Tax the 1% Protest


Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Peace and Justice Plaza, Franklin Street protest:

Tax the 1% Protest: 
Tuesday in Chapel Hill

Host: Ann P.  

Where: Peace and Justice Plaza, Franklin Street P.O. (in Chapel Hill) 

When: Tuesday, Apr. 17, at 12:00 PM 



So I went tonight to the CH TC presentation from our OC tax assessor to hear how he frames in person the presentation which I had previously read.  Video will be at after they process it.   The base question the BoCC is grappling with is whether to do a revaluation when we know property values will be down.  The statistics the assessor uses to track this stuff says that as of Jan 1, 2012, we're actually at a very fair revaluation now - homes are in total tax valued slightly higher than market rate, but fairness is good, meaning we're all slightly higher so we're each paying our share of total tax bills already. Then Matt C asked an interesting question.  He noted that the #s the assessor showed indicate CH values have fallen faster than the rest of the county.  Therefore, if there is a revaluation, CH's share of the total OC tax bill will go down.  So selfishly, the CH TC should support revaluation. That got me thinking -- the other thing the assessor said in his presentation was that the values of homes worth more than $250k had fallen faster than lower-priced homes in the county.  Which, using the mathmatically correct Matt C logic, means that revaluation at this time will reduce the tax bills of those with more expensive homes while increasing it for lower-priced homes. The assessor said the manager was going to recommend waiting until 2015 to do the revaluation.  I guess I'm calling all social-justice minded OPers (thus my posting on what you thought was an unrelated thread here) to advocate with the BoCC to delay the revaluation at least that far. Let the rich pay a higher share for a couple more years.  Overall, the valuations are fair to the assessor's standards.  Revaluating now will only create political hassles for the boards (Gene Pease said he wouldn't support a revenue-neutral tax increase. The math major in me said "huh?") and will reduce taxes for those who don't need it.

What a cop out your response is. The last valuation went on schedule even though people were screaming that these valuse were not realistic which time has shown to be true. 1000's of people screamed that we needed to postpone the last go round till we had better data to get realistic valuations. Those people showed up to protest. Now that we have realistic data showing that values have gone down, it's only fair to implement on schedule and implement TRUE values of our properties (that's the whole purpose for valuation). I believe the whole reason for changing the valuation schedule a few years back was to get more realistic valuations and to reflect the TRUE values of your property. Not everyone that had huge increases last time is rich. The majority of the 1000's of people showing up to protest the last valuation looked pretty middle class to me.  

The purpose of revaluation is to ensure values are FAIR -- that they reflect the distribution of values.  The actual values overall make ZERO difference in how much tax you pay.  It is all about the values relative to your neighbors across the county.   The tax rate is set as the amount of the expenses in the budget divided by the value of all the properties.  You then pay that rate times your value  (your fair share of the total expense).  The value going up or down across the board makes no difference on the math equations involved because if everyone rises or falls, your portion is still the same.  Therefore, sorry, your anger makes no sense.

James,You are right that the scale doesn't matter. We could measure home values on a scale that goes to 11 and get the same results as a fair market value assessment. But you yourself pointed out that the current values aren't fair. CH is overrated and higher-priced homes are overrated. I think it's a bizare suggestion to allow these values to stand to achieve progressive taxation through a backdoor. The values should be fair. Then advocate for progressive tax policies.

NC doesn't allow counties to have progressive tax policies, so this backdoor (which is only a small amount, btw) is just a thought for the unusual situation we're in right now.

If the new value of your house is valued at a higher percentage growth than the growth of the revenue neutral total county valuation, you will pay more than you would if they had not revalued. The same is true in reverse if your house deflates more than the total county wide deflation then you will pay less tax than you would if they had not revalued. That's why it is crtitical to have FAIR TRUE valuations so property owners only pay whats FAIR to the TRUE and EQUITABLE to the value of their properties.

Deferring the Orange County property tax revaluation is unfair to the many home-owners who did not pay consultants for special filings with the assessor for getting their property valuation lowered in the last few years. People with large business properties and million-dollar homes will have done this, and reduced their tax payments, while the rest of us are ... still paying at the old rate. 

