Thursday, May 10, 2007

Your Local Taxes

It is high time somebody said that it was NOT high taxes that are running people off this Island. Sure, your evaluation might have skyrocketed over the last ten years but poor, poor you. Compared to living in the Austin area our local tax bill is about half.

Yep that's right, we paid more on a $100,000 house up there than a $200,000 house down here. I find it ludicrous for people to say taxes are running people off the Island. Sure, I feel bad if you are on a fixed incomed or retired and only figured your seaside estate was only worth $30,000 when you bought it. These folks are few and perhaps always lived in a marginal lifestyle.

What really bothers me is that folks want lower city taxes, as in the Town of South Padre, yet want al kinds of new services. About ninety percent of your local tax bill is county, school, and some other taxes. The Town tax bill is almost nothing. Yet some people want to capitalize this for their personal grandeur or some other very strange reason.

Get off it, as we see right through the political shennanigans. Your tax bill is fairly mild. Yes, the Town finances a disproportionate amount of offshored County and school revenue, but how else can you you tax people equitably? To add to the mix, your tax bill can only go up like five percent a year, no matter HOW it is appraised or valued. I am not familiar with the exact conditions of this cap but I suspect that something is deeply wrong with the "taxed off the Island" argument.

It's a political ploy. People come and go as their families mature, a few members die, and the youngsters move about the US. It's that simple. If it gets like living on the Island is a pain in the hootch you move elsewhere. It has very little to do with taxes. It is trivial compared to a hurricane.

Now insurance, I can believe that story. A ton of insurers are dropping coastal policies just because of the hurricane issue. I want a roll-back on my damn insurance and KEEP continual coverage even if The Big One comes. We've got three to five billions of dollars of property down here, and we need it all covered by insurance.

Strangely, nobody wants to talk about this issue, especially the people who say taxes are driving people off the Island. They are completely berserk.

Word History: When we say that we are going berserk, we may not realize how extreme a state this might be. Our adjective comes from the noun berserker, or berserk, which is from the Old Norse word berserkr, "a wild warrior or champion." Such warriors wore hides of bears, which explains the probable origin of berserkr as a compound of *bera, "bear," and serkr, "shirt, coat." These berserkers became frenzied in battle, howling like animals, foaming at the mouth, and biting the edges of their iron shields. Berserker is first recorded in English in the early 19th century, long after these wild warriors ceased to exist.


beerman said...

Hey Sammy!

How-bout at 1011.11% increase in evaluation!

Yep, 2,250 last year, 25,000 this year!!! Guess they read the warranty deed!

Can't be excited about development on tract 10 and then gripe that tract 17 is more valuable I suppose.

Have a Great Island Weekend, wish we were there!

Tha Beerman!

Anonymous said...

Sam, your speaking as someone with a homestead. As a second home owner there is no cap and the taxing folks can set the value at whatever they want. I strongly agree that the Town has a minimal impact ob our total tax bill. Keep in mind, it is not the Appraisal District who are causing us the grief, but rather the different taxing entities. We should funnel or frustrations to the school, town, water, etc. districts who set the tax rates not the appraisers. You got to admit that most property is still under assessed as compared to actual selling prices or market values.

Sam said...

Yes, I was a little uncomfortable with what I wrote but several folks I talked with said the taxes rates down here were very small compared to other areas of high growth in Texas.

Since then I have learned much, such as from you and my buddy Beerman. I think the county appraisal department bears some of the blame but you're right, the schools and county and other tax entities are RAISING OUR FREAKING TAXES.

I suppose my point should have been the Town of SPI, since that is small beans. Having a roll-back on Town taxes is like swatting at gnats or polishing mouse turds.

So I truly appreciate the comments, since I'm still learning here. Let me ask, though, weren't we supposed to have a roll back all property taxes as a part of plans by the Legislature and Governor of Texas?