Saturday, February 03, 2007

The latest on My Favorite Subject

There are diverging views on the regressive senior tax cut. I agree with the doubting Thomas'.

As the Sun Reports
On the other are those including former state Del. Virginia Thomas and her husband, Charles, who see the election-year law that cuts county property taxes 25 percent and then freezes the bill for people earning less than $75,000 as a failed political gimmick that threatens future local revenue needed for government services to the truly needy in tight budget years to come.


Anonymous said...

You cannot deny property values and their accompanying property taxes have rapidly gone up in this area over the past few years. Certainly *some* people on fixed incomes are being squeezed by this state of affairs.

Should we, as a progressive community, promote a fiscal environment where people can, with some degree of confidence, plan to own a home, put down roots, and continue to live in it? If not, stable communities suffer to all of our detriment.

I agree there could be some fine tuning to the hastily passed, perhaps ill-timed law, instituting:
- more of a needs-based qualification,
- a deferral of some tax rather than a cap,
- accessible and thorough public education on reverse mortgages and similar financing that addresses some of these challenges
- real estate reform.

At no previous time (other than than perhaps hyperinflationary times of the late '70's) in Howard County's history have property values increased at the rate they have over the past five years. This rapid change has created opportunities for some, crises for others. A benevolent society provides crises-mitigating safety nets for those in need.

Steve Fine said...

1) A progressive sociaty takes care of the poorest first.

2) Those who have had their property values go up got a windfall, not a burden.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a progressive society does take care of those most in need first. Howard County does have the capability of meeting those needs and the needs of others facing crises, too.

These property tax increases hit people of all wealth classes. It's those folks on the cusp who are having a crisis thrown in their lap.

I'm not advocating trickle down tax relief here - just don't throw out the true good this tax relief has provided to those truly needing it when reforming a law that errantly also provided a windfall to those who weren't put in a move-or-go-bust situation from the increased property taxes.

You don't really believe indigenous populations should be taxed off their land, do you?

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Steve, this is my new favorite blog in the county.