Property Taxes Are Another Bubble Problem
When the real estate bust of the 1980's hit the problem that vexed homeowners was the property tax. The local and state governments had grown used to the funds and were very slow to adjust appraisals down. When they could no longer fight the public, the various entities had to slash services in response.
This Des Moines Register story shows that scenario is replaying itself now. "'I don't mind paying an inflationary increase, but mine is like 17 percent. That's out of line. I haven't done anything to the house to lift it up that much,' Ben Veach said. 'This is just a way to raise taxes without saying you're raising taxes. And it's so blatant. But there are still some of us out here who'll fight it.'"
"Ralph Fetters and his wife recently paid off the mortgage on their home and retired. Fetters worries now, on a fixed income, he can't continue to absorb the mounting tax burden."
"'You keep getting those raises year after year, and you can have a problem,' Fetters said. 'I'm 65, and I've lived here all my life. And I've never seen a property tax (bill) go down. It'd be nice to see that once in my life.'"