Archive for Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rising taxes

November 28, 2006


To the editor:

This week, I received the real estate tax statement for our home. Tracking this and other expenses over the past years, I plugged the assessment amount into my spreadsheet. Other figures I have been tracking include my projected Social Security statements I started getting in the year 2000 that tell me what the amounts would be when I retire. My calculations illustrate some very scary and dangerous projections for those of us who will soon be dealing with fixed incomes as many people already do today.

In 2000, the real estate tax amount was only $25.36 more than my projected 2000 Social Security monthly check would have been. Today the real estate tax amount in the statement I just received is $539.84 more than my monthly projected 2006 Social Security statement listed for this year. Over that 2000-2006 period, that is a tax increase of 61.1 percent against 21.7 percent for Social Security. Folks, this really scares me. The tax assessment system is absolutely out of control!

Unless something is changed, such as a special tax cap for retired folks at 65, those of us not yet retired will somehow scrape the funds together to pay this exponential tax growth. But when retirement comes, unless we all have half a million dollars or more saved for retirement, things will really get bad. Lawrence is a very expensive place to live. Several years ago, my cousin retired and promptly moved out of Lawrence because he simply couldn't afford to live here.

Robert J. Vaughan,



Jamesaust 11 years, 6 months ago

What again is the supposed connection between housing values (and thus, real estate taxes) and Social Security? And why would anything think that there would be a connection.

Hmmm... Somebody had better get a clue that retirement on a fixed income is expensive and they'd better have saved some money along the way or be prepared to downsize their lifestyle starting with a less valuable house.

On a brighter note: all those people in places like Buffalo, Pittsburgh, or Detroit, or many parts of the rural Plains who have seen mass depopulation and stable to falling home values should be feeling rich!

Speakout 11 years, 6 months ago

The whole of the system is in trouble. Dems on the hill have no clue as to what is happening in Lawrence, Kansas, but neither do the republicans. The balance of money is far out because we are so far in debt. Didn't we learn anything from Reagan?

The tax increases on homes is incongruent to the rise or fall in real value. There is something amiss here. Our problem is that we "appraise" property for taxes instead of "assess" property for taxes. Because the word "appraise" is in the phrase, homeowners think that the value of the home is determined by the tax department. taxes on property should be made on Assessments, not so-called apprased value. The tax assessment becomes completely separated from value.

Value then would be determined by what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for the property based upon the value of other LIKE properties. But taxes would be based upon assessments made by city government irregardless of the market value. Each purchaser of a property would know the assessed value and determine its amount in the calculation of wanting to purchase the property.

We need to change our system and our system managers.

KsTwister 11 years, 6 months ago

At least the Dems lowered the national debt until Bush got in office and hit the debt ceiling in 2003. Think I'll give them another chance which is more than the Repubs will get.

bankboy119 11 years, 6 months ago

scene, GWB has no authority over the rising real estate taxes in Lawrence. The Socialist city government does however.

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