More US cities and states are dramatizing the property tax debate at both extremes of the spectrum.
The only thing that those in power appear to agree on is that they need more revenues. How to achieve that is a big debate. Should authorities just maximize short term revenues by taking more from the local homeowners and businesses they have? Or should they shift tax income away from property taxes in order to attract and keep more real estate owners, and to boost competitiveness?
Raising Property Taxes
Chicago, IL has made big waves with recent giant sized property tax hikes in coordination with a handful of other income boosting moves, creating a super tax storm. Bexar County, TX homeowners face a pending 20% plus property tax hike as they are annexed by San Antonio. This still may pale in comparison to the fate of Ohio farmers who face property taxes doubling or more in 2016. Meanwhile Nassau County, Long Island is proposing yet another property tax hike for 2016, keeping it as one of the most expensive places to live and do business on the planet.
Eliminating Property Taxes
Not every state and municipality believes annual property taxes are necessary. In fact, some countries have proven they can do far better without them. This isn’t an easy battle in the US. Yet, Austin, Texas is making a big play to dump property taxes altogether. That may not become a reality soon, but it shows serious thought is being poured into smarter solutions.
Tax Systems vs. Tax Rates
Often the biggest issue is not just the property tax rates, but the system of assessing and billing property owners. People expect to pay more for living in prime areas with better services, but they shouldn’t be victimized on top of that, by a system which is stacked against them.
This is never more evident than on Long Island, NY where there is incredible disparity in billing, and the percentage of taxes paid by the uber-wealthy international crowd of real estate moguls versus locals striving to attain and hold onto their American Dream.
Still for now the only way to make sure you get a reasonably fair deal on Long Island is to challenge your property tax assessments and bills, and refuse to support the predatory system, and overpay each year. A local property tax adjuster can help, and ensure you won’t be a victim this year.