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Potential Property Tax Freeze- WWYD?
Old 03-05-2024, 06:44 AM   #1
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Potential Property Tax Freeze- WWYD?

My county re-assessed home values last year- done regularly every two years. The firm they hired did a terrible job- many people saw their properties go up 75-100% and their property taxes went up accordingly. An unusual number of properties, including a vacant lot, all got the same valuation (some non-round number of $300K+, as if they'd plugged in an average). They're still processing appeals but it's been a real fiasco.

My assessed value went DOWN. I'd estimate that the market value of my house is about $400K. Assessed value is $300K. I figured what the heck, I pay plenty of taxes, I'm not going to appeal because the valuation is too low. SO- I paid the amount I was billed.

Now the state passed a law that allows seniors to freeze their property taxes at this level indefinitely. There are no income limits although the house must be worth less than $500K. People are pointing out that with the crazy-high valuations no one is going to file for this. In my case it's a great deal. I'm hoping to stay here at least another 4 or 5 years. The buyer, of course, would be in for a shock.

WWYD? If I were struggling to get by I'd jump on it but I'm bordering on Fat FIRE. Somehow it doesn't seem right. I suppose I could file for it and increase my charitable giving to make up the difference.
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Old 03-05-2024, 06:54 AM   #2
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They make the rules. I'd do what is legal and best for my situation.
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Old 03-05-2024, 06:58 AM   #3
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Always take the free money. Or almost always?

That is a great deal and I would leap at it.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:05 AM   #4
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Do it!
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:06 AM   #5
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You can take it and donate to local / community charities.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:06 AM   #6
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OK, OK, you have me convinced! I do think I'll increase my charitable donations accordingly. I've focused mostly on my church plus organizations that help people out of poverty (education, counseling, job help), but could add something like our local food assistance program that could help people struggling with the increased taxes.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:09 AM   #7
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They make the rules. I'd do what is legal and best for my situation.
Yep, I don’t make the rules, I just use them to my benefit. I’m sure you can settle your conscious down by realizing other things that didn’t move in your favor.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:10 AM   #8
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OK, OK, you have me convinced! I do think I'll increase my charitable donations accordingly. I've focused mostly on my church plus organizations that help people out of poverty (education, counseling, job help), but could add something like our local food assistance program that could help people struggling with the increased taxes.
I am sure you will do fine.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:13 AM   #9
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If you're sure you won't have to pay the back taxes when you (or your heirs) sell, I say go for it. Some of these programs for seniors do include a provision to collect later, so it's worth reading the fine print.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:33 AM   #10
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^^^^^
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:57 AM   #11
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Your state doesn't want your taxes I guess. Find another way to help your community if so compelled.
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Old 03-05-2024, 10:13 AM   #12
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Our house increased over 1400% in value.... and not quite done yet....
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Old 03-05-2024, 10:30 AM   #13
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If you're sure you won't have to pay the back taxes when you (or your heirs) sell, I say go for it. Some of these programs for seniors do include a provision to collect later, so it's worth reading the fine print.
^^^^^

This....you can do this in Texas and SOMEONE will have to make up the lost tax money later. My Ex wife did this and when my daughter,who inherited the house, went to sell it, the city wanted their $55,000 in frozen taxes paid before removing the tax lien.
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Old 03-05-2024, 10:41 AM   #14
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^^^^^

This....you can do this in Texas and SOMEONE will have to make up the lost tax money later. My Ex wife did this and when my daughter,who inherited the house, went to sell it, the city wanted their $55,000 in frozen taxes paid before removing the tax lien.
Wow, thatís oppressive. I guess you better understand that going in. In our state (MI), you get a homestead exemption which reduces the tax by about half (I think) so that benefits people in their main residence. If you have a second home on the lake, for example, you donít get the exemption on it. We also have a cap on the increase. So, while the vale of the house goes up, the taxes are muted. Itís a buyer beware situation though because when the house is sold, the assessed value goes back up to the market rate which uncaps all the previous limitations. The result is that when you see tax history on something like Zillow, itís meaningless because the buyer isnít going to pay anywhere near that if the current owner has lived there a long time.
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Old 03-05-2024, 10:55 AM   #15
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In our state (MI), you get a homestead exemption which reduces the tax by about half (I think) so that benefits people in their main residence.
That's a great deal. My property taxes are just about $500 less for being an old codger.
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Old 03-05-2024, 11:46 AM   #16
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Wow, thatís oppressive. I guess you better understand that going in. In our state (MI), you get a homestead exemption which reduces the tax by about half (I think) so that benefits people in their main residence. If you have a second home on the lake, for example, you donít get the exemption on it. We also have a cap on the increase. So, while the vale of the house goes up, the taxes are muted. Itís a buyer beware situation though because when the house is sold, the assessed value goes back up to the market rate which uncaps all the previous limitations. The result is that when you see tax history on something like Zillow, itís meaningless because the buyer isnít going to pay anywhere near that if the current owner has lived there a long time.
We have a homestead exemption and an over 65 exemption on Texas properties.
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Old 03-05-2024, 12:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
^^^^^

This....you can do this in Texas and SOMEONE will have to make up the lost tax money later. My Ex wife did this and when my daughter, who inherited the house, went to sell it, the city wanted their $55,000 in frozen taxes paid before removing the tax lien.
I just checked the original state Bill wording- nothing about recovering the difference. Actually I prefer that there be a provision for recovery on sale. The same Bill now eliminates state taxation of SS, which was VERY good news to me. These lost revenues have to be made up somewhere (unless the government decreases spending accordingly ) and I'd hate to see the cost borne by young families and renters (who, of course have increased property taxes passed on to them).
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Old 03-05-2024, 02:48 PM   #18
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... Somehow it doesn't seem right. ...
Judge Learned Hand (1934):

"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes."

"Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.Ē
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Old 03-05-2024, 05:18 PM   #19
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My property tax went up over $1300 for 2024. Count your blessings.
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Old 03-05-2024, 06:04 PM   #20
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They make the rules. I'd do what is legal and best for my situation.
+1. It's not the OPs fault that her local government is stoopid.
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