Move to end property taxes fails — for now
North Dakota voters overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment that would end property taxes. But the issue is also percolating in several other states.
North Dakota decided this week not to become the first state to eliminate property taxes.
But the issue is unlikely to die. The backers of the state measure have vowed to bring it up again, and talk of eliminating property tax is stirring in several other states, too.
"No tax should have the power to leave you homeless," Jim Cox, a state representative who has filed a bill to eliminate the school property tax in Pennsylvania, told The New York Times.
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Ending property taxes has also been discussed in Texas and North Carolina.
Advocates of eliminating property taxes argue that the tax makes homeowners perpetual renters and that their homeownership is dependent on the actions of local governments. People who can't pay those taxes lose their homes. You can see the property tax rates in various states here.
The flip side, of course, is that if cities and counties no longer have property-tax revenues to run schools, libraries, police departments and other municipal services, they are going to have to find the money somewhere. The real-estate bust has left many municipalities struggling to make ends meet as tax collections have declined with property values.
"I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I can’t pay a tax," Susan Beehler, who advocated the end to the property tax in North Dakota, told The Times.
But, as Alison Rogers of Time's Moneyland pointed out, rising property taxes aren't the only reason a homeowner could lose a home. She writes: "This argument, of course, neglects to acknowledge that a citizen could just as easily be forced to sell his or her home to pay escalating income or sales tax bills."
What do you think? Is eliminating property taxes a good idea?
The taxes on someone's home is not defensible.The thought of losing your home, to pay taxes should cause immediate revolution.
So, what do we call the new tax to replace the property tax?
Do we break it down?
School Trust Tax
Library Trust Tax
Police Department Trust Tax
Other Municipal Services Tax...Garbage Collection Tax
Or do we rename it...Community Support Tax.
I am also a homeowner and would benefit from no property tax. I live in PA and the property taxes are not bad. I came from Connecticut where taxes are some of the highest in the country. On my 1700sf house on 3 acres in PA I pay about 3500 a year. Where in CT my daughter and her husband are building a 1900sf home and will be paying near 8-10,000 a year for taxes with the added bonus of a yearly car tax.
I'm also a school district employee (not a teacher) and am wondering where the money would come from to pay for education, EMS, FD, PD and other vital services that we depend on to be there when needed. Maybe with out the stress of property taxes more people could afford to purchase a home and maintain it, business owners could expand and create more jobs in turn selling more cars, gas, food and services.
I agree that property taxes as they stand now, is a dis-service to communities across the USA. Either everyone whether renters, or homeowners should have a levy on their places of residence to cover services rendered in their areas, including our schools, or no one should pay.Otherwise, homeownership will always be the riskiest financial venture for citizens, and renters will always have the advantage to receive municipal services on the backs of homeowners. Even the playing field.
Eliminate property taxes. Instead, let everyone who benefits from a town's services chip in together to pay for them throgh a local sales tax levied by the town or, better yet, the county.
And let's not forget that property taxes also include school taxes which are generally higher than county and local taxes combined. Let schools receive their funding via an additional state sales tax, with the money divided up among school districts based on their headcounts.
Why would someone need to sell their home for escalating income or sale tax bills? Income tax is based on the amount on income made, so the funds are always available to pay that tax. No income, no tax charge. Very simple. Same with sales tax. You don't buy stuff, you don't pay the tax. It's a "choice" tax. Cut down on purchased goods to cut down on sales tax paid. If you can't afford the sales tax on purchased goods, then don't purchase those goods. This is not the case for property tax. Even when you are done paying the amount you owe on the property, you are still responsible for tax. For as long as you own the property. It's not a tax. It's a fee. For owning property. Call it what it is.
What a stupid argument this article pretends to make.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.