Real Estate Taxes

Discussion in 'Ian's Corner' started by BobL43, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    I posted a new thread here, cause that Hurricane one is long in the tooth already. This is copied from there, though:

    [​IMG] Originally Posted by BobL43 [​IMG]
    LL,


    Taxes are probably lower than yours in Montana, but I don't think that's where I want to live.

    No Palace, as I wrote in response to one of Cookies posts. but the cost of living in the NY Metro area is extreme. I don't know how the pay-scales compare to the rest of the US or Canada, though. Everything is normally relative. I never felt that I was overpaid, who does?;)




    Cookie's Reply:

    It would be interesting to know how the prop taxes are done there, if separate always on land and structure, or both? How the laws play to it? And, lastly, if it is related to earnings? A comparision would be neat.

    I know Ian sometimes doesn't understand how complicated the tax laws are and what is involved, it just isn't that simple. Especially, real estate law. ​

    If you're as serious as a heart attack, chances are you're going to have one.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On Long Island, if you earn big bucks, you live in a rich neighboorhood and pay the bigger taxes there; if you live in my neighborhood and are wealthy, you would be crazy, but your taxes would be the same as mine are based on the size of the land and house value. When you make a major home improvement, or enlarge your house, your taxes go up based on the new value of the home. Add a deck, taxes go up; finish the basement, taxes go up. put in central air: guess what- taxes go up. It is suffocating. About a half mile away from me, is one of Ian's examples of good government: County is paying an apartment complex to provide section 8 housing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_8_(housing) to help the underpriveledged folks who seem not to be able to afford anything except drugs a cheap place to live. 3 days ago, a druggie stopped her car across the street from my house, overdosed herself and her car rolled 50 feet on my neighbor's lawn and crashen into a boulder on the lawn. We successfully woke her up. She was turning blue, the 2/3 empty syringe of whatever she gave herself was layin on the console of ther car. we called 911. medics came, police came, fire dept came. cops would not arrest her on drug possesion because they said they had no way to prove she had used drugs. she said when asked that she was not a diabetic, and had no idea of why that syringe was there, but her arm had several needle marks.She got out of her car, tossed her cookies (sorry Cookie) a few times and the ambulance took her away. I feel sorry for her, but my taxes paid for all that service that was not an emergency. Nobody wants their kids to get that way. I hope if I need emergency help one day, it will be available, and the crew I'll need to save my life was not out on a self inflicted emergency. I also get a kick out of these jerks that do dangerous things like surf in these dangerous hurricane driven waters and cause rescue teams to risk their lives in trying to save those lame ass inconsiderate morons.

    AHH, that feels better! me starting a complaint in Ian's corner instead of the furner!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    I have a 1 1/2 storey country style home so I never know how to calculate the sq footage. It's 1200 sq ft on the ground floor and a little less upstairs because of the 12/12 sloped roof. The taxes haven't changed all that much since I built the place. It is a rural municipality so there is not a lot of services provided. Volunteer fire and roads is about it. We share a building inspector with neighbouring municipalities. I have a septic system, a well, a GSD bitch to guard the place, and I pay separately for garbage collection.

    I have not compared tax rates lately but in town they were paying about twice what I pay. Of course they have more services
  3. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    LL, my house is only 2100 sq ft. No public sewer system. Cesspools are the most common system here on Llong Island, although there are some communities that have public sewage systems and pay addional taxes for them. I do have public water, which is metered, of course. Police dept, garbage collection, school taxes are included in real estate taxes. 70% or more of the RE taxes go to the school district. I have not had any kids in school since 1986. fire dept is Volunteer too, although the buildings and their vehicles, I am not sure if they are publicly owned.
  4. pipehacker

    pipehacker New Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Iowa
    In Iowa the big variable is the type of property. Residential property where I live is taxed at about 1 1/2 to 2% of its fair market value yearly. The largest portion of this goes to schools. And there is a local income tax surtax and a local sales tax that is also directed to the schools. Commercial property is taxed at about twice what residential property is. The real winners are farmers-annual taxes on some farmland we own amounts to about .3% of its fair market value.
  5. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    If you don't like your property taxes, move somewhere (or into something) where they are cheaper.

    America is actually pretty good when it comes to property taxes. Most other countries use "bands" so houses within a specific range of values pay the same in tax. While it keeps the adminstration costs of the tax much lower this is less fair.

    In America, you get assessed every few years on your individual home so everyones valuation is customized. My taxes are lower than my neighbors' because even though we live in the same size and style of homes, they have been able to afford to pay for better upkeep and modifications. That is fair. In England, we'd all pay the same in tax if we lived in the same style of houses in the same street. Which is less fair.

    The problem, of course, comes with people of Bob's age and above. What do we do about old people who want to continue living in their homes but cannot afford to pay the taxes?

    In England, they would pay a lower rate. We should have that here as well, at least for the elderly on lower retirement incomes.

