Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tax Man -- Has come

For all you property owners, yesterday had real meaning. It is the day your Property tax(es) are due to the County without penalty. If you forgot, here is your reminder, and add a 10%+$10 penalty. Property owners can recite December 10 and April 10 as when their split payments are due, even though the county asks for the payments November and February. I normally do not look at the taxes from year to year, but it seem to be a huge jump from when we bought the house in 2000, So I dug out the 2001-2002 Tax Statement and here is what I found.

That since 2001, property taxes have increased, on my property 25.27%. That we have added an additional taxing agency and have increase "fixed charges and special assessments" from seven to 14. Almost all of the increase has come in the "fixed charges and special assessments" area.

I am a big believer in taxes, in the big picture, we get a lot for our money. But, a 25% increase over seven years is a still a lot to swallow even with the stress that government is under to meet its obligations. I looked at what we are paying for and not sure what we get for the increase. A hospital that does not take trauma victims, schools that are still under-funded, roads that lack maintenance, and list continues.

For homeowners, this makes it tougher to continue to own a home. Given wages have not increased, and in some homes one of the two wage earners has lost their job, government is asking the citizens to carry most of the water.

The subject of taxes and fees is always tough, no one likes to pay them, but we mostly like what we get in return. Individually everyone of the charges and fees has merit (although I have one fee that I believe lacks no merit) but when as you look forward another seven years can you afford another 25% increase. In this economy that is very hard thing to imagine.

Here are the Taxing Agencies (Tax Percentage of 1.134%)
County 1%
City of Alameda (Debt Service) .0245%
AUSD .0479%
Peralta ..0362%
BART .0090%
EBRPD .0100%
EBMUB .0064%

Fixed charges and special assessments ($991.30)
City Sewer
Mosquito Abatement
Mosquito Abatement "2"
CSA Vector Control
CSA Vector Control "B"
Health Care District
CSA Lead Abatement
AUSD Measure A
AUSD Measure H
AC Transit "BB"
EBMUD Wet Weather
EBRPD Park Safety
Urban Runoff

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  1. If your taxes had increased 15% rather than 25%, would that change the nature of your complaint?

  2. Uh ... the median home in 94501 appreciated by 50% since 2001. (That's including some recent dropoff.)

    I'd say you're getting at 25% discount on your property taxes.