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Old 09-21-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
11,930 posts, read 11,419,953 times
Reputation: 7187
Quote:
Originally Posted by khendrix85 View Post
why can't we be like alaska and families that homeschool can receive a subsidy? at least some of us who don't use public schools (which is what half our prop. taxes go towards) can get a bit of a refund.
For the same reason that homes with no children, or those that send their kids to private schools don't get a break.

Just because.

No tax system can be "right" for everyone. Nor should it try to be. Taxes will be inconvenient, unfair, irritating, etc. for everyone at some point in their lives. Or all the time.

Last edited by hoffdano; 09-21-2010 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,773 posts, read 10,009,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinking View Post
Comparing Boston to Austin is not really apples to apples. Pay in Boston is better than Austin.
I agree, perhaps "Apples to Apples" was not the best term. I was just saying that $400 rent is possible in Texas, like it is in MA, but not inside the cities that everyone wants to live in... ie Austin in Texas (or nice areas of DFW or Houston, for that matter), or Boston in MA.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:59 AM
 
10 posts, read 21,369 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
For the same reason that homes with no children, or those that send their kids to private schools don't get a break.

Just because.

No tax system can be "right" for everyone. Nor should it try to be. Taxes will be inconvienient, unfair, irritating, etc. for everyone at some point in their lives. Or all the time.

just because something has been unfair for a long, long time doesn't mean you have to be okay with it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
11,930 posts, read 11,419,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khendrix85 View Post
just because something has been unfair for a long, long time doesn't mean you have to be okay with it.
I am personally OK with it - if it matters to you. Taxes aren't a pick and choose issue in general. I accept it because I know I can't stop my taxes going to programs I don't agree with - whether local or federal.

It is YOUR choice to NOT take advantage of public schools.

You can influence your property taxes by buying less expensive property. You can reduce your sales tax by not buying as much subject to sales tax. But unless you consciously choose to reduce your income, you can't reduce your income tax other than taking advantage of the tax code.

Last edited by hoffdano; 09-21-2010 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:30 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,069,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
For the same reason that homes with no children, or those that send their kids to private schools don't get a break.

Just because.

No tax system can be "right" for everyone. Nor should it try to be. Taxes will be inconvenient, unfair, irritating, etc. for everyone at some point in their lives. Or all the time.
What I find far more annoying than having to pay full property taxes when your kiddo's are home/private schooled is that many schools/districts don't allow you to take advantage of various programs/etc if your kiddo is not attending the school. As an example, your kid can't attend the afterschool robotics course unless they actually attend the school. To me that's the ultimate insult. You pay your taxes and are funding the school, as a matter of fact, the school makes more "money" from you since they get your full tax dollars but don't actually have to spend any of it on your kid, but yet you can't take advantage of some of the programs available. Seriously annoying. If you can show that you own property in the district and you are paying taxes, then you should be allowed to access any facilities/programs that anyone else can regardless of where you kid is actually going to school at.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:42 AM
 
3,902 posts, read 5,717,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Orbius - your broken record on the rich with a herd of deer is tiring and overblown. The rich people who live in $1M+ homes in West Lake don't have livestock on their .4 acre lots. They pay lots of property taxes.

I hate paying my property tax every year. But I relish not paying any Texas income tax. I understand how property taxes stabilize the tax revenue of government related services closest to me - the schools, the county, and the city. As pointed out already - property taxes in Texas are 100% local except for Chapter 41 (Robin Hood) recapture. Property taxes also create resistance to real estate speculation. It adds risk to an investor - because if they can't flip a property they will be stuck with property taxes. Texas has clearly benefited from less volatile housing markets over the last two decades (at least).

Income taxes are more volatile, and harder for the state legislature to spend wisely. Because I basically do not trust state or federal legislators with taxpayer money - the less they have to work with (abuse) the better.

Income tax withholding is evil. California increased its witholding to increase tax income, knowing they had to refund it when tax returns are filed. Talk about gaming the system....

As for unemployed - nothing is affordable, including mortages and car payments! If property taxes were 1.4%, like they are in much of California, it wouldn't materially change the financial status of an unemployed person in a $150K home.
one issue is misvaluation of property. I strongly wish we were a disclosure state. My property tax would go up, but I simply think it is wrong that some people are gaming the system so badly.

There is a property in westlake on lake austin that is forsale for 1.3M the tax value is 600K. That is just wrong. I see this all the time with property on the lake or other high value areas.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:52 AM
 
3,902 posts, read 5,717,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Wealthy people buy homes, sometimes more than one, and usually expensive homes. They will pay lots of property tax in Texas.