    Then it becomes a matter of whether Americans care as much for their elderly as the English? I doubt it.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    One's options may be limited by where they work as a 2 - 3 hour daily commute and taxiing kids around might not be viable. Then you need two or more reliable vehicles.

    I don't live where I live to evade taxes. Basically I don't like having close neighbours so the only way to keep them away is to surround yourself with several acres that serve little other useful purpose and becomes a chore to maintain.

    Income or sales tax I have less of an issue with since it is somewhat geared toward your ability to pay and has specific exemptions. A couple that makes more than me, breeds like rabbits, pisses away their money, and choose to live in meager quarters, is more of a burden on the services and school district yet pays pays way less than us that choose to put more of our money into our home rather than piss it away.
  7. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    Ah, Ian your first sentence here: if you don't like it, move somewhere else! that's exactly what we've all suggested to you in the first place!

    Now, I don't think I've ever said I can't *AFFORD* to pay my real estate taxes here. I said I feel I pay **way** too much, considering what I get in return. I am on Social Security as is my wife, get a pension, and have been pretty good at saving up all these years for my retirement. (good 401K plan too). I am not pleading poverty. I am working part time now because my employer asked me to come back and help them out, for pay, of course.
    I live in a working class neighborhood here, where average salaries can range from maybe $50K to 150K per earner. Dual income families will earn up to or more than 300K. That may sound OK or not depending on your situation, but it is difficult for many people here who earn in the lower end of this range to keep their homes no matter what age they are. Fortunately for me, I have not been in that low end for the last 30 years, but did struggle years ago in my 30's and 40's to pay the bills. Big struggle.
    The only thing I said about me affording anything is whether I would be able to purchase I home in San Diego or not. Actually, I can. I did say that the main reason we stay here is to be with our kids.
    I do not want to pay more taxes than I do, because what I already pay is misused. Paying more taxes, would be OK with me (maybe) if the money were spent more wisely and not abused so badly. Politicans suck, whether they wear wigs or not
    And no, I am not offended at all by being referred to as people of "Bob's age or above" at all. My primary medical coverag now is Medicare, which I have paid into my entire working life. It is actually pretty decent, with the addition of my private medical insurance.

    Any healthy US citizen who has worked and paid into the "system" is entitled to returns. Our "system" goes beyond that and helps out poor sickly people who are not able to work, which is OK. I do not like my money given away to free loaders who have been able to work and pay into the system, but chose not to and just collect welfare, milking the system dry. then there is always charity, where I give my money to people I want to help, because I know they really need it.
    I never heard of what you said about your neighbors who can afford higher real estate taxes are charged more simply on that basis. Is that a District thing, or is it a VA or MD. thing. I have to ask my friends who live in those areas.
  8. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    LL,

    Amen! Amen! twice, cause once was too short to post:)
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    WELL, the problem is with the "system" . ss has tended to be a pay as you go system. retirement and disability benefits are paid out of the contributions of current workers. That worked OK when there was a high ratio of workers to beneficiaries. Now the ratio is very low, and it is going to be difficult to sustain the current level of payouts. None of the money that you and I contributed for 50 years was set aside for OUR benfits. We are being paid by folks currently working ( does that mean I am paying myself, as I draw ss and still am working????).
  10. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    What I would do is what I think most appraisers would do. First, is the upstairs ( the half) heated and finished? Because here that counts, if not, it is not taken into account for living space. You said, ground floor, I am taking you mean, living room, diningroom etc; because if not, and you are talking basement and that is evaluated separately. There are many things that are factored in. The peak of your roof counts which you mentioned, and not seeing it all, not being there, not knowing if you got knee walls in the half etc, I would probably safely, add on another 3 to 400 feet.

    Usually, it is 1/2 the width of the floor, but, your peak perhaps, tells me it is maybe, alittle bit less.

    This phone is so busy today.
  11. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I copied this from my other post, lol, wow, I am copying myself,

    Some states will allow special exemptions to reduce real estate tax bills for certain property owners or land users. For instance, senior citizens, ( yes Ian the elderly) are granted reductions or limited increases in assessed values on their homes, known as Homestead Exemptions. These exemptions are especially important for longtime residents in neighborhoods where significant increases in property values would otherwise make the taxes unaffordable. Other temporary reductions in real estate taxes are frequently used to attract industries, stimulate economic growth and development, or encourage rehab of properties.
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    The top floor is all living space except for what's behind some knee walls. I was told by a Realtor that you cannot count floorspace where the cathedral ceiling is less than 3 feet. So, by your 1/2 rule, it would be 600 sq ft but I think it may be closer to 800.
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you have a good tax rate, we preserve it here with a big gate and a very mean dog. And forgetfulness with building permits which they keep nearly no worthwhile record of.

