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Property Taxes - Just Not Fair

I just received my annual property tax bill and man am I annoyed. Why should I have to pay taxes on a property that I own?

I know that some of our property taxes go to fund education which we need, however all of my kids are out of school. I also am aware that all states have a property tax, although the rates vary.

The fundamental question I have is “why should I have to pay taxes continually on something that I own?” It is a question more and more people are asking.

A recent article at MSN Money had the following to say about people’s attitude towards property taxes:

A recent poll by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation says that no tax annoys Americans as much as the property tax. One probable reason for this, according to a foundation report, is that property owners often have to write the checks themselves, increasing the likelihood of sticker shock. Another reason is that because of the housing boom of the past few years, property taxes have climbed more quickly than incomes. People don’t like it when their tax bills outpace their paychecks. Also, because about half of property taxes go to fund education, some people without children in school object to paying.

Now, I’m not concerned with sticker shock from having to write two rather large checks each year. I have to admit that I am a bit concerned over the housing boom and inflated property taxes. I’ve already mentioned the education factor. However, the main reason why I oppose a continuous property tax charged year after year, basically until I’m dead, is that it is my property, not the government’s. Or is it really?

We already pay continuous taxes for our automobiles, even though we own them. I have an easier time accepting this due to the fact that I drive my vehicles on Arizona roads of which someone has to maintain them. Therefore I can understand a continuous tax on personal property such as vehicles. But what if I had to pay taxes every year on my big screen television or the dining room set we purchased last year or my collection of musical instruments… I think you get the point.

I already pay home owner’s association (HOA) fees which help to maintain the community I live in, but as for my home, I am completely responsible for maintaining it.

When something breaks or deteriorates, I have to foot the bill. I have to regularly maintain the property such as keeping up the landscaping or simply keeping the home clean. The government doesn’t do anything to facilitate me having a home nor anything to maintain it and yet, I pay property taxes every year on a physical structure and on land I am supposed to own.

Georgia Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson is one politician who wants to wipe out property taxes on homes, cars and businesses and replace the revenue with taxes on things such as legal fees, groceries and haircuts.

The same article points out that tax reform is expected to be the hottest topic of the 2008 session. Several proposals have already been introduced from Governor Sonny Perdue’s tax break for upper-income senior citizens to a plan to eliminate property taxes on cars and trucks. More are expected.

Of course if property tax was to be abolished, how would we replace those funds? I don’t think finding additional things to tax is the answer. It would be heavenly bliss if we could cut out all the governmental waste so we wouldn’t need so many taxes, but that is another subject I won’t deal with here.

Here is what I’d like to see. First of all, property tax needs to be abolished, done away with, put to rest.

In its place, a tax on those who hold mortgages on the properties they own, which is most of us I might add. For those who own their properties free and clear – no property taxes! In this manner, once you pay off your mortgage or buy property without incurring debt, you are done. This would apply to both individuals and businesses.

It is a sad thing to look forward to your mortgage burning party but in the back of your mind to know that you still have to pay taxes on your property, that you now own free and clear, until you die. It is wrong in so many ways. I can only hope that sensible property tax reform will come to fruition in my lifetime.


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