If your income is low - you should probably rent.

Perhaps you didn't truly mean it this way - but taxes in Texas do not "benefit" the wealthy. A wealthy person probably pays far more taxes than the government services they receive. They drive the same roads, have the same fire and police, etc. that a lower income person receives. The lower income person comes nowhere near paying in taxes the $6K per year per student of typical public school expense.
I used to believe this as well, but you are only thinking about the things right in front of you. The rich actually benefit disproportionately in that many laws specifically protect their wealth.

1) Who benefits more from regulation to ensure a free and safe stock market?
2) Who benefits more from protection of property rights? A person who owns a lot of land or a person who owns a little?
3) Who benefits more from regulation of the banking system to ensure safe deposits, someone with $5M cash or someone with $0?
4) Who benefits more from liability protection that corporations offer? Investors or workers?
5) Who benefits more from fire protection, the person with the 8000 sq ft house or the person with the 800 sq ft house?
6) Who benefits more from the police? Someone who is wearing $25K of jewelry or someone who is wearing no jewelry?

To make it austin specific, who benefits more from the fact that infrastructure costs of new subdivisions are borne by everyone rather than the builder of the subdivision?
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:00 PM
 
1,150 posts, read 1,408,159 times
Reputation: 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Orbius - your broken record on the rich with a herd of deer is tiring and overblown. The rich people who live in $1M+ homes in West Lake don't have livestock on their .4 acre lots. They pay lots of property taxes.

I hate paying my property tax every year. But I relish not paying any Texas income tax. I understand how property taxes stabilize the tax revenue of government related services closest to me - the schools, the county, and the city. As pointed out already - property taxes in Texas are 100% local except for Chapter 41 (Robin Hood) recapture. Property taxes also create resistance to real estate speculation. It adds risk to an investor - because if they can't flip a property they will be stuck with property taxes. Texas has clearly benefited from less volatile housing markets over the last two decades (at least).

Income taxes are more volatile, and harder for the state legislature to spend wisely. Because I basically do not trust state or federal legislators with taxpayer money - the less they have to work with (abuse) the better.

Income tax withholding is evil. California increased its witholding to increase tax income, knowing they had to refund it when tax returns are filed. Talk about gaming the system....

As for unemployed - nothing is affordable, including mortages and car payments! If property taxes were 1.4%, like they are in much of California, it wouldn't materially change the financial status of an unemployed person in a $150K home.
Property tax fraud in Texas is a real problem, it needs to be brought up over and over until its fixed. Also I worked on a surveyor crew at the ground level so I saw first hand how the exemptions are abused, have you been in a similar position to be qualified to talk about the issue?

I am not necessarily for an income tax. First we should work to stop the chronic under appraisals of business, high end residential, and corporate property, we should move the exemption process from the county level up to the state level and open up the process to public scrutiny. Also we should create more oversight and scrutiny for county appraisers.

That could very well result in enough extra money that the overall property tax rate could be lowered which would help the middle class who are suffering right now with an unreasonable property tax rate. I would be fine with that.

However there is nothing sacred about not having an income tax. All that really matters is who is shouldering the tax load for the state, what the total tax load would be for each income bracket. And whether or not that is fair.

Right now the unfair appraisals and exemptions are stunting the discussion. I guarantee you if high end residential, corporate, and business were paying the property taxes they should be paying the public discussion of various taxes would be much more robust.
There is nothing holy about the lack of an income tax. Texas simply needs a fair tiered tax system whether that is only property tax or a mix of property and income. Everything should be on the table.

Last edited by orbius; 09-21-2010 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,773 posts, read 10,009,891 times
Reputation: 2863
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
I used to believe this as well, but you are only thinking about the things right in front of you. The rich actually benefit disproportionately in that many laws specifically protect their wealth.

1) Who benefits more from regulation to ensure a free and safe stock market?
This one maybe benefits the wealthy more. Maybe. But who is most likely to be on the "safe" end without regulation? Those who have insider trading information, money and traders on their payroll, or the individual investor who is working with nothing but the legit, public information?

Quote:
2) Who benefits more from protection of property rights? A person who owns a lot of land or a person who owns a little?
The person who is wealthy enough to hire lawyers and bribe politicians doesn't need protection of their rights. The less wealthy benefit more.

Quote:
3) Who benefits more from regulation of the banking system to ensure safe deposits, someone with $5M cash or someone with $0?
Considering the FDIC insures UP TO $250K in deposits, I'd say the people with less than $250K benefit the most. They are 100% covered. The wealthy are not as well protected.

