Just As I Thought

Sky High

You’re probably tired of hearing about the value of my house, and I don’t blame you. But it both bewilders and worries me, this unbelievable juggernaut of real estate.
The news around here over the last two days has been the incredible rise in property values here in Arlington; I suspect that the news releases were timed to coincide with the mailing of assessments to try to blunt the surprise. So, I was expecting some big news. It arrived with today’s mail.
Let me preface these numbers by telling you that I paid $131,000 for my house in 1998. With that in mind, here’s the shocker:
For the year 2004, my assessed value was $259,400.
Today, by 2005 assessment arrived… $344,500.
I simply don’t know how to react to this. My first thought is “wow! I’m rich!” Then, the math kicks in. Property taxes are levied without thought to how you will be able to pay. The taxes on my house are taking a bigger and bigger bite out of my paycheck each month, and Arlington has one of the lowest tax rates in the region.
I’ve written about property taxes before, most recently in connection with the HGTV Dream Home. It seems to me that the property tax is a big problem that needs fixing. I can understand some of the usefulness of such a tax — to provide services to property such as roads, sewer, etc.; but the tax is becoming a burden that is standing in the way of the ability of many to purchase property. If I were to give away homes to people who needed them, they couldn’t keep them because of the burden of taxes.
I wonder how many people are forced to sell their high-priced homes because they can no longer afford to pay the taxes?
And I wonder who the people are that are paying the inflated prices on real estate here?

1 comment

  • Do you have ANY idea what $344K could buy in little ‘ol Marion, Il.
    You could even get one of those cement ponds.

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