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Old 07-10-2015, 06:04 PM   #81
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Having read this entire thread, some thoughts come to mind.

...

2. I'm truly astonished by all the emphasis on what is or isn't "fair" in this (supposed-maybe) situation. My father told me when I was 7 years old that life isn't fair, and I've never seen any evidence to contradict him in the 50+ years since then.

Technically, I suppose it isn't "fair" that I pay property taxes to support the schools, since I have always been childfree. ...
I think you are misinterpreting the 'fair' thing...

According to the OP, it is a rule that to get the tax exemption, you need to reside in the home. It's not about whether the exemption rule is 'fair' or not, the question is whether the person is breaking the rule.

I think you can say that it is not 'fair' that she get the exemption if she is breaking the rules. But that's different than complaining that the exemption itself is not 'fair'.

Yes, I know life is not fair. But I still want people to obey the rules (and some will not).

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Old 07-10-2015, 06:22 PM   #82
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Yep, I knew about that one for years. Oh, and I found the one where you can look up what the actual tax bill and breakdown is...turns out it shows the homestead tax credit, even!

Prince George's County, MD - Office of Finance : Property Tax Inquiry

Oddly though, it doesn't show that front foot fee I mentioned, anymore. It shows it, but there's a zero there...for my tax bill, at least. Maybe the county got rid of that?

Just a thought on your front foot fee... they did something like that on a small lot my dad owned.... they rebuilt and widened the road and taxed everybody whose property touched the road.... did not tax any of the people who lived in the neighborhoods that actually needed the road widened.... so, maybe you had paid off that cost which is why it went to zero...
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:45 PM   #83
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Kinda torn, but not enough to not to act. Their failure to pay their fair share means you are paying more. Not fair, right?

Not withstanding the Libertarian nonsense, it is your business.

Drop a dime and make it clear they have to pay their pair share.


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Old 07-10-2015, 06:49 PM   #84
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Here's the other side of the question:

Ok, so you report it. WILL THOSE IN CHARGE DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?. Too much paperwork, too much hassle, "don't get your hands dirty", hope it goes away, hope the complaintant forgets about it. That's how it works around here anyway.

You report it, get a reputation as a crank, nothing happens except your house gets egged.
ironically I live around a bunch or krumudgens, they will all get the blame before me The neighbor who doesn't mow their lawn has people call on him all the time and its a different neighbor each time. They like to call on people for loud noise or miskept lawn or unpainted fence.. is this any different?
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:02 PM   #85
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The difference here is that the OP's neighbor may be committing fraud... a lot different than long grass or loud music IMO.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:03 PM   #86
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Maybe this varies from state to state. I'm in the same state as the OP. And DH has an over-65 exemption. In fact, when we obtained the exemption we actually did have a 16 year old child in our house. But, I disagree with your conclusion for several reasons.

1. The exemption does not mean that we don't have to pay school or other taxes. It simply caps the increases in taxes that you would ordinarily have.

2. The purpose of the exemption is not to exempt people from paying school taxes. We still have to pay school and other taxes. The point of the exemption is that without it many elderly people could be priced out of living in their paid for home because the taxes were going up because the house value went up. My mother is 91 and bought her house over 60 years ago. If she didn't have the over 65 exemption she would likely have to sell her house and move into an apartment due to the property taxes (she couldn't use the money to buy a new home because the taxes would cost too much). As it is, she can keep her home.

