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What's Up With Property Taxes???
Old 06-27-2008, 10:36 PM   #1
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What's Up With Property Taxes???

We live in WA state. We currently have two homes - hope to transition to one we built for our retirement in the next two years. Anyway, the homes are in two different counties and we just received new property assessments for both. Interestingly the property taxes for both went up. The values of the houses went down, but the value of the land went up. In one case, the value of the land went up 100K!!!

Anyone else seen this happen
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:51 PM   #2
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Seen This?

No, but that is why I live in California. As expensive as it is supposed to be, at least you know what your property taxes will be in the future.

No surprises.

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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No, our new property assessments (land and house) increase slightly (about 1%) even though the local housing average market value is down by more than 10%. The local school district is proposing an increase in property tax via a referendum. The likelihood of getting it to pass is pretty high.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:51 PM   #4
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The states are hurting. I think this is a way to get more money from us. Ours are almost $200 more than they were in 05 at the high of the real estate market.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:52 AM   #5
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Don't get me started.

Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

But no income tax.


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Old 06-28-2008, 06:10 AM   #6
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Don't get me started.

Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

But no income tax.


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I've decided that the high property tax in Texas makes it too expensive for retirement. I'm looking a Missouri or Oklahoma. The total tax burden for a no employment income is much lower and more predictable.
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:30 AM   #7
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Our property taxes are some of the lowest in the nation (mine was $551 last year and lower the year before). However, the assessor sent out letters saying that assessments are going up this year and that property values here are rising (so he claims, though I disagree vehemently except for damaged homes that have been repaired).

The question is, how much will they go up? After Katrina everyone was given a lower assessment, determined by satellite views of neighborhoods . My recent property tax has been about half what it was before the storm. I think that something not too much more than the before-storm level would be fine and quite fair (given the stagnant real estate market). It remains to be seen whether or not he plans to raise the assessments much more than that. We will find out in November.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:30 AM   #8
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You might want to check out the over 65 exemption in Texas. The basic exemption is not much, but places like Harris County have a $200,000 exemption. That with a frozen value for school tax, no income tax, and a possible lower home value, it may still be cheaper. Of course that also leads to a couple of other threads dealing with scorpions and such.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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You might want to check out the over 65 exemption in Texas. The basic exemption is not much, but places like Harris County have a $200,000 exemption. That with a frozen value for school tax, no income tax, and a possible lower home value, it may still be cheaper. Of course that also leads to a couple of other threads dealing with scorpions and such.
After doing my in-laws taxes for several years, I've been well schooled in all the elder tax "benefits" in Texas. That actually made up my mind when I saw how high their property taxes were even with their over 65 expemption. School taxes were frozen at their age 65 valuation but other taxes continued.

The State of Texas has decided to put the funding of government primarily on the backs of urban homeowners. If you want to live in Texas, the best thing to do is get rural property and go for the ag exemption. Our recent 3 year statewide property tax relief seems to have been lost somewhere in the system. So far, mine hasn't shown up.

I'm also a long way from 65 so it is of minor importance for early retirement consideration. Harris County may be a good place to make money but I believe it leaves a lot to be desired as a retirement location. It's primary attribute is two airports with lots of good destinations.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:16 AM   #10
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Ours went up too, when I called the assessor's office I was told that they were basing the assessments on the previous year's values. So it should go down this year, but now they're making noises about raising rates to make up for it. Bummer.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:16 AM   #11
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I've decided that the high property tax in Texas makes it too expensive for retirement. I'm looking a Missouri or Oklahoma. The total tax burden for a no employment income is much lower and more predictable.
If you have a healthy income, an LBYM lifestyle and a small home, the overall tax burden is not bad at all. If you want a $300K home (a LOT of house in much of TX), yeah, the property taxes will kill you.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:20 AM   #12
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Property tax. Ugh. In a down market I still had one of my properties go up. The county assessor claimed it was based on sales of houses in my area. I've learned that that come be next door or two miles up the road. When sales are really slow, like here, the assessor will grab onto anything to find a way to go up on values. This time residents blew a gasket over the proposed tax increase (5 mil) forcing the county commissioners to rethink their budget increase plans, cutting it to a 0.5 mil increase. Sometimes sounding off works. I was just pleased only one property increased.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dog View Post
We live in WA state. We currently have two homes - hope to transition to one we built for our retirement in the next two years. Anyway, the homes are in two different counties and we just received new property assessments for both. Interestingly the property taxes for both went up. The values of the houses went down, but the value of the land went up. In one case, the value of the land went up 100K!!!

Anyone else seen this happen
Same thing happend to us here in Northern Virginia. Our house value went down and our land values went up for a net increase this year.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:36 AM   #14
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Actually, our total property taxes went down this year, the first reduction due to casino's being open (with many more planned to open).

Luckly, I don't "participate", but I'm glad that others do!

- Ron
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:47 AM   #15
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If you have a healthy income, an LBYM lifestyle and a small home, the overall tax burden is not bad at all. If you want a $300K home (a LOT of house in much of TX), yeah, the property taxes will kill you.
I'm paying over $7K on an appraised value of $240K. I would like to downsize but the property tax would still be significant on anything DW and I found "livable" in a metro area. I used to think I wanted to retire in the area NW of San Antonio but I've become attracted to what I perceive as more recreational activities in other locations.

My current plan for the early phase of retirement is to not "own" anything but to rent while maintaining my Texas residency (to avoid state income taxes). This would give us a chance to become semi-perpetual travelers while we look the country/world over. I considered an RV but I'm pretty sure DW wouldn't be too happy with that for very long.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:56 AM   #16
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I'm paying over $7K on an appraised value of $240K. I would like to downsize but the property tax would still be significant on anything DW and I found "livable" in a metro area. I used to think I wanted to retire in the area NW of San Antonio but I've become attracted to what I perceive as more recreational activities in other locations.
Well, yeah -- if you're determined to live in a metro area, you're probably screwed in terms of property taxes. Not only are tax rates higher (usually there are more "taxing authorities" taking their pound of flesh), but property values tend to be higher as well -- plus, you probably have to pay up even more for a decent neighborhood in the cities, too.

You can get decent (if modest) homes out in the country for well under $150K or even less in many parts of the state, but that doesn't help someone who wants a more urban lifestyle.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:27 AM   #17
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My house valuation stayed the same, but the taxed amount increased by $132. I'm paying $3622 on a valuation of $188K. Nebraskan's complain about high property taxes all the time, but it's my city that is really hurting for revenue right now. The city's water revenue is even lower this year since we have been having so much rain. I for one, would not mind paying just a little more to my city. My city gets a very small percentage of the property tax but everyone wants to keep the same services....doesn't work that way.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:30 AM   #18
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The city's water revenue is even lower this year since we have been having so much rain.
If you'd build a massive pipeline into Central Texas, we'd be happy to help you dry out a bit.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:37 AM   #19
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If you'd build a massive pipeline into Central Texas, we'd be happy to help you dry out a bit.
I think we'll keep it...thank you very much. I'm getting tired of rain now, but, after the last several years, it's nice to have a little extra in storage.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:25 AM   #20
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I've decided that the high property tax in Texas makes it too expensive for retirement. I'm looking a Missouri or Oklahoma. The total tax burden for a no employment income is much lower and more predictable.

I'm a native Texan, so in spite of the high property taxes, I'm not leaving.

One could probably get real estate cheap in Missouri... close to the river.
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