Monday, December 18

What Do Property Taxes Pay For

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County property taxes, or any other tax for that matter, while unpopular, are an essential source of revenue to county and/or state governments. County property taxes help pay for essential community services.

Each taxing authority, whether local or state, continually strives to update its county property tax appraisal ratios based on current market values. Their objective is to maintain tax equalization on residential and commercial property located within their taxing jurisdictions.

Most county governments are dependent of county property taxes for their income. Accordingly, the property taxes that are levied can and do vary a great deal from county government to county government.

Perhaps, paying county property taxes is unpopular, because we feel we don’t have any choice; as we perceive these taxes are forced upon us. However, we have made a choice to become a citizen of the particular community within the county. As such, we do receive a lot of valuable services in return.

In the county in which I reside, property taxes make up approxmately 34% of the total revenue reported by the county.

While there may be some variation in the services that property taxes provide, I receive the following benefits from the taxes I pay:

Ø       Police protection and emergency response;

Ø       Fire protection and emergency response;

Ø       Storm water runoff;

Ø       911 Emergency service;

Ø       Maintenance of streets, traffic control, sidewalks and curbs;

Ø       Snow removal;

Ø       Wireless telephone;

Ø       Emergency family assistance and housing funds;

Ø       Access to low-cost mental health services;

Ø       Parks and recreational facilities;

Ø       Activity programs for senior citizens;

Ø       Central and neighborhood libraries;

Ø       Wastewater treatment; and last but not least,

Ø       The office space and administration of these services

How many of these services do you take for granted? How many people does it take to provide these services 24/7? Each one is entitled to receive his/her fair wage, just like you and me.

County property taxes help pay for essential community services. Let’s change our attitude about property taxes levied by our local government and think of them as membership fees assessed by a large co-op. There are many people pay fees into co-ops and Homeowner associations to receive several benefits they provide. They rightly treat them as the cost of day-to-day essentials.

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