3. In our case, your argument doesn't even hold water because we were homeschooling our daughter. She never attended a public school in this county. That said, I don't mind paying the thousands of dollars of school taxes that we do pay (despite the exemption) because I believe that society benefits from public schools whether I chose to have my child attend one or not.
It does vary greatly state to state. In Illinois you get an exemption for the # of years you lived in a home, so people who bought their house 60 years ago have the greatest deductions. Then they cap at 65 where they pay NO increase in taxes and it actually states because they don't have kids in the passage of that ruling. I pay my taxes and have no deductions and do it because I'm sure others will benefit and its good for society, just where I lived it was all the 60+ that were always whining about how bad they have it. I have a hard time that you are getting an exemption so you can "afford" it when I know you have millions in the bank and living in a million dollar home. There is something in my mind I just can't wrap my head around...and as the population ages this is going to skew it very heavy for the new people moving in...and then the older generation wonders why no one is buying their house because of the high property taxes.... I'm just highlighting how circular and frustrating this whole problem is.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:06 PM   #87
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ironically I live around a bunch or krumudgens, they will all get the blame before me The neighbor who doesn't mow their lawn has people call on him all the time and its a different neighbor each time. They like to call on people for loud noise or miskept lawn or unpainted fence.. is this any different?
Yes, because while you can hear loud music and see unpainted fences and overly long grass, in the OP's case they don't KNOW anything about what the reality of the situation is, they just suspect something. And despite my libertarian opinions being labeled nonsense, I just don't believe in putting on my brown shirt and "dropping a dime" on a neighbor for a suspected misbehavior. I wouldn't do it on the long grassed, unpainted, loud music lovers, and I certainly wouldn't do it on a saintly ole granma, even if she might secretly be Ma Barker. Not without a body.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:07 PM   #88
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For God's sake, let's not use Illinois as an example of anything. No disrespect to anyone who live there (including my dear sister) but it seems to be one of the most screwed up states in the union.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:21 PM   #89
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Yes, because while you can hear loud music and see unpainted fences and overly long grass, in the OP's case they don't KNOW anything about what the reality of the situation is, they just suspect something. And despite my libertarian opinions being labeled nonsense, I just don't believe in putting on my brown shirt and "dropping a dime" on a neighbor for a suspected misbehavior. I wouldn't do it on the long grassed, unpainted, loud music lovers, and I certainly wouldn't do it on a saintly ole granma, even if she might secretly be Ma Barker. Not without a body.
+100

I think this weekend I'm going to bake my two closest (geographically speaking) neighbors some brownies to thank them for not being Nosy Parkers.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:30 PM   #90
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For God's sake, let's not use Illinois as an example of anything. No disrespect to anyone who live there (including my dear sister) but it seems to be one of the most screwed up states in the union.

True, but if we don't at least serve as an example to others of what not to do, what good are we at all?

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Old 07-10-2015, 07:39 PM   #91
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Is this tax fraud? What would you do?

If this isn't her primary residence, it is clearly fraud.

I'm personally sick of all the people that fraudulently abuse our country's benefits, including social programs and the tax system. If we expect this country to continue to be land of opportunity that it is supposed to be, then individual citizens like ourselves have to step up to the plate and assist the government we elect (and pay for) get the right benefits to the people who need / deserve it.

I'd first write a letter to the appropriate taxing authority. I personally would sign it but understand others would do so anonymously. I have no problem either way and don't really care if someone skimming off my country doesn't care for my actions. Nor do I care if other neighbors feel similarly. I care more about the people who are not getting benefits they need because of tax cheats, etc...

Second, I'd bring it again to the authority's notice by using that person's property value / tax rate in my yearly challenge of my own property taxes. When the board reps pointed out the exemption, I would just point out that no one over 65 lives there.....but be ready with updated package without that data and move on.

Just one person's ideas. Clearly not aligned with many here but that's one thing that makes our country great.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:54 PM   #92
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I'm personally sick of all the people that fraudulently abuse our country's benefits, including social programs and the tax system.
If the tax system is a "benefit", then I'd like to leave my share of that one to others.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:47 PM   #93
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Jeez...the issue isn't related to a political philosophy ...it's related to each of us being RESPONSIBLE for paying our fair share. This isn't a game, it's pragmatic management. If your neighbor is cheating you/we are being damaged.


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Old 07-10-2015, 08:51 PM   #94
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My neighbor's property taxes are capped because she has an over-65 surviving spouse exemption. So she is paying ~$2k/year in ptax. Without that exemption, the ptax would be ~$5k. To qualify for the exemption, you must occupy the house as your primary residence.

