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Property taxes


Quit playing 'value' games

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Now that tax assessments are being mailed out, a trip to the Assessor's website by taxpayers might be appropriate. Here in part is what you will find:
“The Assessor does not create market value. Market value is the price a willing buyer and seller would agree to under ordinary circumstances. This does not mean that an individual sale will automatically establish the value of a property. The Assessor uses multiple sales of comparable properties to establish value.”
“The amount of your property tax bill is based upon the costs of your state and local government and voter approved levies. This includes the operating costs of your schools, city, county and taxing districts such as hospital, fire and sewer districts. The assessed value of your property is multiplied by the tax rate necessary in your levy area to produce your fair share of the total levied tax by these jurisdictions.”
You have to love: “This does not mean that an individual sale will automatically establish the value of a property. The Assessor uses multiple sales of comparable properties to establish value,” and “the price a willing buyer and seller would agree to under ordinary circumstances.”
In other words, the assessor is told how much money is needed and then they manipulate the actual sales values to meet that total.
I would think The Herald should investigate how these manipulations actually occur. Frankly, that's the only reason I subscribe to The Herald. In my opinion, that is the purpose of a local newspaper.
Printing the actual statutory and/or regulatory law should be in your article that provides the assessor the authority to manipulate the “real” market value versus the “assessed value.”
Let's quit playing games. Our assessment should clearly state; “market value plus whatever the elected politicians tell us is needed to pay the bills.” In fact, these two numbers should be clearly stated on our assessments.
Gerald Plowman
Arlington

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