Saturday, March 28, 2009

You Aint Seen Nuthin' Yet

Property tax increases are in the news once again. This time it's Barrington, RI where the citizens have finally said enough! The ire has been directed at Vision Appraisal who did the revaluation last year.

The fact is that even with perfect appraisals, the distribution of the tax burden will always be unfair to large groups of owners. And that's because individuals can get as much as a 100% tax increase while the law limits the total tax levy increase to 4.75% this year. And if you look at the data you will find that as most people get increases greater than 4.75%, thousands of people will pay lower taxes.

So the anger and outrage will continue.

But to quote Al Jolsen, "You aint seen nuthin yet".

Try to imagine what will happen after the next revaluation when people get lower assessments yet still see higher tax bills. And make no mistake, this will happen. Why? Because values don't change uniformly whether markets are on the way up or on the way down and there are always people who will get higher tax bills to make up for the ones who get lower tax bills.

Some neighborhoods will drop in value less than others and these owners will get the larger tax increases while the other owners will get smaller increases and thousands will even get decreases. If the multi million dollar home values fall more than the more modest homes, the owners of the more modest homes will be the ones to take up the burden with higher taxes. No one knows for sure which houses will go up or down the most. It's a crap shoot and it's the way we've been doing it for years. One thing is sure however, there will be wide variations in the changes, and the outrage will be even greater.

This is a system that continues to utilize the flawed model of taxing property values over time, that has taken our economy for a joy ride for decades, but the ride is over.

On our website you can see the impact of revaluations in Cranston, West Warwick, and North Kingstown after recent revaluations and compare those traditional taxes with the taxes produced by the RIGHT plan. The differences are striking.

We believe it is a much better way to pay for local government. Fair taxes for new owners, dependable revenue for towns, limits on increases for all existing owners. Visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I spent 6 weeks in the D.C.working with young men from that area. D.C. spends $23,000 per pupil per year. Spend more money? Almost no learning takes place because the program has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominater. For the last few years, congress funded a successful limited voucher program for D.C. however this is the last year for the vouchers due to pressure from the teachers unions.