It is more like a band of raiding pillagers demanding tribute payments in exchange for not evicting the owner of a farm.

Serfs were taxed on the produce and profits of their holdings.
None of us are strangers to this concept - this is income tax in its earliest form. However, we now have the additional burden of "appraised value". This means that the government entities hire professional extortionists to go about the countryside and arbitrarily assign values to a homeowner's property. In the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers listed this type of activity as one of the reasons they were willing to lay down their lives in the battle for liberty: "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance."
True value is the selling price of a property. If the property is not for sale, its value is what the current owner paid for it. Appraisers conjure a taxable value based on hypotheticals such as "In a good market, with the right buyer, if he's near-sighted, on the first day of spring, this property would bring X." or "Although the homeowner hand-felled every tree and sawed every log in his home, it is worth X, because it would have cost a lot of money IF he had to pay for the labor. This is a tax based not on value, but opinions and hypotheticals. If a person plans to live in their home till the end of their lives, they will never see this "appraised value" or realize any profit from it. Yet they are taxed as if it is something of material value.

A serf had some freedom. A serf might accumulate personal property and wealth.
We enjoy many freedoms and can accumulate personal property and wealth. However, do we ever OWN anything, when governments can assess a value and charge a percentage to allow us to keep it? It's extortion, plain and simple. We work to earn money and are taxed on that. We spend the money to buy property and materials to improve it, and we are taxed on that. We are then not only expected to pay annual fees to retain ownership of what we have bought, but to pay ever increasing rates based on a perceived value determined by a government agent.

The restraints of serfdom on personal and economic choice were enforced through various forms of manorial court and the manorial administration.
Here we are stuck in the same furrow as the serf. The poor peasant could only go to the lord of the manor with his objections to his treatment. In essence, if we seek redress to halt the extortion being perpetrated on us, we must go to the appraisal districts and courts that sanctioned the racket in the first place

We don't own our homesteads - we effectively RENT them from the taxing authorities. At least the serf had no illusions about his situation. We don't have true home ownership in Texas - we are all tenants - the only difference is whether your landlord is a human being, or a ravenous government bureaucracy.

Joseph Stalin said "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic." It could also be said that "Theft from one man is robbery; theft from millions is Texas Property Tax."

Anonymous said...

i'm sick and tired of these homeowners complaining when their tax didn't hear them complaining when their property value doubled.

Anonymous said...

We have prop 13 here in California. A citizen initiated law whereas the assessor can only raise the property tax rate 1% per year if you stay put.

I bet the politicians hate this law along with the REIC as it is a negative incentive to buy & sell constantly. I have been in my place 14 years and my taxes are about 25% of what they would be if I purchased say last year.

Anonymous said...

Limiting or even removing the property taxes now would be laying the ground work for the next property bubble. Property taxes don't put a burden on economic activity, they are cheap to collect and relatively fair. For old people that own (sufficient equity) but are cash poor, a lien should be put on the house to limit their tax bill and to not force them out. The lien would be collected when the owners die or sell the the house.

Anonymous said...

this is why repeat taxation on property means you never really own it.

Ron Paul 08

Anonymous said...

People want their home values to rocket upward and then they are shocked that the taxes which are a percentage of said price....also go up?

Well FBs, you can't have your cake....

The only question is whether taxes will retreat along with house prices or whether the percent will increase to sustain the current levels that our city and state officials have grown accustomed to.

Bill said...

Hey Vegas...For some strange reason...the words Go Fuck Yourself comes to mind...but relax it is not me saying is the Middle class Scum you speak off..Douche Bag!

brokersleaveyoubroke said...

I read a news story today about towns that have senior citizens work for the town for $8.00 an hour to help pay their property tax. The new American dream, do menial work for your local government until you die so they don't sieze your property. Suzanne never told you about that part of the joy of home ownership.

Anonymous said...

The gubbermint rewards these fat b^tches with copious money because they hate honest people. The gubbermint is your enemy if you play by the rules. God hates you and so does G.W. Bushco.

Anonymous said...

"Revolution means war, and war means killing. Americans don't have it in them."

Really? Are you willing to BET YOUR LIFE ON THAT?

