Friday, May 30, 2008
THE GUARDIAN got his 2008 tax assessments today, the values on the several pieces of property I own went up between 30% to over 50%. Surely there had to be a mistake made on these valuations. No way can they be sold for the valuations on the notices in today's market.
A low carbon footprint trip on the trusty motorcycle to 1115 Albany Street was made to see just what exactly is going on with these valuations. Well, as it turns out, there were a number of people there equally mystified over the new and improved values of their properties. The Assessor's office was full of angry people and some just plain dumbfounded. I however, remained calm and asked the nice people to explain what happened.
It was explained the valuations on all properties for 2008 were determined based on sales data from January 1, 2007 until December 31,2007. The market was at an all time high for real estate valuations in this area. Now, the market has fallen and nothing is selling but we all get to enjoy the unrealistic 2007 values that translate to 2008 assessed valuations. It stinks, and the people working there know it stinks. They are following the law as written by our deciders at the state level.
We may see assessments fall next year based on this years downward sales data. However, by that time our politicos will have become addicted to all this new revenue and the values may go down a bit but the levy rates will stay high due to the budget driven nature of levy rates. All of our homes have big fat targets on the roof tops and all we can do is get used to all of this taxation and false valuations of our properties.
Bottom line is, they have us all over a barrel on property taxes and there is nothing we can do except complain and get no reasonable adjustments from the good people at the Assessor's Office due to our deciders at the state level. The only thing we can do is not voluntarily vote ourselves any kind of a tax increase (of any kind) for anything until this gets resolved. It is bad enough for people of working age but people on fixed incomes are going to be force out of their homes given all the increases in everything we have seen of late. And now this hideous and onerous burden that we pay or lose our homes to the highest bidder.
Somebody needs to explain a basic accounting principle to the people that make our laws: valuations are the lower of cost or market in the real accounting world. Too bad the state deciders can't figure this one out.
Another approach to assessments would be to use a rolling weighted 5 year average valuations. Each year 20% of the first year drops off and 20% of the 5th year is used in a rolling 5 year average. Nobody gets blindsided and the rolls stay up to par with market values. None of this sock it to the homeowner. What we have now just is not right and they all know it.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 6:57 PM