A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Monday, May 26, 2008

This is not a Tax Bill

“Bad news on the door step” –Don McLean “American Pie”

Did you get your ASSessment notice yet? Or, your a$$e$$ment notice? Now I know that it’s important to put a fair market price on everything. We should all have a firm concept of what is worth what right? Take gasoline. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, which I would trouble picking out on map, gas is $10.86 a gallon. In Venezuela it’s 12 cents. Here in good ole NEPA it’s $4.00. So what is gasoline worth? I’ll give you another example from my personal experience. I once tried to sell an item on that electronic flea market called EBay. It didn’t sell but I got a message from someone who wanted to buy it for far less than I had listed it. I was offended and wrote them back that the item was worth FAR more than what they had offered. They responded with this thought. An item is only worth what you can get for it. You may think it’s worth more and you are welcome to do so but its value is really only what someone will pay for it. And so we come to the concept of “Fair Market Value”. According to our old buddy the internet (now available on computers!) “A fair market value is often an estimate of what a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, both in a free market, for an asset or any piece of property. If such a transaction actually occurs, then the actual transaction price is usually the fair market value.” It goes on to say: “An estimate of Fair Market Value is usually subjective due to the circumstances of place, time, the existence of comparable precedents, and the evaluation principles of each involved person. Opinions on value are always based upon subjective interpretation of available information at the time of assessment.” AHA! The same principles used in meteorology which is wrong more often than not! So get out a dart board and take your best guess. My story? My ASSessment tells me that my property is worth 4 times what I bought it for. My total tax will rise nearly $1400. Meanwhile down the street from me three houses have been on the market for over a year. And unless I need new glasses I notice a lot of “for sale” signs everywhere I go and not many sold signs. So if I was to try get “Fair market” for my house I would be up a certain creek without a paddle. But the county, municipality and school district get theirs. Appeal it you say? Sure, I guess I can do that. Chances of changing anything? Slim and none and Slim left town. Or then again I could be wrong.

1 comment:

MadDrummer said...

Living in Florida I can tell you that the various state and local tax assessments have killed the market more than anything else - even the insurance companies couldn't do what the real estate taxes did.

People were willing to pay the price for the house but when they found out the tax bill, they bolted. Especially when there was NO perceivable increase in services.

Hell, I live in a "nice" area. I never see a cop on patrol. They're in the Section 8 housing areas!

We need to storm the palace!