Quote:
4) Who benefits more from liability protection that corporations offer? Investors or workers?
Small businesses can benefit from the liability protection of a corporation; it isn't that expensive to incorporate. I certainly wouldn't call most small businesses owners wealthy.

Quote:
5) Who benefits more from fire protection, the person with the 8000 sq ft house or the person with the 800 sq ft house?
Again, the person who can afford to rebuild after a fire, or afford the best safety equipment and materials... or the person who would really be up a creek if their home burned down? I'd say the latter.


Quote:
6) Who benefits more from the police? Someone who is wearing $25K of jewelry or someone who is wearing no jewelry?
This one is easy. The less wealthy benefit by far more here (assuming, of course, that it's not a corrupt police department). The wealthy can afford their own protection. Without police the poor would essentially become slaves, with the law dictated by the wealthy who can afford to enforce it.

Relating this to Austin... the person with the 8000sq ft house, assuming they aren't cheating on their property taxes, is paying FAR more for fire protection, police protection, and infrastructure through their property taxes to the city, county, ESD, etc.

Now, of course I don't defend the $1.3million dollar home in Westlake that is valued at $600K. If indeed that property is not fairly valued, whatever loophole that causes that should be fixed; if there is fraud involved, the person should be prosecuted.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:29 PM
 
3,902 posts, read 5,717,287 times
Reputation: 1529
Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
This one maybe benefits the wealthy more. Maybe. But who is most likely to be on the "safe" end without regulation? Those who have insider trading information, money and traders on their payroll, or the individual investor who is working with nothing but the legit, public information?


The person who is wealthy enough to hire lawyers and bribe politicians doesn't need protection of their rights. The less wealthy benefit more.


Considering the FDIC insures UP TO $250K in deposits, I'd say the people with less than $250K benefit the most. They are 100% covered. The wealthy are not as well protected.


Small businesses can benefit from the liability protection of a corporation; it isn't that expensive to incorporate. I certainly wouldn't call most small businesses owners wealthy.


Again, the person who can afford to rebuild after a fire, or afford the best safety equipment and materials... or the person who would really be up a creek if their home burned down? I'd say the latter.



This one is easy. The less wealthy benefit by far more here (assuming, of course, that it's not a corrupt police department). The wealthy can afford their own protection. Without police the poor would essentially become slaves, with the law dictated by the wealthy who can afford to enforce it.

Relating this to Austin... the person with the 8000sq ft house, assuming they aren't cheating on their property taxes, is paying FAR more for fire protection, police protection, and infrastructure through their property taxes to the city, county, ESD, etc.

Now, of course I don't defend the $1.3million dollar home in Westlake that is valued at $600K. If indeed that property is not fairly valued, whatever loophole that causes that should be fixed; if there is fraud involved, the person should be prosecuted.
Ok maybe we are arguing semantics, but the volume of benefit I am talking about wealth protection is about how much money someone can make or how much wealth is protected. Similar to insurance, the more wealth I have protected the more I pay.

Just because I have the wealth to make a bad situation right does not mean that I am receiving less protection. The protection may mean more to a poor person, but the wealthy are still getting more protection

1) If I make 500M from the stock market and you make 0 from the stock market, I benefited significantly more from a well controlled and regulated stock market.

2) With regards to fire protection, I dont think need plays any part into who receives the most benefit. Protecting an 8000 sq ft house requires more work and the value of the assets being protected are larger. It is irrelevant that the wealthy person could just pay to rebuild their house.

3) corporate protection absolutely favors the wealthy as they have the largest amount to invest. The top 1% have about 45% of the financial wealth in the country. A significant amount is invested in corporations. Corporate structures allow them to be protected by corporate veils (and also to dodge taxes). They can also protect their assets from liability by creative structuring of limited partnerships and corporations.

4) FDIC ensures 250K per bank. All you need to do is to split your deposits (which is what people to do) to effectively insure any amount of money.

5) the person with the 8000 sq ft house (because property taxes are not progressive) pays exactly proportionally with the value of their house. And because houses at the top end are typically undervalued they actually pay less

6) If we were suddenly to go completely dark ages, many of the wealthy would lose everything. The wealthy today are weak and they would be replaced by wealthy who were strong and who would take by force from everyone else. So the wealthy today are actually protected more even when comparing to a total lawlessness situation.

Think about these for awhile. Like you I used to believe that the wealthy did not benefit more than regular folks
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