Saturday, February 11, 2006

Taxes: Part Two

If we ignore the underlying inequity of distribution, whether it be of food consumption or taxes, we will fail. Fair distribution of taxes is the bedrock on which this nation was founded.

In North Kingstown the 2004 tax levy rose just 3.8% over 2003. For the largest group (70%) of homeowners, in the $75,000 to $200,000 range, the 2003 revaluation increased their average 2004 tax bill 19% over their 2003 taxes, five times more than the tax levy increase.

At the same time, another group (25%) of homeowners, in the $200,000 to $500,000 range, received an average increase of just 3%.

If we try to solve the increased tax problem for the majority by merely cutting the budget and eliminating the entire 3.8% increase, note what happens.

The first group, the ones with the 19% increase, would receive a reduction. Their bills would now average 15% above their 2003 bills, still high considering there is no tax levy increase.

But second group of owners, those in the $200,000 to $500,000 range, would actually see their taxes DROP below their prior tax bills! The majority of homeowners gets a hefty tax increase, while others get a tax decrease, and there has been no change in the tax levy. Some property owners, those with the most expensive properties in the city, will have received reductions of over 27%!

If the goal of a budget cut is to relieve beleaguered tax payers, it sadly falls far short of that goal.

We'll offer a suggestion for fair taxes in part three.