Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Property Taxes and Obesity

The accepted treatment for property tax anguish is to try to lower tax levies. We can do this by reducing budgets or increasing revenues. It's simple math. But does reduction of the tax levy accomplish the goal of 'fixing' the most hated tax in America? (Google the 'most hated tax' and see for yourself).

Allow a small comparison. We have an obesity problem in America. In Rhode Island for example, 56% of the public is either overweight or obese. (CDC 2004). Now that's a problem for sure. Using the logic of the property tax solution, we would simply require that everyone reduce their food consumption by some amount, say 10%.

But what about the people in Rhode Island that aren't getting enough food as it is? Should they too reduce their already inadequate food intake? Clearly not. The solution ignores the obvious fact that the distribution of food is at least as important as the total consumption.

Likewise, the distribution of the property tax is more important to the individual tax payer than the total tax levy. The 'deadly duo' of revaluation and ad valorem taxes ignores this issue and is creating a devastating imbalance in the burdens of property owners. Believe it or not many property owners (most often the larger corporations) receive tax reductions as budgets increase due to unfair distribution resulting from the revaluation process.

Budgets are too high and should be lower. In many cases we are not getting the results we deserve from our 'highest in the nation' taxes. But any budget, low, high, or just right, should be distributed in a fair manner.

We have one suggestion on our website, that we believe will do just that. Take a look and then post your comments here. I'd like to know what you think.

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