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Old 11-10-2010, 10:03 AM   #41
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More OT: 79protons, are you a 'gold bug' (my chemistry is weak, I had to google it )?

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Hah, yes, my hobby is prospecting...although the gold in WA state is pretty small stuff and a bit hard to find. I hope to FIRE in Alaska in a few years and spend quite a bit of time prospecting there in much better gold fields. Maybe suplement our retirement with a major strike!
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by keegs View Post

What is and will undermine public pensions IMO will be the lack of voter support for them.

Politicians are/will build their careers on this.
+1

The voters, within the confines of the Constitution, must be listened to. When the politicians totally stop listening to the citizens, it's over.....
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:20 PM   #43
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It's the same where I live (mid-Atlantic). Values of homes go down, millage is increased, and taxes remain the same (or go up).

Assuming you have the same amount of homes in an area and you have public services (schools, fire, police, trash, etc.) somebody still has to pay for those services.

The only way around it is if you cut services (lay off folks). I don't think anybody wants fewer services than are currently being given, so regardless of any home value, the same amount of real estate tax has to be paid.
Not trying to start an argument or anything, but there's a statement in here that just gets accepted, and I think is a big part of the problem. I personally would like to see fewer services offered so taxes can be relieved. Or reallocated to some better use. I'm not going to go deeply into which services, because that always devolves into a ox goring debate. But I think there is plenty of room for more intelligent use of the resources, and a lot of waste cutting could be done. We need to focus on resetting the incentives of the politicians and gov't employees toward less wastage by rewarding thoughtful stewardship of public money.

Sorry, just can't let that one slide by. I suspect there are others who wouldn't mind seeing fewer services/lower taxes.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:24 PM   #44
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Sorry, just can't let that one slide by. I suspect there are others who wouldn't mind seeing fewer services/lower taxes.
I resemble that.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:47 PM   #45
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Not trying to start an argument or anything, but there's a statement in here that just gets accepted, and I think is a big part of the problem. I personally would like to see fewer services offered so taxes can be relieved. ....
Agree in concept, but it would still be a problem. Let's say we had a utopia Goldilocks village where the municipal services were 100% efficient and sized 'just right' and everyone agreed with what they were. (dream, dream dream...)

I don't think home prices are a good measure of the economy. I would not want those "just right" services cut by 25% just because some appraiser says my house value dropped. It doesn't really reflect my ability to pay for those services that I now agree that I want. So I'd be getting services cut that I value. Level loading of the bill makes sense to me, what makes up that bill is a different story.

Back to reality - The vast majority of my Property Tax bill goes to pay a group of employees who have a contract with guaranteed wage increases, regardless of how the economy is doing. That's a problem. It's been discussed here before, I doubt anything new would come out of a re-hash, so I'll go play with a new toy I got instead (finally converting my vinyl to digital format).

edit/add - 'vinyl' made me think of this added comment - On the 'flip side' (ahem).... I also sure would not want my tax bill to go up just because some crazy housing bubble increased the value of my house on paper.


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Old 11-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #46
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Sorry, just can't let that one slide by. I suspect there are others who wouldn't mind seeing fewer services/lower taxes.
I also resemble that...
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:55 PM   #47
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Dallas pensions funds sound for now, but Mayor Tom Leppert still wants study | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News

Summary:

Dallas Mayor is advised that the pensions are doing fine. He still wants to spend 6 figures to have a study done to determine the overall compensation package for city employees compared to other local cities. A council person tells him they aren't going to spend over $100,000 to find out what they already know. City of Dallas employees are "underpaid or paid fairly".

Dallas has a City Council form of government. The Mayor sets the agenda but can't decide anything without a majority vote of the council which he doesn't have on this issue (or just about any other issue since the minority council members hate his guts).
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