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Old 08-24-2009, 06:35 AM   #41
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Ahem.... You know, I saw the Bolshoi ballet there. Well, my daughter did since her school class got in free, and I saw the local TV footage of the entire performance since the tickets for grownups did not fit into my budget.

As for ecologically deprived, well, other than the successful multi-million dollar class action lawsuit due to arsenic in the drinking water (left by the old cotton gin), Aggieland is just dandy. Lots of field mice, brown recluse spiders, scorpions, and fire ants.
yes the University offers some culture here and the Bolshoi was one of those events... btw, the arsenic was left by a corporate production center not a cotton gin .. few scorpions here ... but I think you got the point I was making... however, this area was a really great place to raise kids!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:38 AM   #42
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I'm shocked you'd say things like that about Aggieland...

... no you are not tell the truth you are a closet T-sip aren't you?
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:44 AM   #43
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this area was a really great place to raise kids!
I raised my daughter in College Station from age 5 to college age and agree 100%. It was a wonderful place to raise a child. Not only were good values reinforced by the community, but also the public schools were unusually good in my opinion. She was in band at Consolidated and that was a wonderful experience for her.

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few scorpions here
Well, we occasionally saw one in our back yard. You're right that there weren't a lot, but they did make an impression. We also had a possum nesting with her babies under our deck.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:02 PM   #44
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I raised my daughter in College Station from age 5 to college age and agree 100%. It was a wonderful place to raise a child. Not only were good values reinforced by the community, but also the public schools were unusually good in my opinion. She was in band at Consolidated and that was a wonderful experience for her.


Well, we occasionally saw one in our back yard. You're right that there weren't a lot, but they did make an impression. We also had a possum nesting with her babies under our deck.
interesting my what year did your daughter graduate? both my kids graduated from Consolidated...

we too have had possums under our deck.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:49 PM   #45
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Okay I know it is long... but can any of you Floridians shed any light on this...

"All property is taxable at 100% of its just valuation. In certain counties and cities, homeowners 65 and over can receive a homestead exemption from property tax of $25,000 if their household income, as defined by the federal tax code, is at or below $27,539 (single) or $30,917 (couples) per year (2008 figures). The income limitation is adjusted each year based on the cost of living index. In many instances the definition of household income excludes Social Security. Permanent residents may also be entitled to a homestead exemption regardless of age. Residents 65 and older are entitled to both exemptions ($50,000). The senior citizen's homestead exemption applies only to tax millage levied by the county or city, and does not apply to millage of school districts or other taxing authorities. The homestead exemption for all residents applies to all property taxes, not just city and county taxes. Annual increases in the assessment of homestead property are limited to 3% of the prior year’s assessed value, or if lower, the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for the prior, as long as there was no change in ownership. A 2006 law provides a property tax discount on homestead property owned by eligible veterans. To be eligible, a veteran must have an honorable discharge from military service, be at least 65 years old, be partially disabled with a permanent service-connected disability, all or a portion of which must be combat-related, and must have been a Florida resident at the time of entering military service. This discount is in addition to any other exemptions veterans now receive. A 2007 law allows local governments to give those age 65 and above – with low incomes – an increased homestead exemption. Cities and counties have the option of doubling an existing homestead exemption on primary owner-occupied homes from $25,000 to $50,000. To qualify, taxpayers must have an annual income of $20,000 or less."

how the heck do you even know what you are being taxed on?
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:37 PM   #46
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I'll make it simple for you, you don't!!

Don't try asking any questions of the property appraiser because you'll never get a straight answer. I spent a 1/2 hour on the phone again today trying to get an answer that makes sense, not a chance.

If for some reason you complain and win (impossible) they'll just raise your millage rate and raise your taxes anyway. I don't normally quit when I get a bee in my bonnet but I'm just about ready to give up. Don't try to rationalize any of it as there's no answer and if there is they won't tell you.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:30 AM   #47
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The 2001 Florida Building Code had major changes in regards to making structures better for being able to withstand hurricanes. This code did not go into effect until 2002 though. So a house that was build in 2001 is not a guarantee that it was built to the 2001 code. Most cities/counties have building drawings available for the asking which should state what code it was built to.

Another concern when looking at property is the flood plain. Once again, this info is available from the county/state. I know quite a few people who didn't think they needed flood insurance and got burned when one of these storms lingered and dropped a ton of rain. Unfortunately, these flood zone maps are pretty old. IT's also a good idea to check with neighbors in the area and find out about the water level when a major storm like Frances or Fay hit.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #48
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Okay I know it is long... but can any of you Floridians shed any light on this...

"All property is taxable at 100% of its just valuation. In certain counties and cities, homeowners 65 and over can receive a homestead exemption from property tax of $25,000 if their household income, as defined by the federal tax code, is at or below $27,539 (single) or $30,917 (couples) per year (2008 figures). The income limitation is adjusted each year based on the cost of living index. In many instances the definition of household income excludes Social Security. Permanent residents may also be entitled to a homestead exemption regardless of age. Residents 65 and older are entitled to both exemptions ($50,000). The senior citizen's homestead exemption applies only to tax millage levied by the county or city, and does not apply to millage of school districts or other taxing authorities. The homestead exemption for all residents applies to all property taxes, not just city and county taxes. Annual increases in the assessment of homestead property are limited to 3% of the prior year’s assessed value, or if lower, the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for the prior, as long as there was no change in ownership. A 2006 law provides a property tax discount on homestead property owned by eligible veterans. To be eligible, a veteran must have an honorable discharge from military service, be at least 65 years old, be partially disabled with a permanent service-connected disability, all or a portion of which must be combat-related, and must have been a Florida resident at the time of entering military service. This discount is in addition to any other exemptions veterans now receive. A 2007 law allows local governments to give those age 65 and above – with low incomes – an increased homestead exemption. Cities and counties have the option of doubling an existing homestead exemption on primary owner-occupied homes from $25,000 to $50,000. To qualify, taxpayers must have an annual income of $20,000 or less."

how the heck do you even know what you are being taxed on?
Ah, come'on. It's easy.

