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

Do You Remember “Macro” Computers?

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Thursday, 20 November 2014 by Karen Krug

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

Back in the day, when computers were described as macro or micro, the business world was still learning the implications of this new technology.  Fast forward a decade (or 3) and handheld devices are now part of our daily lives.

Illinois’ Cook County is praising the “supercomputer” platform LexisNexis for its ability to detect property tax fraud.  Since January, the County has saved more than $6.2 million by removing the property tax exemption files of deceased senior citizens.

In July 2013 Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing a short amnesty period for repayment of invalid property tax exemptions with no penalties or interest charges.  Today, each month, the county averages $500,000 in collections and bills another $1 million to recapture fraudulent property tax exemption claims.

Seems as though the $1.3 million contract with LexisNexis has paid off in a “macro” way.

LexisNexis Advantax Blog


Does Higher Property Taxes = Better Education?

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind, Property Tax Administration

Thursday, 13 November 2014 by David H. LeVan

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

We know that higher property taxes means more money for schools. In fact over 50% of property tax revenues are currently used to fund education. But, does more money for schools guarantee better results? Historically, property tax revenues almost double every decade. Likewise, school spending has increased dramatically. Spending for education in the United States was $4,300 per student in 1971. That number was over $11,000 in 2011. That’s an increase of over 150%.

If the equation works we should see better results from our education…. right? The United States has remained flat in reading and math scores since 1971, while those scores have risen in every other developed country. According to a 2013 study, teens in the United States rank 36th in math, reading and science. Now, I know there are different studies out there that vary the ranks but generally they are all lower than we would expect. What’s missing in this equation?

advantax education

Sometimes You Just Know Obsolescence When You See It

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Friday, 07 November 2014 by David H. LeVan

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

Obsolescence can be a challenging concept, not to mention a difficult word to spell. We all know that it exists, and can be difficult to identify and quantify. We also know effectively quantifying obsolescence can result in property tax savings. The concept is so important that we have devoted several tutorials to the topic; helpful tools for identifying and quantifying obsolescence. Sometimes, however, you just know obsolescence when you see it.

During his freshman year at DePaul University in Chicago, my son and his friend got a little mixed up on their directions while walking downtown. Unfortunately, they ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and were mugged by four teens. Now in no way do I mean to make light of that situation – it was frightening for him and disturbing for me as his father. Fortunately, they were unharmed….. and came out just a little lighter on the cash side.

One humorous aspect of the incident was when the muggers asked for his cell phone. He recently had lost his nice iphone and has been using an old flip phone that we had lying around. One look at the flip phone and the muggers laughed while saying things I can’t repeat in this blog. They told him he could just keep it. It’s clear that something not even worth stealing is pretty obsolete. Perhaps we have discovered a new test for obsolescence.

Advantax Flip Phone Obsolescence