Anonymous said...

the reality is you may own the property which means you have full use and utility BUT the gov't has perpetual lean rights meaning if you fail to pay your property taxes they can and will seize it and sell it at auction - consider this though we are transient beings-avg time on earth 77 yrs so what do you REALLY ever own? you possess things for a period of time and derive benefit during that time but you leave this world with EXACTLY what you entered it with-NOTHING!

consultant said...

Property taxes, finance, mortgages, politics. How much does the typical citizen actually "know"?

We have the educational system we have because it's the one the powerful want, and it is the one Joe & Sally six pack crave.

Capitalism and democracy require active participation and continuous education. That's why, from a historical perspective, both concepts (and especially the latter) are considered romantic notions.

Most people aren't up to keeping up, and more than a few people who make it to the top are inclined to make sure most of them don't. The Powers That Be wants just enough literacy so people can get from here to there, follow directions and sign their names. You know the type, real estate agents.

This much we know from our short history as a country. Does everyone have to know how everything works for the country to stay on the right course? No. But we all need to know enough, and care enough, to know that the people who negotiate for "us" have to make sure that deals are as fair as possible. That gains and losses will be spread proportionately and not concentrated-while allowing for the spectacular successes and the persistent failures.

The last 30 years of America has been one of narcissism on overdrive. A cultural trait out of sync with, dominating and therefore debasing our other cultural values.

Think what would have happened if this culture dominated government thinking at, say, the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Instead of expanding the number of states, we may have had a growing number of private estates. With large land lots going to connected cronies and companies. An approach to governance not unlike Latin America.

The mortgage meltdown and the related fall out show that we have fish to fry much bigger than just fixing the finance sector.

We have to restore America.

All of us have a lot of work to do.

Anonymous said...

That dude lives in the wrong state obviously. My property taxes can only go up 3% max. per year.

Anonymous said...

Imagine how much in property taxes you end up paying after 30 years of owning a house? My sister pays $6500/yr on her $215K house in Texas. Most of the houses built in the past 5 years won't even last 20 years. People are forked.

Anonymous said...

So, he did a tear down, and didn't think that getting all the necessary permits for building a brand new house wouldn't set off some clue bells down at the assessor's office? (Ok, I'm assuming he got the permits in the first bad.....)

BTW, anyone else sick to death of the "I'm on a fixed income" nag that always gets trotted out whenever someone ups rates on older people? So what! Most average Joes working for Da Man are on "fixed incomes", too.

Frank R said...

I think neither is true. Even if you own a home outright (either pay off the mortgage, or buy the house with cash), you still must pay property taxes meaning you're just renting the land from the government.

Anyone who thinks they own their home outright, stop paying your property taxes and you'll quickly find out who REALLY owns your home.

Anonymous said...

Such hostility - I've missed you guys. :) Lets get started!

Vegas crash watcher: I'm guessing you're a poor schlub who felt entitled just because, even though you didn't go to college or put forth any effort. May you remain a bitter lonely renter for life - amen, you uneducated tool.

All you lamenting about taxes as a reason not to own: there's a list of things here, so lemme start -
1. Taxes are deductible, and you can dispute your assessment. (I plan to dispute mine next year unless it goes down)
2. You continue to pay ever-escalating rent, and at the end of 30 years even if you stay put, you not only have nothing, you're now paying 100-200% more than I was on my last payment that day - except I own something that's worth 100-200% more (going on annual historical inflation/housing) than when I "bought" it 30 years prior. So, I can go get a place for the cost of taxes if I want to move and stay in the same size house/area, and you can pay 100-200% more then than you do today to keep renting - learn to look at the big picture. ;) Sure, if you took every extra dime you had from renting vs buying and invested it and got an 8-12% long-term yield you'll be doing better...but most of you don't do that, and then there's the fact that you can put less and less away each year as rent increases, and I can put more and more without running the full #s (which I can if you really want), you won't come out too far ahead really even theoretically. Sucks eh?

Raising the tax rates would suck and cause much hate - rising payments because your "investment" is worth more is nothing to legitimately complain about - but when has anyone ever needed a legitimate reason to complain in this country? ;)

edd browne said...

