Thinking about property taxes through the lens of being a business, what kind of customer service rating would your city, county, and state have?
Are they efficient? Operating like the best nonprofit organizations designed to serve the public should? Would they have a high Trustpilot rating? Do they provide a good exchange of value, that would not only make you want to stay a loyal customer, but have you raving to your friends, family, and social network about how great they are?
The Business Of Government & Property Taxes
You might argue whether it should be a not for profit, or for profit enterprise. Yet, where you live is really a business. You pay taxes in exchange for the product of being able to live there, and the public services provided.
You get to choose to live and own property wherever you want. Just as you have the right to choose whether to buy your coffee from one shop or the other, frequent one local restaurant or grocer, and other businesses versus their competition.
Sometimes these choices do come down to price. If you are financially struggling, then you have to go to the discount stores.
However, in many other cases it is about the quality and value you get. Or even more pivotal, the service you get. You might pay an extra 50 cents or $1 for the same thing in a bakery on the next block over, but if they treat you better, and you know they aren’t going to scam you, then many of us would happily walk the few extra steps to be treated right.
In this case, you are paying in taxes for safety, cleaning and maintenance, administration, infrastructure, and to help take care of those truly struggling financially in your area. As well as to invest in improving and growing your area.
This is done through sales taxes, income taxes, real estate transfer taxes, and annual property taxes. As well as other taxes.
Rate Your Tax Authority On Their Value & Customer Service
With this in mind, how would you rate your city, county, and state that you are paying taxes too?
NY is working on a newly proposed annual budget of $227B. Do you feel that is being well spent, and in line with your values?
Are you getting good value for money for the annual property taxes you are paying to your county?
Do you love the customer service?
For many on Long Island, it seems like those they are paying are only working to take advantage of them more each year.
Not only are the bills higher, but they are continually flawed and overinflated. If your mobile phone company said your unlimited service would only cost $100 a month, but then you get a bill for $200 a month, and they are throttling your bandwidth so you aren’t really getting unlimited or the level of service you thought you were paying for, and they don’t answer the phone to help you fix it, how would you feel? What would you do about it?
If you just keep on paying whatever they ask, and no matter how much more poorly they treat you, then how do you expect them to be motivated to do anything differently?
What To Do About It?
Perhaps there are questions to be asked, and debates to be raised about creating an alignment in values, performance based pay, and tax rates in the context of customer service ratings.
You are either choosing to create pressure for positive change, or to support the compounding of these issues each year.
These things may take a lot of time to change. Though, what you can do right now to stop overpaying, to ensure you are getting more value for your taxes, and to get real help from humans who care is to appeal your property tax bill with the help of Property Tax Adjusters, Ltd.