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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 1, 2011 2:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was Salem paper also throttles comments. The next post in this blog is A Thursday night 'dog. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Hanford-land, lower property taxes

Can you imagine your property tax bill ever going down, by action of the politicians? Ha! But up in Kennewick, they've actually cut the tax rate by a penny nickel per thousand dollars of assessed value.

Comments (10)

The article you link to says it is almost a nickel less than last year.

Of course it also includes this kicker: "The 2012 levy of $2.11 per $1,000 will cost the owner of a $150,000 home about $317." (Yes there is another $12 for a library levy.)

If only our taxes were anywhere near that low.

Sales taxes have their utility.

North Dakota is seriously considering getting rid of property taxes.

" North Dakota citizens may abolish property taxes, allowing them more control over government spending. Nearly 30,000 signatures were collected to place the people's initiative on the ballot in June, 2012 that would constitutionally abolish all property taxes in North Dakota.

This landmark measure supports property rights, small government and freedom advocates around the country.

If the initiative is successful, North Dakota will be the first state to abolish all property taxes, both state and local, and will provide a model for the other states to do the same. North Dakota may be the first state to kick off the property rights revolution! "

One set of observations about taxation systems / theories. I live in Oregon. My sweetie lives in Washington and is a retiree drawing Washington's version of PERS. My kids each live in Virginia.

Oregon has a high state income tax, a high property tax in some areas, and no sales tax. Many Oregonians complain that Oregon's taxation system is not "balanced", and that there is a need for a sales tax. Oregon governmental tax receipts keep falling. Oregonians seem unhappy with the services reductions resulting from spending cuts.

Washington has a varying, but not insignificant sales tax,(base statewide rate, to which cities and counties can add on). Washington has relatively low property taxes compared to Oregon, and no individual state income tax. I don't know if Washington has a corporate income tax; I have a vague recollection that Washington has something that looks and smells like a corporate income tax, but which (I think) is called a "franchise tax" and which I think operates like a gross receipts tax. Many Washingtonians complain that Washington's taxation system is not "balanced", and that there is a need for an income tax, both individual and corporate. Washington governmental tax receipts keep falling. Indeed, there is a special session in Olympia right now to deal with an additional $ 1.5 billion "hole". Washingtonians seem unhappy with the service cuts.

Virginia has both personal and corporate income taxes. Virginia has a varying sales tax (base statewide rate, to which cities and counties can add on.) Virginia has property taxes which are generally higher than Washington's but lower than Oregon's.
Virginia, too, has been beset by falling governmental tax revenues and has been cutting budgets. I don't know t anything about the tenor of the general Virginia population's view of the service cuts.

It just seems to me that regardless of the ways states collect taxes, they are all having difficulties with budgets and gross revenues, and are all cutting spending.

Virginia government - its Legislature - seems to have been on the budget cutting bandwagon far longer than the Legislatures in Oregon and Washington. Yet Virginia is the one which has the "balanced" or "three legged stool" tax system.

Its an interesting conundrum. Many folks intently dislike their current state tax system as far as I can see, and seem to advocate for the tax system "over there", and the folks "over there" seem to equally dislike their own state's tax system.

Virginia's Governor McDonnell has 62 percent favorable approval rating vs 22 percent unfavorable, pretty good indication the populous (outside of a few liberal enclaves) is pleased with cut the budget hold the line on taxes approach. When McDonnell came into office he selectively reversed Tim Kaine's cuts, not on the feel good stuff but on budget line items that supported such mercantilist activities as tourism. McDonnell has earned the respect of the populous by genuinely focusing on the commonweatlth's role facilitating the private sector economy.

And Idaho, which is regarded as one of the best states to do business in, has ALL THREE TAXES - sales, income and property. Same with Utah, another state widely regarded as being a good business/"Red" (heavily Republican) state.

I think the issue is not the taxing, or the method - no matter what taxes are taxes, and you're going to hate them. The issue, at the end of the day, is how that money is spent and whether it's spent well or not. Idaho and Utah have many areas that are environmentally protected, and Idaho (from personal experience) has a decent amount of regulations and government. But not overbearing. Sure, there aren't streetcars in Boise...and Moscow's University isn't as well known as Pullman's - but both states are highly regarded by residents and businesses.

Montana has no sales tax but a hefty personal income tax. Did you know that 50% of the MDT's budget goes to one thing - snow removal? Yet...it's a service that nearly every resident depends on and respects...whereas ODOT is spending a lot of money on Talgo trains that will spend most of their time in Washington State, bike paths, supporting TriMet, and endless studies. (And not doing a good job of snow removal in the Valley when needed.)

In my short-term town of Kalispell, we didn't have a lot of fancy stuff...but garbage service was paid for through property taxes. And property taxes didn't go through the roof at the whim of the garbage haulers and city regulators. (And we had recycling service, but not composting service...and it was every week.)

If they'd just lower taxes and slash spending the recession would end...just like in the UK. Yessir.

...Oregonians seem unhappy with the services reductions resulting from spending cuts...

I would say a lot of unhappiness with service reduction resulting from excessive URA's, light rail and pet projects, etc.

Some are paying more here to make up for all those 10 year tax abatements in the pearl and elsewhere?

The problem in Oregon is government and public sector spending that is increasing at a rate faster than tax revenue is increasing.

In Oregon, when the budget is less than what is asked for, it is a budget cut, even if it actually increases year over year.

In Oregon, it is considered a revenue loss, when receipts are below what is forecast, despite actually increasing year over year.

I'd be happy if revenues and spending remained the same, and balanced; even happier if spending was more controlled.

Portland will never lower your taxes. You'll have to do it yourself. If you live in Portland, and you want lower property taxes, appeal your RMV. Multco pretty consistently overvalues residential properties. Winning an appeal of your RMV can (but won't necessarily) lower your tax bill via Measure 5 caps. You may not get satisfaction on the first appeal, but further appeal to the Oregon Tax Court is more likely to be successful.


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