    After our last wildfire, 3 years ago, managed to get taxes down by 1/2 on several properties based on how many trees burned, and it was a "you tell us" letter. And while it looked like Dresden after the fire, the remaining trees are happier now and no sign of increasing tax rate.
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    You would subtract for those knee walls that space is considerable unusable space; measure from the knee wall squaring it off. That is why I said, 3 to 400... you are going the wrong way.

    But, like I said, I am not seeing it either.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  15. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Part of the problem is the pesky states. Of course you have to pay high real estate and property taxes because you are paying for State Governments that do exactly the same job as all the others and the Federal too.

    Get rid of the States and be governed by Washington.

    Else shut up and pay up.

    One size fits all.
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Actually, here the general real estate tax, or (ad valorem tax), is made up of the taxes levied on real estate by various govn bodies and municipalities. These taxes are known as ad valorem it is Latin for "according to value" taxes because the amount is based on the value of the property being taxed. General real estate taxes are levied for the general operation of the govn body or agency authorized to levy the tax. These taxing bodies include:

    counties, cities, boroughs and townships
    school districts or boards
    drainage, water and sanitary districts, and
    municipal authorites operating parks, forest preserves and recreational districts.

    Historically, real estate taxes have been the principal source of revenue for local govn in most states, including mine. Real estate taxes are one of those certainties in life that property owners just cannot escape. Ian, rising costs of govn coupled with increasing costs to operate and maintain real estate , however, have raised debate over the fairness of real estate taxes. Homeowners argue, that the ownership of a basic necessity does not connote affluenece or wealth. Furthermore, real estate tax bills are not tied to the owner's income or ability to pay. This is especially problematic for people living on fixed incomes. Property owners also often argue that they are paying for services such as public schools, they do not personally use, which is something to which I do agree to.

    Some states, such as mine, legislature has attempted to alleviate the dependence on real estate tax by permitting local govn bodies to collect sales or income tax in lieu of real estate tax. However, few taxing bodies have embraced these alternatives. Recently, legislators made yet another attempt at tax reform when they passed Act 72 in 2004, which some of you might remember; the slot-machine gambling legislation. This would funnel money generated from the newly legalized gambling to local school districts. They, in turn, would reduce property tax bills to homeowners. The Act also requires school districts to increase local income taxes and to place on ballot for voter approval certain proposed property tax increases.

    Now, here there are certain exemptions from taxation in most states. Common exemptions are granted for property owned by

    city, state and federal govn
    munipal authorities
    education institutions
    hospitals
    religious institutions and
    public charities


    The assessment, or assessed value, is the official value of real estate that is used for tax purposes. Real estate is valued, or assessed, for tax purposes by county assessors, evalutors, or appraisers. This is what I do. Assessments are normally a percentage of the property's fair market value. Depending on the type of property and the taxing jurisdiction within which it is located, one value may be assigned to the total property or separate values may be assigned to the land and the building.
  17. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Fortunately here in CA, property tax is capped at 1% of the price you purchased it for, and the base can only go up max 2% per year, so little old ladies don't get taxed out of their homes, as long as they live there. The income tax and business taxes and sales taxes are high to make up. Of course the 97% democrat state legislature spends money faster than we can possibly make it, but at least I won't lose my house to property tax lien!
  18. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    That's sad, I always feel blessed that my kids won't even take a aspirin unless they got a really bad headache. They really had to help her being they didn't know what happened and that was the right thing to do. So far as those with the hurricane driven waters, I guess, the same thing too Bob. Even those who are thrill-seekers got to be protected for those who love them, and you got to remember even those who are stupid pay taxes. So, are they just using in what they paid? One way of looking at it I reckon. And, they are keeping those rescue workers employed in their chosen careers, eh.

    p.s, it's okay about tossing cookies, LOL, their are many I work with who would like to "toss" me, :)
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  19. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    I agree with Cookie.

    And where do you draw the line?

    I might not be too happy that my taxes help fix the guy that jumped out of the plane with a parachute that didn't open.

    Or the plumber that did not wear his protective glasses because it was a "Friday afternoon".

    People have the right to expect those services in a country as wealthy as yours.

    And for your tax contribution, we say thank you.
  20. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hi Cookie. NY state does have real estate tax reductions for senior citizens. they are called enhanced STAR programs. I do not qualify for them because my retirement income is above the maximum allowed to get the reduction, which is a big reduction. Currently it is based on total 2009 income with a max of $79K In 2009, even though I was retired, I was substantially above that. I don't know what the next program limit will be, if they can afford to still give the reductions:mad:.

    And yes Cookie, businesses here are given 7 year tax abatements to encourage them to start up here to create new jobs for the community. They start up, bus in cheap help from the city, and after 7 years they either go bust or change the company name and start all over again. My taxes at work:rolleyes:

    So Ian, I can afford to pay the taxes, I just don't like to (pay more)

    I was busy all afternoon putting up sheetrock on the ceiling of my new bathroom. I brought that sheetrock home in my pickup truck that Ian said is unecessary. Ho Ho. I would have posted sooner, but I was pre-occupied.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
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