However, I do not believe the person on the ptax rolls lives there because the people I see at the house are the two thirty-something parents and their six kids. Occasionally I see an over-65 woman at the house but she appears to just be visiting. Personally I don't see how 6 kids plus 2 parents plus a grandma could fit in a 3br/2ba 2,200 sq ft house, but maybe.

I suspect that the MIL is letting her daughter and SIL and kids live in the house but keeping it in her name to avoid several thousand dollars in annual property taxes. One exception - if the owner was in a nursing home, and planned to come back to the house at some point, she could maintain her exemption legally.

Is this tax fraud? What would you do?

I am paying the market rate of +$8k in ptax, though I have a larger/more expensive house.
She might also have a fraction of your income so if it were me I would stay out of it. I would bet you make a lot more than the 4k to 6k she is saving. I would also guess that the couple with six kids are not loaded with money either. So who gets hurt in the end the older lady or the kids? It does not sound like a battle I would want to win.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:55 PM   #95
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Looks like there are not very many hall monitors here.

I'm relieved.


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Old 07-11-2015, 12:39 AM   #96
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Fewer things get people more excited than talking about taxes. It's probably because nobody is stranger to taxes. This is a lively discussion. People have different viewpoints, and all have some merits. I love it.
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:43 AM   #97
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She might also have a fraction of your income so if it were me I would stay out of it. I would bet you make a lot more than the 4k to 6k she is saving. I would also guess that the couple with six kids are not loaded with money either. So who gets hurt in the end the older lady or the kids? It does not sound like a battle I would want to win.
Whoa. Her income has no bearing on her obligation to comply with the law.

If she can't afford the property taxes, in most states there are programs for that. Even if after those programs she can't afford the property tax then the remedy is for her to sell the property, not to cheat the system which is unfair to all the rest of us.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:57 AM   #98
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She might also have a fraction of your income so if it were me I would stay out of it. I would bet you make a lot more than the 4k to 6k she is saving. I would also guess that the couple with six kids are not loaded with money either. So who gets hurt in the end the older lady or the kids? It does not sound like a battle I would want to win.
A light bulb just went off in my head...imagine for a moment the clamor and busy-ness of a home with 6 children in it. Add to that perhaps two parents who may not be getting along because money is tight, and one or both parents of the 6 kids is frazzled from too many hours of w*rk trying to support the brood.

Maybe Grandma isn't at the house a lot because she needs peace and quiet. She may have a kind friend who lets her stay at her house so she can have some time to herself.

Or perhaps she is trying to avoid the unpaid live in 24/7 child care deal that so many grandparents (especially grandmothers) find themselves locked into.

I will further speculate that she allowed the couple and kids to move in to help with expenses, and may now regret it. It would explain her absence.

She's outnumbered.

There is no mention of a grandfather. Divorced ? Windowed ? It is possible that the couple talked her into letting them move in so she wouldn't be alone, and to help with maintenance . I knew a local woman who did that, and regretted it for the rest of her life. She felt like a stranger in her own home. Her daughter and kids and BF cost her more in the long run than any "help" they supposedly provided. This lady w*rked all the time versus being at her own house amidst the clamor.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:03 AM   #99
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ironically I live around a bunch or krumudgens, they will all get the blame before me The neighbor who doesn't mow their lawn has people call on him all the time and its a different neighbor each time. They like to call on people for loud noise or miskept lawn or unpainted fence.. is this any different?
It's funny, in my neighborhood and my mom's, if your lawn was getting a bit long someone would more likely be coming to the door to make sure everything was ok or to ask you if you wanted them to cut your grass. I've long since lost count of the times that I have cut neighbors' grass or pulled a few weeds. A saw an obituary the other day and one of the observations regarding the fellow was that he was known for voluntarily cutting grass all over the neighborhood. There are worse ways to be remembered!

I'd probably let it slide even if I thought they were outside the lines. If they were renting it out to non-family or being 'bad' neighbors then I might be driven to act.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:16 AM   #100
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Looks like there are not very many hall monitors here.

I'm relieved.


Ha
There are lots of factors. I've reported several people for shoplifting in progress--the law and the infraction are free of grey areas, I was sure of what I saw, somebody was being harmed, so it was not a hard call.
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