A preview of Bill Napoli's Amendment D Pitch to the Stockgrowers

From my e-mail in-box:
This is the article I (Senator Bill Napoli) sent into the Stock Growers Association Magazine.


As the start of a new year begins, so begins the debate on Amendment D, the Constitution Amendment you will vote on November 7th, 2006. This ballot measure will change how property is assessed.

As you all know, property at the current time is assessed at market value. Which means, when a sale occurs in your area, the county assessor can raise your property values to match the new buyer's purchase.

However, there are different avenues an assessor can use to assess property besides just the market value. An assessor can use sales price, income, cash rents, soil surveys, etc. But, they all have one basic underlying requirement. Assessments are based on someone else's pocket book, or cash flow. The goal is of course to reflect the market price of property, then assess that property at 85% of full and true value as determined by the assessor.

There are several changes that have happened over recent years that have really corrupted the property tax system and these changes have resulted in our tax system becoming confiscatory, with very obvious unequal taxation. The results are many people pay higher and higher taxes, while taxes are reduced for others.

The first big change was the setting of the Mil Levy for the schools at the state level, and the state mandated freeze of no more than 3% growth in our local government's budgets. The first mistake was to not do anything with the property assessments. As assessments continue to climb even with a lowering of the Mil Levy, taxes are going up in most areas. In some growth areas, taxes have doubled, even though the Mil Levy went down state wide.

This is the Stockgrower's article, so I won't print all of this. I'd encourage you to read it here when it's available on-line.


Anonymous said…
We just got our property tax assessment for our farm, and yup, no surprise, our taxes are up again as they do every year. But when I checked with the county auditor, the amount of taxes given to the school district has remained about the same in the last several years. So if my taxes, and those of most people I talk to, are continually rising due to higher valuations, whose taxes are continually going down? You are right, the mil levy is adjusted to keep the amount raised about the same, but somebody is the loser big time in this, and it's me for one. Then toss on a school opt out and it hits the same of us again. Of course, those whose taxes keep going down don't mind the opt out because I'm paying it!

I am definitely for Amendment D and hope it passes with flying colors!

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