You buy your house. The price you pay is the new appraisal value. It also is the new tax basis.

Starting then, state law limits increasing the appraised value to no more than that year's CPI, max 3%.

Then you may get a reduction in taxable value based on stuff like over 65, low-income vet, etc. These are mostly county exemptions.

Then a tax rate is applied - and you get a bill. It is seriously unfair and totally inequitable, but it's not hard to understand.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:24 PM   #49
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Yeah, it's real easy, let me know when you figure it out and get a straight answer.

The 3% is only if you homestead. Also if your neighbor paid 200K and you paid 400K your taxes will double his because the 3% of 400K is more than the 200K. Gook luck!
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:43 AM   #50
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Yeah, it's real easy, let me know when you figure it out and get a straight answer.

The 3% is only if you homestead. Also if your neighbor paid 200K and you paid 400K your taxes will double his because the 3% of 400K is more than the 200K. Gook luck!
That's why it is seriously unfair and totally inequitable.

Of course, the current decline in property values is reducing the inequity. Most folks assessments and taxes owed are rising while newer property owners see their assessment values reset lower and their taxes fall. Schadenfreude, perhaps?
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:05 AM   #51
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This is from today's 9/1/09 USA Today:

For Florida, 'end of an era' of population growth - USATODAY.com

Not very positive sounding at all.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:22 PM   #52
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I have lived in Florida for fourteen years . I lived in Venice ,Fl for six years and on the border of Sarasota for nine years . Take some time and check out the various areas you are thinking about and narrow it down to what you want from a relocation . I enjoy the west coast of Florida especially Venice ,Fl. It has a lot of charm ,nice beaches , reasonable house prices , outdoor restaurants and did I mention loads of charm .It also is midway between Tampa and Fort Myers for airport access .
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This is from today's 9/1/09 USA Today:

For Florida, 'end of an era' of population growth - USATODAY.com

Not very positive sounding at all.

not unless you are a buyer of distressed housing for your future retirement...
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:21 PM   #53
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Good one! Florida is one of the beautiful States here, and I have a realllly hard time believing that it's done for eternity. Surely, some of the upcoming geezers in the near future will be again shuffling down to sunny Florida. Better buy that property while it's cheap, folks.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:42 PM   #54
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I like the pause from the never ending building that was going on . This article makes things sound more awful then they are . Yes, unemployment is up , yes, there are foreclosures and yes, the building boom has stalled . Otherwise is it business as usual in Florida and in fact every week there are more real estate sales reported in the local paper . Restaurants are busy , snow birds will still be crowding our roads and restaurants will still be going in & out of business .
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:16 PM   #55
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A different perspective on florida real estate bust

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Florida’s Bust Propels Muni Default Spike: Chart of the Day
Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- No other state comes close to Florida in defaulted municipal bonds.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the number of bond issues that have gone into default over the past decade and Florida’s contribution to the total, according to the Distressed Debt Securities newsletter of Miami Lakes, Florida. Of the 126 bonds that are in default in 2009, 70 were sold in Florida.
Blame it on the collapse of the real estate market in general and, in particular, on Community Development Districts, which sell bonds to pay for infrastructure to support new real estate developments. Florida has 600 such districts, and 105 have gone into default on a total of $3.2 billion in bonds.
Florida’s Bust Propels Muni Default Spike: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg.com
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:07 PM   #56
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I live in north Florida just south of the Georgia line. Rural living. I'm 60 miles east of Tallahassee and 120 miles west of Jacksonville. I do most of my shopping in Valdosta GA where there's a mall and plenty of "chain" stores. Low property taxes, no taxes on food or medications. we have a "little bit" more variations in the 4 seasons but still have the humidity. About 45 miles from the Gulf Of Mexico. I moved here from California and have been here for 24 years after having moved up here from the Tampa Bay area. Love it !
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:14 PM   #57
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You know, it seems like a mighty good time for those interested in moving to Florida to make a killing property and taxwise....food for thought for some of us.
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:28 PM   #58
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What is this "Milage tax" that was talked about in earlier posts?
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #59
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What is this "Milage tax" that was talked about in earlier posts?
Just a mere taxpayer here, but I think millage is the factor by which your appraised home value is multiplied to calculate your property taxes. So when housing values drop 30%, the appraisal my go down too, but municipalities can make up for that by raising the millage rate as allowed by law.

Appraised value: $200,000
Millage rate = $2 per thousand
Taxes: ($200,000/1000) x $2 = $400
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #60
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Just a mere taxpayer here, but I think millage is the factor by which your appraised home value is multiplied to calculate your property taxes. So when housing values drop 30%, the appraisal my go down too, but municipalities can make up for that by raising the millage rate as allowed by law.

Appraised value: $200,000
Millage rate = $2 per thousand
Taxes: ($200,000/1000) x $2 = $400
This is kinda what Colorado calls a Mill Levy (IIUC). The taxing unit (city, county, whatever) decides how much they need to collect in taxes and then divides that by the total assessed value inside that district. That figure is then used to determine each (home) owner's share by mutiplying the property's value by that figure. That way everyone pays their fair share and the taxing authority doesn't lose (or gain) through flucuations in overall assessed value.

(I am answering this on the fly so it may be confusing and lacking in useful detail but it is something like that.)
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