Monday, January 23, 2012

Are your property taxes down? Better ask why!

In the Blogging Blue rundown of the little "Stand with Walker (Without Walker)" rally in Tosa, there's a gallery of pictures of some of the clowns that attended. A common theme has something to do with bragging about their 2012 property taxes dropping some nominal amount, and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance followed up earlier this month saying that the 0.3% average property tax increase is the lowest in 15 years. Well, that's all nice and kindly, but as usual, the raw numbers don't tell the reality.

And that reality came shining through in today's year-end report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association. It showed that the median home price had dropped by 6.4% statewide in 2011, and 11.1% from November to December. Worse, median home price sales fell by more than 10% in 3 of out every 10 counties throughout Wisconsin in 2011, including 29% in the Northern tip of the state in Iron County, and 17.2% in Racine County, and 18.2% in Milwaukee County. When you're having home value drops like this, I'd sure hope your property taxes go down some. I mean, when we make less money and pay fewer taxes as a result of that lower income (like lots of us that work for the state will this year), we won't celebrate that Walker gave us a tax cut, will we? Of course not, but these Walker wingnuts were doing just that with their stupid little signs and sheltered lives.

And if you're home value didn't drop or wasn't re-assessed, well then chances are that you faced a massive hit this year, even if you didn't get a raise yourself. Check out this story from Mount Pleasant, right in the middle of Robin Vos's district,where a retired truck driver saw his property taxes go up 20% on his relatively modest home. Hey suburban Racine, how's your penchant for that voting on cultural issues and "sticking it to them lib'ruls" thing working out for ya? Like how your taxes are going under an ALEC Cabin Boy like Wee Wobby Vos?

And that screw-job will be even worse next year, as one-time stunts like the Act 10 "tools" are already used up, while the Walker/ WisGOP cuts to local governments and schools remain. You're already seeing districts warn about more problems for next year, from the losses in the tiny Lake Holcombe district in Chippewa County, to layoffs in Lodi to big changes in Manitowoc, to major retirements in the Appleton area, and multi-million dollar deficits next year in Oshkosh, leading to an absurd proposal where teachers teach more classes for the same pay.

Guess what'll happen to your home values as the job losses and public sector retirements continue? Your home sure won't go up, so good luck getting anything out of that investment as long as we have Walker World. So who cares if your property taxes went down a miniscule amount in 2011? Given Wisconsin's property trends and destruction of a major home price stabilizer in our previously high-qualirty public schools, I would hope your taxes did, or else you're getting a massive double-whammy.

That $18 in property tax savings can't be worth it to you though, can it?

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