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Old 01-01-2008, 01:05 PM   #21
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Ya'll should move to Dixie.
Ummm - no...

Been there - done that.

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Old 01-01-2008, 04:21 PM   #22
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Move south or west - East Coast is too expensive. It may be a great place for teachers (e.g., salary of over $100K is not uncommon in NY).

The part that's missing is what % of "fair market value" is the assessment based on? Texas is going to the 110 to 120% range and forcing annual protests. I know some states assess well below 100%.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:36 PM   #23
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It is just sad in MHO. The real problem is why are the taxes so high? Why are older people still paying for School Taxes?
I don't get what is 'sad' about this. It just *is*.

One of the things that helps keep property values up is a good school district. Everybody pays for that in their property taxes, whether they have kids in the schools or not. No one changed the rules on them mid-stream, so it should be no surprise. Deal with it (to be blunt).

My property taxes are high, and it is factored into my ER plan. If things don't go so well, I will decide to downsize. Maybe I'll be 'sad' if it comes to that, but I don't expect my neighbors to pick up the tab for me, just so I can keep living in the 'style in which I've become accustomed'.

The county is offering them a job - if they don't want it, don't take it. But why complain?

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Old 01-01-2008, 07:08 PM   #24
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own an inexpensive piece of property - very easy in TX since real property values are so much lower than the rest of the country.

Audrey
Yup, that works on paper, and if you live in the typical TX city the cheaper you go the bigger the gun you'll want to protect your "tax saver."
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:37 PM   #25
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Yup, that works on paper, and if you live in the typical TX city the cheaper you go the bigger the gun you'll want to protect your "tax saver."
LOL! In the first place, don't live in a TX city! There are lots of great towns - cheaper and safer.

Second, the only times I've heard gunfire in a city I was in other states.

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Old 01-01-2008, 08:56 PM   #26
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One women got $620 in Social Security yet lives in a 4 bedroom house she should be able to rent out rooms to make $12K of property taxes, she already took a reverse mortgage so doesn't have a paid off house to sell to move. She should have saved something to retire getting old much like Christmas is something she should have seen coming. Old age and poverty seems like something she planned for. She might need to sell her house after 47 years but it seems she would need to.
We all pay school taxes, I never had kids but benefit from being in a country with educated people.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:33 PM   #27
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Just what is a "good" school system anyway?
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:47 PM   #28
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Just what is a "good" school system anyway?
Any one that benefits from a high property tax rate? None of these tax $'s are wasted so more efficient spending is not part of the equation.

When homes go into foreclosure, does the property tax meter keep running? I think many local gov'ts are realistically anticipating lower tax collections and/or growth due to mortgage mess, so the rest of us should pay more to keep their budgets balanced.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:57 PM   #29
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  • The SAT and ACT scores
  • The percentage of high school students taking college entrance exams and going to good colleges
  • The results of the standardized test scores
  • Amount spent by the school district per student on academics
  • Student to teacher ratio, since smaller classrooms mean more individual attention to the pupils
  • Rates of graduation
  • Percentage of students taking or passing advanced placement tests
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:39 AM   #30
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One women got $620 in Social Security yet lives in a 4 bedroom house she should be able to rent out rooms to make $12K of property taxes, she already took a reverse mortgage so doesn't have a paid off house to sell to move. She should have saved something to retire getting old much like Christmas is something she should have seen coming. Old age and poverty seems like something she planned for. She might need to sell her house after 47 years but it seems she would need to.
We all pay school taxes, I never had kids but benefit from being in a country with educated people.

This is a hijacked thread already so I won't hold back. I consider reverse mortgages a horrible idea. You have an older person (or persons) that can't afford their home and has no other assets besides their home. They mortgage that asset so there goes their only way of paying for long term care or anything else. It delays the day of reconing but makes sure that when the person finally exhausts their remaining asset they really have nothing left.

It seems that most of the elderly people I meet are obsessed with staying "in their home" and not going to "an old folks home." The reverse mortgage just feeds this obsession. I think its just another elder rip-off.

Reverse mortgages should come with a cyanide tablet to take when you've depleted the value left in your home.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:51 AM   #31
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No EVERYONE does not have to pay the high tax rates that contain a major portion of school taxes. Here is what one state is doing to help Office of Real Property Services - Home Page. I guess it is a start. Additionally, IMHO, to say "none of the money is wasted" is really naive just google the subject "tax abuse". Again IMHO more tax money, like more political power, just breeds a very large potential for abuse and waste.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:08 AM   #32
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Just what is a "good" school system anyway?
In the context of this thread - simple. Any school system that results in higher house prices.

