Who Is the Donkey in the Assessment?
The more clever title would be the nickname of this farm animal or the first three letters of assessment. Your choice.
Real estate values have gone down, everyone knows that. Just ask the homeless man on the street who a few years ago was more than likely the town’s leading real estate agent, who back then could sell ice to eskimos and to top it off and really cash in, could franchise his venture through the funding of a Worldwide bank that had it in their business plan that if we get to big to fail then the tax payers will bail us out. That wouldn’t happen though, would it? Could it? Okay, enough ranting….
Your real estate taxes have not followed the flow of your real estate value or assessment, which as of lately flows like water; downhill. How is it then that if your property value has gone down, that your taxes have not seen that same percentage of decline? I too asked myself this and because you have made it this far through my rant, I will tell you.
Each year your community develops a budget. To finance (fund) this budget it needs money. First stop, Federal Aid, State Aid, Permit fees, license fees, and the expected income from that speeding ticket while you are running late to pay your property taxes for the year. God forbid you miss that payment the whole house of cards would tumble down. Chooo Chooo, stay with me stop number 2 is around the bend!
Whatever the difference between the budget and the handouts from the first stop total, that becomes the “tax levy” which can be very heavy. (Clever rhyme? My six year old laughed!) This heavy levy (better?) is dispersed throughout the community in the most “fair” manner by charging you a fee (real estate tax) for the services that the city provides. This fee is computed based upon a tax rate that is charged against your assessed value. This tax rate is magically created. Don’t believe me? Go to your local village, town, or city hall and have them explain it to you. I haven’t got a straight story yet!
From what I have put together of these tall tales is that the tax rate is calculated by simply dividing the amount of cash needed for the community by the total assessed value of all taxable property in the City. Isn’t all property taxable though? Nope, not if you are a city agency, state agency, or federal agency or if you deem yourself a religious facility. Sorry, your Sunday night football gatherings, although conducted religiously, don’t cut it.
Choo, Choo, the train is leaving this stop! Hurry up hop on!
Did you see that sign that just whizzed by?
It said, “the same office that bills you your taxes, is the same office that determines your assessment……..funny? Don’t worry this is just another wonderful service that, through your taxes, your community hired a guy to tell you what your place is worth. He is called the assessor. Apparently, you are not capable of knowing what your place is worth, but didn’t you buy it? I know weird question.
Your tax rate is the same for your neighbors, for the local watering hole, for the place you pump your gas, and for the place you get your groceries, but remember it is not the same for the place you get rid or your sins or pay your taxes, they are exempt.
What is different from you and your neighbors is the assessed value of your property and this is where you can stop the train!
Well then if you take the tax rate and multiply that by your assessed value that equals??? Your tax bill! And as a gift to you if you made it this far on this train, this is the free advice section.
You are not going to change the tax rate in your community, but you can change your assessed value, which will directly impact your tax burden. That is why they have “open book” but advertisement isn’t in the community budget to let you know this, it more than likely will be printed once on your tax bill and you will never ever again be reminded that year! So what can you do?
Call your local appraiser and tell him Tyson Hall from “Unsatisfied Tax Payer” a.k.a Masters-Hall Appraisal sent you. Trust me, your local appraiser will provide you the services that you need and will be more than welcome to get a good excuse to get back in the chair at the office and serve it to you on a silver platter.
After all, isn’t it more employment that we need to get this economy turned around?
Chooo Chooo! I think you can, I think you can.