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.,  in Los Angeles, CA

Burden of homeownership spread unequally

Asked by ., Los Angeles, CA Wed Jan 28, 2009

What does that mean to you?

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One other thing other than prop. 13 is mello Roos which has no equality at all. It depends on the local area and what they would like the developer to put into the community. Origionally, it was to put in infrastructure and have the homeowners of a development share in the process.

Now, If the city wants a park across town homeowners of a tract of home on the other side of town pay for it and the total community benefits.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010
Property taxes typically are collected to pay for the schools (which typically receive the lion-share of the amount collected), roads, police/fire, etc. IMHO, the homeowners should carry a larger portion of the property taxes, and it sounds like Prop 13 at least has got that part right. However, Prop 13 also screws investors (especially non-local ones [hoping to not hijack this post I'll reserve those comments for a future post]). That situation worsens when rent control enters the picture.

Besides taxes, some other burdens of home-ownership are the following: dealing with excessively petty code-enforcement officials (more on this later), dealing with HOA mafia-like leadership, fighting eminent-domain issues, dealing with property line disputes, etc.

Several years ago in Bedford (a suburb of Cleveland), a man was jailed for 30 days for letting his grass grow an inch to high. The irony was that he had actually complied with the order to cut his grass, and the inspector who had cited him actually had a rental property where the grass was far more overgrown. The city was embarrassed when he got a local news crew to go out and film both properties; however, that inspector never ended up serving any time. This is yet another example of an inequity resulting from the burden of home-ownership.

HOAs can fine an owner for not cutting one's lawn or fixing one's windows, but an owner can't also fine the HOA for any deferred maintenance. HOAs can foreclose on a property if an owner doesn't pay the dues, but an owner has no reciprocity if the HOA doesn't live up to it's end of the agreement. Even worse, HOAs can require owners who already paid their dues to pay "special assessments" to cover the unpaid dues for other owners. These are all other examples of inequalities resulting from the burden of home-ownership.

One of my relatives got cited for having overgrown trees a few years ago, and was order to trim them. The irony was, although the overgrowth of that tree hanged on my relative's side of the property line, the tree itself was on the neighbor's property. Plus, the law on the books required the neighbor to trim that tree on his property. Yet, my relative was STILL forced to trim the tree anyway. (I think the neighbor might have obtained a constructive easement for this.) This is yet another example of the inequality resulting from the burden of home-ownership.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010
If we are talking taxes we are talking about prop 13 the problem is that the homeowner and not commercial businesses now cary the large part of the property taxes. It was the reverse prior to prop. 13.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010

I believe that's a big problem. I'm so grateful for Prop 13, and it's one of the reasons I don't move. I could use my equity and probably get my ocean view, but the property taxes so offend me, that I'm just not going to....I love my house and for the difference, I can travel to the ocean :).

I complety understand that it's a big problem is some areas....of course the flip side for California, is that we are broke. Yet....I think it's also why our income taxes are so high...and that is more of a fair spread.

I have to be so careful when I speak on issues like this.....I am only familar with my own area and I realize that this is a different issue across the country.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Karen, there are people in maine who bought land and house back in the 60's or 70's and now pay more in property taxes than their place was bought for. That is not fair as taxes go up every year but incomes may drop.

Some people actually had to sell their house because they could not afford the taxes. I could not afford the taxes in NJ on a condo that I could buy for cash. I remember a few years ago there was an article in the local paper where the city of brewer manager said he was proud to announce that the mil rate would be dropping that year. Irate citizens wrote editorials that basically said who cares, you increased the property valuation and my tax bill is still taking more money than last year.

Taxes are a definite problem in many parts of the country. They can take so much money that people can not afford to live in their own paid for house. In fact property taxes will be a deciding factor in my buying decision along with sales taxes.

I saw the almost perfect house a few months ago. It was in annieville (township) arkansas. 40 acres and a ranch with about 40 acres for about $160k. After homestead exemption property taxes were $69 a year. It was 40 miles from nowhere next to nothing but those taxes made it sound fantastic!!! I could afford that no matter what happened.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Thanks Dan...that makes sense. In California, we have Prop 13, which specifies very carefully when and how much property taxes can go up. People buying a new home now, know this burden going into the eyes wide open. If we choose to be homeowners, we choose this "burden" also.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
It means the homeowner has to pay taxes to cover the wants, needs, and desires of the renters in town.

A home owner pays for everything that happens to a house. That is fair. A car owner is responsible for everything that happens to a car, that is also fair and expected.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Hi Maher,

I'm not sure at all....interesting question. I don't see homeownership as a burden, though. I'll keep an eye to see if anyone gives you a good answer.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
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