Friday, May 24, 2013

Is it Any Wonder?

There has been much in the paper about property taxes lately, mostly regarding the impact of revaluations  on tax payers. There's a good reason, and it's not the size of the budgets alone.

Take a moment and follow this scenario:

Town A did NOT increase the tax levy one year.
But it had it's required revaluation, resulting in:
Property Owner Smith's taxes increasing $8,500
Property Owner Jones's taxes decreasing $8,500
The town did NOT receive more taxes.

In effect, owner Smith paid $8,500 to lower Jones' tax bill by $8,500. Can you see that a revaluation creates tax increases (and decreases) for large numbers of tax payers that have nothing to do with budget needs? If you see nothing wrong with this, stop reading.

Is it any wonder the thousands of property owners are upset with property taxes?

Slashing budgets, cutting services, juggling tax rates among owner occupied properties, non owner occupied properties, small businesses, large businesses, using different formulas for revaluations, none of these gets the the root of the problem - the UNFAIR DISTRIBUTION of the tax levy burden.

We do it this way because we have always done it this way.  Is this really the best we can do?

It's way past time to take a hard look at property taxes and to devise a better, less costly, more efficient system where all property owners pay only their fair share of the tax burden, whatever it is.

Please visit the Rhode Island Gets Honorable Taxation website and let your voice be heard.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guilty and Not guilty

From today's Providence Journal:

"Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes formally told a judge Monday that he wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity after outside experts diagnosed his mental illness."

If everyone agrees that an act was committed (the definition of guilty) by someone does it make any sense to say that the act wasn't committed, yet isn't that what the above verdict says?

I've always thought that instead of Not guilty..., the plea should be "Guilty by reason of insanity", but I'm no legal expert.