Thursday, January 7, 2010

The elderly are being driven out of their homes!!!

Well, not quite, according to a paper from a group that includes one of my former La Follette School instructors (Andy Reschovsky- who was kind of a blah teacher, but he has an awesome knowledge of state and local taxation.)

Here's the paper on Property Taxes and Likelihood of Moving.

Basically, the biggest changes happen with people 75+ facing property tax increases of more than 5% in a given year. And how many of those people have to move for reasons that have nothing to do with the property tax? (i.e. need more assistance, spouse dies, etc.) Even among the super-elderly (80+), it appears that income changes are the bigger factor vs. property taxes, with more money making them more likely to move. This holds for the younger folks as well, as the people most likely to move are ones under 50 that make more money and are more likely to both upgrade and move for job reasons.

Anyway, much like the reasons that companies locate, this study says there are many more reasons that are more important than property taxes in determining whether the elderly and others choose to move. Not that property taxes are a variable to be ignored, they need to be part of the equation and strategy that communities and individuals take in when making decisions. But it also holds that taxes are the #1 determiner of outcomes only in Sykes-world, and not the real one.

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