Which tax do you hate the most? And no, "all of them" is not an option.
According to a compilation of various public opinion polls by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), we Americans really, really detest getting our annual property tax bills.
"Surveys suggest that the local property tax is now seen as more onerous than the federal income tax," reports AEI in Public Opinion on Taxes. "Thirty-six percent in February-March 2003 told Kaiser/NPR/Harvard that local property tax was the tax they disliked the most, followed by 29 percent who chose the income tax. Gallup shows a substantial jump since the late 1980s in the proportion of people mentioning the local property tax as the worst or least fair tax. In their April 2005 poll, 42 percent gave that response."
Yep, property tax collectors are more disliked than the
IRS. At least right now. Talk to me again in April.
Heck, talk to me again in October as anti-federal-tax rhetoric reaches a boiling point in advance of the November midterm election day.
Lower tax cap for N.J.: So it's no surprise that today New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just signed into law a bill capping the Garden State's property tax increases at 2 percent a year.
That's half the current limit.
The measure is a nice mixture of the political and practical.
Although the new law whacked the current property tax cap, it contains enough exceptions to give the local governments and school districts that depend on property tax money plenty of room to maneuver.
The cap can be busted if there's need to cover pension and health
insurance costs, increased school enrollment, debt payments and states of
Or voters can go to the polls and allow more taxes to be levied. That will really be news!
And Christie even said he's not ruling out more exemptions as long as they don't violate his "core
It's all well and good to try to make the voters happy. But will they stay happy when there's no money for other, non-excepted services?
A local hero of a tax: From a local legislator's point of view, says Kim Rueben at the Tax Policy Center's TaxVox blog, the property
tax is an unsung hero.
"How can that be," writes Rueben, "if so much of the economic mess was caused by a collapse of a housing bubble?"Timing.
Nationally, property tax revenues have yet to fall (see the TaxVox graph below) because it takes a while for assessed values to catch up with reality on both the upside and the downside of housing, says Rueben.Plus, local governments can raise rates … unless they're capped like is now the case in New Jersey.
- Homeowner fighting 'air' property tax
- Appealing your property tax appraisal
- Fighting rising property taxes
- Real estate values fuel property tax fights
- Property tax appeals on the rise
- Private property tax collector troubles
- How do your property taxes stack up?
- Texas seniors being denied tax deferrals
- Property tax time for all!
- Politicians property tax problems
Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet This or Digg This buttons below or use the Share This icon to spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and other popular applications. Thanks!