It is very important to the majority of homeowners that revaluation is handled fairly and promptly for everyone. The fact that tax rates will have to increase to be revenue-neutral is not an issue, that does not affect the amount of tax each of us pays. The proportion of taxes paid by people who filed the paperwork was reduced,giving them an unfair advantage, but a county-wide revaluation will give everyone the benefit of a fair valuation.

Assuming revenue neutrality (i.e. that the county and towns keep total tax revenue flat), most individuals will see their taxes get a little lower, because the few who bothered to file paperwork to get reduced taxes will end up paying their fair share again, which will be a higher amount than they currently pay. All the talk about "avoiding higher tax rates" is really "avoiding fairness, and favoring the wealthy".

Matthew Barton

Mathew or Whoever,I am confused by this post. After the last revaluation process was completed, was there a way to have the assessed value of a property changed by paperwork and hiring consultants for special filings with the tax assessors or are you writing about the objections raised by residents to the unfair evaluations of their property within the revaluation process?  If the former, what was the basis for the revaluation?  If the later, it didn't require consultants or much paper work, it just required a reasonable justification for calling the valuation unfair.  I assume that in any revaluation the same mechanism for the consideration of fairness will still be open to all. I suppose if we are suppose to have a revaluation we should but it seems to me we are doing this too frequently and probably wasting money. 

"revaluation at this time will reduce the tax bills of those with more expensive homes while increasing it for lower-priced homes" . . . incorrect.  You're reducing this to a vacuum to play class warfare.  This supposed increase only occurs if a) revaluation causes a lower-priced home to go up in value (probably not tremendously likely) or b) County increases the tax rate across the board (in which case, there is no guarantee that those with higher-priced home would see a reduction in tax bill)"reduce taxes for those who don't need it" . . . what grounds do you have to make that assertion?  If resident "a" is spending 40% of their gross income on housing cost, and lives in $500,000 home, and resident "b" is spending 40% of their gross income on housing cost, and lives in a $125,000 home, wouldn't they both have equal benefit and "need" of a tax reduction?"The actual values overall make ZERO difference in how much tax you pay" . . . umm, sorry, but there could not be a statement further away from the truth.  Simple math tells me it's, quite literally, half of the equation: value x rate = tax bill.  A resident only gets a say on the rate portion (by the ability to re-elect or vote out incumbent commissioners); the county is able to dictate the other half (assessed value) of the equation."The tax rate is set as the amount of the expenses in the budget divided by the value of all the properties" . . .I could be incorrect, but I don't think that I am . . . I believe that it would be more appropriate to identify that the tax rate is set, relative to assessed valuations, in effort to reach a targeted portion of the budget.  Obviously, the county budget includes several (many) other sources of funds than property taxes . . . including, but not limited to, sales tax, state and federal funds, fines/levies/assorted county fees, etc.."Let the rich pay a higher share for a couple more years" . . . for someone who used the word FAIR four times in 2 posts, this strikes me as a touch on the hypocritical side.  Who do you define as "the rich"?  Is it based on income?  Is it based on assets?  Is it based on your or someone else's definition of the value they contribute?  Does it matter if they are young or old?  What about if it's earned income vs. "unearned" (dividends, investments)?  What if they're curing cancer?  How about this . . . Let the "rich" pay their PROPORTIONATE share . . . or, better yet, every EVERYONE pay their PROPORTIONATE share.Now, I understand, if the tax assessed values drop, that would lead to a drop in property tax receipts unless their is a concurrent increase in tax rate.  So, of course, the knee-jerk reaction is to raise the tax rate.  Folks, at some point in time, we are going to have stop pissing away money at the governmental level.  Some services need to be cut, or reduced in funding.  A fantastic starting place would be duplicated or redundant services . . . Why on earth are there THREE parks and recreation divisions in this market (county, CH, Carrboro)?  Don't think we could create some efficiencies, and, in all likelihood, better and more consistent service, with a different model (maybe even an outside contractor)? 


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