The complex answer would easily fill up many threads.

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Old 01-02-2008, 10:37 AM   #33
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It's sad that people consider education for all as pet projects.

It's sad that people don't realize they are part of a community, and don't want to pay for the community that they partake in whether they realize it or not.

Recently read this book:
Amazon.com: If You Came This Way: A Journey Through the Lives of the Underclass: Books: Peter T. Davis
Good reminder for the start of a new year.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:45 AM   #34
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I think the real motivation is buried at the bottom of 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."

Translation: "Those pesky empty-nesters keep voting down our school bonds and tax hikes. If we make them dependent on the schools for income, they'll have to vote with us."

As for people "not wanting to pay for a community", you have to remember that we are paying more, inflation adjusted and per pupil, for education than ever and we aren't getting any better results. As soon as more money translates into better performance, I might support more money for schools. Until then it's a bottomless pit. Most developed nations spend far less per pupil than the U.S. does. The problem isn't "not enough money." It may be a problem of where and how the money is spent, but there is more than enough money being sucked into the system.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:45 AM   #35
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This is a hijacked thread already so I won't hold back. I consider reverse mortgages a horrible idea.
I disagree. A reverse mortgage is an option. It might be a good option for some people. I don't want options taken away from me because maybe some people won't choose well.

Just like the sub-prime mess, I think education is the key. If anyone is going to do the reverse mortgage, it should be made clear just what the risks are.

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It seems that most of the elderly people I meet are obsessed with staying "in their home" and not going to "an old folks home." The reverse mortgage just feeds this obsession. I think its just another elder rip-off.
I would say the 'rip-off' is getting obsessed with the idea that you should live in a home that is going to deplete your resources. That is the root of the problem. LBYM - plain and simple. Again - education. If you don't have the money to cover that lifestyle, downsize NOW, before it gets depleted.

Don't ask for a bail-out (asking ME to pay YOUR property taxes) because you are living beyond your means.

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Old 01-02-2008, 11:30 AM   #36
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As for people "not wanting to pay for a community", you have to remember that we are paying more, inflation adjusted and per pupil, for education than ever and we aren't getting any better results. As soon as more money translates into better performance, I might support more money for schools. Until then it's a bottomless pit. Most developed nations spend far less per pupil than the U.S. does. The problem isn't "not enough money." It may be a problem of where and how the money is spent, but there is more than enough money being sucked into the system.
I remember that, inflation adjusted, those homes are worth more than what they were 50 years ago.
The beauty of America is, if you don't want to support more money for your school system, then you can move. Move to a place that has low property/ school taxes. Just be aware you may not have the same kind of community.

Just as when marrying person, you get the in laws, prenuptial pets, etc. So when you buy a house, you are entering into a contract not just with the seller, but with your neighborhood and community.

Also, I wouldn't expect costs for education to necessarily stay stagnant, even considering inflation for a place like Westchester County. Places like this county pride themselves on # of National Merit finalists and Westinghouse scholars. A set of textbooks, some chalkboards, and random beakers and bunsen burners won't be sufficient to compete, as it may have been in 1950.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:16 PM   #37
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(close your eyes/ ignore the first slide which was meant as sarcasm)
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:27 PM   #38
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Also, I wouldn't expect costs for education to necessarily stay stagnant, even considering inflation for a place like Westchester County. Places like this county pride themselves on # of National Merit finalists and Westinghouse scholars. A set of textbooks, some chalkboards, and random beakers and bunsen burners won't be sufficient to compete, as it may have been in 1950.
I suspect if you plotted the amount spent per student in these "achieving" districts and compared them to the amount spent in non-achieving districts, you wouldn't find the "money equals achievement" argument to be as compelling. For every wealthy district that achieves, there is a Washington D.C. which spends something like $12,000 per student and has horrible results compared with North Dakota or Iowa spending half that or less.
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:13 PM   #39
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Here in SC, our schools are bad, but our taxes are low!
So we've got that going for us! My tax bill dropped from $1100 to $850.

Glad you are still loving it here, Wallygator!
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:26 PM   #40
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Our school district has 23 National Merit finalists (out of a class of 800 students). Both ACT and SAT scores are above average. The cost of each student is less than $4,000 per year. Our property tax rate is about 1.25% of property value.
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