The Tax Man Cometh And We’Re Confused

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You get the heebie-jeebies every time you check the real estate ads during the last few years and watch property values plummet and your life’s savings evaporate before your eyes.

Few people are buying or selling — except that place two streets over that listed for $194,000 and sold for $74,000.

What a disaster.

Well, there’s one silver lining, you tell yourself. After all of those years watching your property taxes rise with your home value — at least your property taxes will now drop back into the lower atmosphere.

So you rip open the bill anticipating a happy surprise.

It’s a surprise all right: The bill went up $1,000.

How’s that possible, demanded a slew of unhappy taxpayers at a recent session with county officials out in Christopher Creek.

We can explain everything, said the tax man.

Mostly, it’s because several of the different agencies that get money from the property tax boosted their rates — especially the fire district and the school district. The economy tanked, tax revenues fell and the state passed the pain along to the local agencies.

But the rates also reflect complications like the nearly two-year lag in the county assessor’s estimates. And so on, and so forth, and so on again.

After just a little of this, the poor taxpayer commences to feel like a poached egg in boiled water — or maybe a blood-blind bull bristling swords as the matador smoothly smiles.

So, in theory — in another year the tax man’s comparison sales will catch up to the year in which one house sold for less than half the asking price. If you could only sell your house for half its peak value that means at some point that $3,000 tax bill will drop miraculously to $1,500.

All that assuming the Legislature doesn’t boost the property tax rate by 20 percent for schools to compensate for declining property values and some financial director doesn’t mangle the year-end budget estimates — both of which happened this year.

Right? That’s what you’re saying, boys?

Sure. Stay tuned. Can’t wait for that bill next year.

In the meantime, no telling how many turkeys figure they’re gonna get pardoned by the White House on Thursday.

From the Publisher

Classic auto club gets thanks for participating in recent Veterans Day event

Kudos are certainly in order for the Rim Country Classic Auto Club for their generous participation in the recent Veteran’s Day event.

Following the presentation at the Payson High School Auditorium, 20 car club members, their classic autos shined to a tee and escorted by the Payson Police Department, lined up and took 20 veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam out to lunch. They did this on their own dime and asked nothing in return.

A special thanks goes to: club president John Hall, event coordinators Patty and Nate Johnson, Dan Kealey, Steve and Margie Fowler, Dan Lane, Carl Tower, John Turner, Ken Gunderson, Boyd Miller, Terry Zoulek, Kelly Somers, Chuck Taylor, Ron Trainor, John Vaca, Bob Bates, Mimi and Bob Halgren, Larry Coleman, Doug Magnuson, Roy Andrews, and Gordon and Bobbi Beveridge .

Thanks, RCCAC for exemplifying what living in a small town is all about.

Semper Fi to you all.

— John Naughton, Roundup publisher

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