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Old 09-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reconsidering the wisdom of home ownership

It seems to me there are many people out there who's sole function in life is to dream up new ways to extract money from property owners.

I pay for schools I have no kids in; not only that but the schools are back at the trough continually for more money.

Soon I will be paying for an airport I never use. The biggest local bidness also had a crosswind runway added which results in a flight path over my house that wasn't there before. This airport has been in operation since the '30s and a few years ago they feel the need for a crosswind runway? I wonder how many flights had to divert due to the lack of said runway over the years... I'd wager .000001%. Actually I've already been paying for airline service to this airport I never use thanks to a federal program called Essential Air Service. They subsidize every seat to the tune of hundreds of dollars, every flight, every day. And the vast majority of flying customers out of this airport are for local bidness- most who are on non-bidness flights go to other airports because in spite of the huge subsidy the flights here cost more.

Soon I will be paying for a drainage ditch project that will have no effect on the water table on my property. However, the farmland way upstream will see a nice benefit.

A local activist group of sorts wants to build a community pool. No doubt I will have to pay for that too.

The street just got resurfaced- not that it needed it. But who cares when free money pays for it all.

In our State there has been a shift away from state aid for this and that which means the funding for local stuff isn't as subsidized which means no, the locals aren't gonna cut anything; they're gonna jack up the property taxes and that happens whether the value of one's real estate is in the crapper or not.

Many other taxes are relatively easy to opt out of: don't like restaurant taxes- don't eat out. Don't like fuel taxes- don't buy fuel, and so on. When one has decided to not be a renter anymore you become a big fat sitting duck for all manner of scoundrels who seek to get a chunk of your change.

One doesn't have a whole lot of say in these things. Oh yes, I go to the meetings, in fact there is another one tonight, but this saying has been proven true time and time again: Meetings are not where decisions are made; meetings are where decisions are announced.

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Old 09-13-2011, 09:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the useful post Franks.
From time to time I look at houses without thinking of things like this.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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...find an Island somewhere in the middle of the ocean and declare yourself "King" and pay everything to yourself.

...of course, eventually, all those subsidized trans-oceanic flights and sea voyages might seem worthwhile (or not), depending upon how much of a Howard Hughes "hermit" you want to be.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I heard some billionaire put his island up for sale. Probably out of my price range.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
IWhen one has decided to not be a renter anymore you become a big fat sitting duck for all manner of scoundrels who seek to get a chunk of your change.
But you'd still be paying for all those things if you rented: they'd just be part of the rent instead of a separate bill.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I should have said, everyone who wants to live in housing that isn't under a bridge.

I've been a former tenant and a former landlord as well. I really, really did not appreciate paying property taxes at 3x the non-homestead rate on the rentals. That meant I was paying about 15x more for Mr. Cottontail's 7 kids' education than he was.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't begrudge contributing to education in the US. Yah it could be more efficient, but without getting too political, I don't want a country full of idjits neither. I don't want a country where quantity of life supersedes quality either, but would might need some chinese-style number of kids law.
The rest of it sounds like a racket though.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would be less inclined to complain about education funding if they weren't back at the trough every other year with another levy increase request.

Ehhhh.... I take that back. Back when I did a lot of bidness flying, I could absolutely count on the local superintendent being on the flight too! I guess he had to run down to the state capitol every week to beg for more money. Speaking of superintendent pay...
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've always thought of property taxes as the equivalent of paying rent to the government. Sure, it is said that technically you 'own' the property, but we all know what will happen if you don't pay the annual tax levied.

I live in a citified area and the only benefit I get for my whopping tax bill is street lighting and garbage collection. Supposedly it also covers the cost of police services, but since it's a decent neighborhood there isn't much need for protection.

The only small consolation is that the RE tax paid is deductible on your income tax return. And what do I get for THAT?
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You could always take advantage of the taxes others are paying (property, income, sales, etc)... collect unemployment, live in homeless shelters, collect food stamps, take advantage of all the low income subsidies, and so on... heck, you've probably been paying out most of your life; might as well try to get some of that back!


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