I'm long on grapes of wrath.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Real Estate,and real property are two different things in law ,and otherwise.
Real property when defined is for instance,A-soil,then B structures,C-autos,etc.All seperate
To define Real Estate in law we must define Real,and Estate seperately,then determine what they mean.
Blacks Law defines real as A-adj
Of realating to things such as land or buildings -immovable or fixed.->B-CIVIL Law(seperate meaning) very important-of relating to "Attached things"emphesis added.
C-actual genuine or true.
D-Real purchising power vs nominal-value.
Notice B
B is Civil law which applies to citizens,and is the applicable definition in this case.
Estate now must be defined
A -the amount,degree,nature,and quality of a person's interest in land,or other property-B All that a person owns including both real,and personal property.C- Th e property that one leaves after death,assets ,and liabilities of a dead person.D a tract of land.
Notice "A", very telling in the case of Real Estate.
Allodial-Held in absolute ownership-
Fee Simple-An interest in land ,that being the broadest property interest allowed by law,endures until current holder dies without heirs(makes no mention of assigns)
Assigns are men ,and women that are not heirs that property is sold,given,or willed to.
Own-to have Legal title to-to possess as property.
In Blacks Law -Own is always connected with "legal title"
Legal-Of or relating to law-falling into the province of law.Of or pertaining to law as opposed to EQUITY.
Law is opposed to equity.
Equity is completely outside the Law until it is converted to Law,within legal jurisdictions.By contract,an equity may be converted to law,and fall within the jurisdiction of legal authors.
Law is a "dog Chasing Tail"game devised by smart people.

From the above it looks like the Highest Title to property is not even a title.Allodial is outside of Civil law.Land,or other things are"Held in absolute ownership".
Does anyone here ,or anyone we may know have property held in Allodium? I have never read the term on a bank contract,or any contract presented by a government.
Patent title is known to be highest title yet still only conveys a right or priveledge from a king or government.Thus it is a title.
Since all "property" are granted titles,and since all titles are inferior to Allodial property then one would conclude that American men ,and women in fact do not own Land,Structures,or autos.Thus they are subject to fee,tax,dues,rents,duty,regulation,codes,and penalties.
Defined,things are owned to the extent that one has control over those things.
Real Estate is about titles.Titles are about degrees of ownership other than Allodial.
Warrenty deeds,tax deeds etc are all inferior even to "Title".They are only evidence of a transaction between the last known title holder,and a person attempting to secure rights to a property. Title companies(insurance) are just there to reimburse losses for these titles when a person presents a higher title.Even if the banks,and buyer have binding contracts ,anyone holding Superior title may step in and evict the buyer,and render the banks title inferior(usually just a lien).It is all bad faith economics in reality,and very lazy.The Bank,a,d buyer have no recourse.The bank knows this full well ,and requires "Title insurance".The buyer of course should know these things as well,and require the Bank to pay all Insurance.(dream on I know)
No ,Americans are not owners of anything,just renters,serfs,beggers,and theives.

Anonymous said...

Why do I not feel sorry for old people who own property getting big fat tax bills?
Good maybe young families (who actually need the houses) would get a chance...

Anonymous said...

Many people bought a house simply as a place to live. Running them out of their house by jacking up the property tax is a crime, pure and simple.
Everybody else has to make due with 3% raises, why not government?Rethorical question of course.

Devestment said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

In the beginning it was

We the People, which became

Citizens, evolved to

Consumers (courtesy Chimpco)

rapidly becoming

Borrowers, (MSM newspeak)

soon to be called


and finally


Just call us fucked and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

I have watched my real estate taxes (county and school) triple in the last three years, with no increase in assessment, just increased millage imposed by a bloated and greedy county government, and education establishment!

I planned, at one time, to live in my house until I died, not anymore.
Once I go on fixed income at full retirement, THAT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE! I never cared whether my house went up in "value" at all.

I don't expect ANY decrease in taxation or spending, just because property values are declining. The "pigs at the trough" here in Taxsylvania, are too used to living "high on the HOG!"

Anonymous said...

