A Tax to Grind | A Blog to Enlighten and Entertain Those Afflicted with Property Tax

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Thursday, 20 August 2015 by David H. LeVan

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading ... Loading ...

More is not always better, especially when it comes to the number of local government units that have the ability to raise property taxes. Take Illinois for example (I know, more about Illinois. It’s just such a good source of messed up things to blog about). According to an article by Reuters, Illinois is home of the most local government units in the country, with 8,500 local government units. Over 6,000 of those local units have the power to collect property taxes. Texas, which has twice the population of Illinois, ranks second with 5,150 local government units. Florida, which has 50% more population than Illinois, has a mere 1,650 local units.

The large number of local governments results in taxpayers finding numerous entities showing up on their property tax bills, and some sound kind of similar. For example, in Wauconda, you might see Wauconda Road and Bridge, as well as Road & Bridge Wauconda Gravel and Wauconda Special Road Improvement and Gravel Unit all on the same property tax bill. Why three separate entities that seem to do the same thing? No one seems to know.

One government entity has an annual budget of $120,000 for salaries and benefits and their sole mandated duty is to administer somewhere between $10-50,000 (depending who you talk to) of living assistance to poor residents. Then there’s the 800 separate drainage districts in the state. Why 800? Again, no one seems to know.

Who votes to cut the number of local government units by at least half? Don’t worry if you’re from out of state, or deceased, your vote still counts in the state of Illinois.

A Tax to Grind_Illinois Welcome

 

Still Taxing Sheep and Goats of Breeding Age

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Thursday, 06 August 2015 by Advantax

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading ... Loading ...

It’s “throwback” Friday, which means bringing back a favorite PropTax Minute video. This one highlights Property Tax on Sheep. Oddly, West Virginia still taxes the “Sheep and Goats of Breeding Age”. This causes us to wonder, how many sheep and goats of breeding age live in West Virginia? And, who audits that kind of thing? Enjoy. ”

 

Will Property Taxes Save Chicago from the Pension Monster?

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Thursday, 30 July 2015 by David H. LeVan

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading ... Loading ...

Will property taxes save Chicago from the pension monster? According to the Huffington Post, Chicago has over $34 billion in pension debt. The Chicago Public Schools has $9.6 billion in pension debt with less than 50% of the funds necessary to pay out benefits. The police pension has $6.9 billion in pension debt with less than 30% of the funds. And, the Chicago firefighters has $3.1 billion in pension debts with less 24% of the funds. The grand total of $34 billion in pension debt is roughly $33,500 per household.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has suggested an increase of $175 million for this year to cover the schools pension obligations. Crain’s Chicago Business is predicting that property taxes could go up by 30 percent overall this year. Nuveen Asset Management estimates that Chicago would need over 50% increase in property taxes to begin tackling its pension monster. And here’s the rub. Can you continue to raise property taxes on a relatively stagnant population (the population of Chicago has remained flat for over a decade)? Additionally, one has to presume a decrease in city services since property tax increases would be used to cover pension liabilities, not services.

Summing it up. The Pension Monster has created a mess, billions in debt. Property taxes will need to radically increase if they are to be the hero.

Chicago Pension Monster