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Seniors can work off tax
Old 12-26-2007, 05:41 AM   #1
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Seniors can work off tax

Interesting read. But why should we get less then the mayor. I smell a union coming on.

Plan Would Let Seniors Work to Pay Taxes: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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Saw that article. It made me a little sick to my stomach when considering the primary senior portrayed. Then again, there are always two sides to every issue. On the one hand, the woman is on Social Security and has lived in her presumably paid-off house for 43 years. On the other hand, the tax scheme in place is based on property ownership, and there isn't a hardship exemption for paying taxes. There are far more factors/issues to consider, but I think a fair compromise might be a tax forgiveness program in exchange for volunteering (e.g., reading to children, helping the homeless, etc...) Disabilities aside, there are always things a person can do to make him or herself useful.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:41 AM   #3
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Something isn't adding up here......

From the article:

"Davison, who suffers from arthritis and sciatica and needs a walker to get around on her bad days, said she pays about $12,000 a year in property taxes -- perhaps $2,000 to the town -- and has already taken out a reverse mortgage to pay her bills."

Even in an area with a high property tax rate, $12 grand/yr property tax means you're in a very, very nice home. She's already taken out a reverse mortgage. She's scrimping but can't come up with tax money. Maybe it's time to move to a more modest domicile?
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:45 AM   #4
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Here was my primary take from the article:

"If we got seniors working for the schools, there might be a more intergenerational feeling there," he said. "It might be easier to pass the school budgets."

Reading between the lines, I see this: "Those pesky empty-nested seniors keep voting against our school bond measures and tax hikes. If we get them dependent on us, they'll have to vote for tax hikes and bond measures in the future."
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Even in an area with a high property tax rate, $12 grand/yr property tax means you're in a very, very nice home.
Not true in Westchester County, New York!
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:53 AM   #6
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Even in an area with a high property tax rate, $12 grand/yr property tax means you're in a very, very nice home.
In an area with a very high property tax rate, that's what, maybe a $400K home? Maybe $500K with senior and homestead exemptions (to the extent they have them there)? That's not a heckuva lot of home there.

Still, "move" is always an option, and if you refuse to do so when you are capable of doing so, you pay the piper.

Just the same, it was this "taxing Grandma out of her home" sentiment that led to tax revolts like California's Prop 13.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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In an area with a very high property tax rate, that's what, maybe a $400K home? Maybe $500K with senior and homestead exemptions (to the extent they have them there)? That's not a heckuva lot of home there.
Good point. Here in Chicago-land, $12k in property taxes means you're in something in the vicinity of a $600k home. That still buys you a very nice place here. If in her area $12k tax means only a $400k home, and homes are pricey there, I suppose it could be just an average place.

But, if this is the case, what are they thinking? Seniors with extremely modest resources and having trouble paying real estate tax are enabled to stay in an area where housing is exorbinate and real estate taxes are staggering by giving them part time $7/hr jobs? Hee hee........ I guess I failed to see the humor in the article at first!
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:27 AM   #8
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Seems like property taxes are getting a bit out of control.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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Again, I can see both sides. I suppose that it would make sense for grandma to move out of her large (value) home to reduce her property taxes. Then again, why force her to move based solely on taxes? It doesn't seem fair, but the same could be said for young people who move into a house where they can't afford both the mortgage and the taxes. The bottom line is that the property tax burden is demographically-neutral. It all comes down to money.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:32 AM   #10
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Seems like property taxes are getting a bit out of control.
I think they are. I think they are, by far, the most insidious of the three major sources of tax revenue from individuals (income, property and sales). For one thing, people have less control over their property taxes than any other taxes.

Sales taxes? Learn to consume less and reduce your burden.

Income tax? You pay more and more only if you earn more and more (aside from tax hikes). Seems fair.

Property tax? You can't control what your local housing market does. And if it gets too high to bear, your only choice is to move.

But I guess that's why government likes them. You can't merely "simplify" your life in your current home to reduce tax burdens. In order to reduce your taxes you have to do something fairly drastic.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:04 PM   #11
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Hmmmm.....

Have they thought of 'freezing' the taxes like they do down here in Houston? Once you reach 65, your property taxes are 'frozen'... increases in property value does nothing... unless of course you add to the property and then only the addition is taxed...

But, I guess if you want to have a bunch of people at $7 hr to do work for cheaper than you could get it (lawyer, accountant) then you would not wnat to give them a break.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:31 PM   #12
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I could swear I have heard of some place which lets the elderly defer their taxes. They pay a portion and the remainder just gets tallied and is due on the eventual sale/transfer of the house, it's paid out of the proceeds.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #13
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I could swear I have heard of some place which lets the elderly defer their taxes. They pay a portion and the remainder just gets tallied and is due on the eventual sale/transfer of the house, it's paid out of the proceeds.
Down here in Texas also... we are kind to our old folks....

But remember.. the tax is STILL due and payable... some might think it goes away if you die, but it does not.
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:32 PM   #14
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We do get sentimental about homes..... I like our little place here. Been in it for 31 years, it's set up for our hobbies, is easy to maintain, low utility bills, etc., etc. But I guess I'm just pragmatic and if the day ever came where I had to take a $7/hr job to stay here instead of selling and renting a modest apartment, I'm outta here!
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #15
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We do get sentimental about homes..... I like our little place here. Been in it for 31 years, it's set up for our hobbies, is easy to maintain, low utility bills, etc., etc. But I guess I'm just pragmatic and if the day ever came where I had to take a $7/hr job to stay here instead of selling and renting a modest apartment, I'm outta here!
Same here. But in actuality, one of the reasons we already moved to a small, low-priced home with low taxes and utilities is because I didn't want to get priced out of it when I'm elderly, even though the house is already paid off. As of now we have every intention of retiring here, and we already have the downsized home paid for as well as a little extra from the sale of our previous homes to work in the market for a few years. Beats higher heating/cooling bills, less savings and triple the property tax bills.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:07 PM   #16
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perfect article for justifying florida's "save our home" property tax which limits rate increases on homesteaded homes. on top that we also have additional senior exemptions countywide and some cities increase that deduct as well.

sure hate to take the opportunity for such a cheap plug but i hope early retired residents will keep this in mind for their future. ten or twenty years down the line, won't your taxes be looking pretty.

vote yes on "save our homes" portability on jan 29th, 2008. thank you very much.
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