We need the property taxes for all the services, it takes a village to raise kids, I think we should triple them so my kid can get a laptop in school, and new buses, and the music classes....please we don't want to stop the music!

Anonymous said...

Keith said:
'There will be a housing-led revolution in the United States soon HP'ers. Even sheeple have point where they get mad as hell and won't take it anymore.'

Everything is more expensive in Europe, and the average income is much lower then in the US.

What side of the Atlantic do you all think is going to blow up first?

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify: Americans will kill innocent foreigners, but they won't kill local cops and politicians. And the local cops and politicians know that, so they will continue to raise property taxes to pay for lavish public employee pensions and wasteful programs for useless minorities.

Anonymous said...

Really? Are you willing to BET YOUR LIFE ON THAT?

Do you really think otherwise?

American are too fat and happy to notice the country's descent into debters prison, or even vote for any change (eg Ron Paul), let alone come to arms. Come on now dude....

Anonymous said...

So, I can go get a place for the cost of taxes if I want to move and stay in the same size house/area, and you can pay 100-200% more then than you do today to keep renting - learn to look at the big picture. ;)

You might want to double check that, happy homedebtor. Not all states have tax portability. You could go up to "new" rates when you move.

Anonymous said...

Homestead Tax exemption. Has a nice, homey ring to it. I guess it's better than the true description of it: Deadbeat tax exemption.

Why should people get to stop paying to live in their society once they're old? I certainly don't see old people giving back all the Medicare money they eat up.

Disgusting culture we live in.

Anonymous said...

anon is right, Americans are useless as teats on a boar. The gubbermint could come around tomorrow with the anal probe and only 0.7% would even put up a fight. Gutless, worthless, and weak, in mind, and body. A certain percentage have the world by the ass, the rest aren't even motivated enough to become malcontents. They just continue passive aggressively spitting on your big mac, and stealing pens from the manager's desk, thinking they're sticking it to the man. They're so stupid they don't even know who the man is. The end. You're on your own people.

Anonymous said...

If the old folks are working menial jobs to pay their property taxes that keeps them out of the casinos where they blow their Social Security.

Let them get reverse mortgages. Sure, their kids won't get to inherit the family house to sell and buy Harley's and Escalades, but oh well, fuck them.

Pay your taxes old folks. Nobody owes you shit.

Anonymous said...

Where Maurice Gunyon lives is a pretty nice area. That taxing district (Washington Township, inside the old city limits before Unigov) has a rate of about 4%. meaning whatever the market value of your home is, minus your homestead exemption of 45k, your property tax is 4% of that.

Just cause people are old or on fixed income doesn't mean they should get a free ride. Some 22 year old who hangs drywall for $8 an hour shouldn't have to subsidize well-off senior citizens.

People in Indiana are all up in arms over high taxes. At the same time, most people here were all for building a new NFL stadium even though the current one isn't paid off yet. Duh.

Anonymous said...

I never went to public schools, and I do not have children. My house is paid off, so why should I pay school tax? County Tax is for police and fire, which is fair and understandable, but school tax must be eliminated. If you have children, you should pay the total cost for them; otherwise, home school. The argument most make is that since you went to public school for free you pay for it later. Over the decades of paying school tax, that public education turnes out to be more expensive than if you went to private school.

Anonymous said...

Hey, we have to make up tax revenue some way after all of Bush's massive tax cuts for the rich. Maybe you can apply that $75 income tax cut you got towards your property tax bill that went up by a couple of thousand. BTW. Dick Cheney and his Haliburton buddies thank you for your vote.

Anonymous said...

The California law is unconstituional - "fair taxation"

You live in a house longer and you pay much much less taxes then your nieghbour - that is about as communist as one gets.

Long term is hurts California in a big way - everyone should pay his/her share fair of tax.

Anonymous said...

higher property tax... who do you think caused this? Yes, you got it, GOP and Bush.

Anonymous said...

The elderly are the slime who elected statists like FDR, LBJ, Nixon and Clinton. F 'em. They can lose their houses to property tax liens and eat dog food as a consequence of their voting record.

Anonymous said...

think it is just a bad idea to not work toward reducing your loan amount. In your case it may work out fine, but what if you end up 20 years from now still in the same place and prices did not dramatically increase? If you are like most people you will never pay more toward your home than you are forced to.
Real Estate System

Anonymous said...

"Homestead Tax exemption. Has a nice, homey ring to it. I guess it's better than the true description of it: Deadbeat tax exemption."

And tell me you wouldn't take advantage of it if you had the chance.

Miss Goldbug said...

Either he heloc'd himself to death before the tear-down... or, he's built a palace (top of the line amenities) and didnt leave one wall standing.

Why would a 70 something do this? He should have down-sized...what a fool.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:37,

You sound like someone who, when they find a wallet full of money, removes the money and returns the wallet. Or not.

Besides, I wasn't discussing the merits of taking a deduction, I was talking about the greed and ignorance of a political that thinks some people need not contribute to their society merely because they vote regularly.

Miss Goldbug said...

Last month I researched the local newspaper on microfish from 1930.

It was very interesting to read actual newspaper articles from that entire year...

I wanted to read the 1929 year but it was missing...

What I noticed: The front page always had an article about a Hollywood actress or Heiress.
Lots of advertisements for clothing, furnishings, and of all things-cooking classes...

Some local news on murders or manslaughter. One story was about a husband who murdered his wife because she had an affair, someplace in the Sacramento area. One article buried deep in the paper about a bank closing...another article about FDR's new deal. Alot of news on rotary club or school events...

What I found interesting was that there wasnt any news on, or, around the aniversary of the 1929 stock market crash. Maybe they just didnt realize what has happening...

What I found most interesting about the news back in 1930, was the news on real estate. Hardly any actual "homes for sale" listings. A couple of ads said that all the furniture was included with the sale of a particlar home. Another ad said a willing to trade a bungalow in Alameda for acerage in Lafayette, or for a home somewhere else...

But by far the most fasinating news, were the TWO FULL PAGES of listings for late property taxes for Alameda homeowners...only the parcel code (not names) was listed along with the amount of back property taxes due.

Alameda then, wasnt built up like now. So many people were behind in property taxes during the time of "permanent prosperity" very unsettling to tells you that lots of people lost their home during the Great Depression. Maybe the film-Cinderella man is the perfect example of that era for a typical American family.

If anyone has the time, go to your local library and check out the old microfished news from that time period. It's an eye opener.

Anonymous said...

Even when you really do "own" a home (vs. rent money from a bank), do you really "own" the home? Or does the government "own" you?
They own you. They always have.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous vegas crash watcher said...
The elderly are the slime who elected statists like FDR, LBJ, Nixon and Clinton. F 'em. They can lose their houses to property tax liens and eat dog food as a consequence of their voting record.
December 27, 2007 4:07 AM
And people like you elected Ronald Raygun, and the Chimp-Cheney crime family.

Now its time for you to pay up.

Anonymous said...

Bitterrenter said...
Anon 1:37,

"You sound like someone who, when they find a wallet full of money, removes the money and returns the wallet. Or not."

YES, and steal and max out the credit cards immediately, and apply for more cards in the victims name too. Remember, NO debtors prisons...

Devestment said...


Anonymous said...

It's tricky, you need a balance between taxes so high it kicks people out, and taxers so low it allows the rich to buy up houses and leave them EMPTY.

Empty houses are, IMHO, a very very bad thing for a community. So long as the banks have to pay property tax too then I don't see the real problem; we're assuming that the homeowner still gets police/fire brigade response, and gets garbage collected and expects the state to support his legal ownership of the property via the land office or whatever; why shouldn't he pay for the privelidge?

If you gun-toting freedom nuts want to live on a property with zero taxes and zero govt services and enforce rule of [your] law on your land with extreme force, there are plenty of places OVERSEAS where you can live like this.

However, you don't live alone, you live in a democracy (ostensibly), and you can and should just get over it or get the laws changed.

It unrealistic to expect to enjoy the benefits provided by govt such as protection from epidemic disease, famine, invasion or outrageous oil prices and not participate in the raising of funds at all.

Anonymous said...

I bet he voted for Bush twice (and was proud about it).