As a homeowner who pays property tax, I agree with...

California’s Proposition 13

1)      As a homeowner who pays property tax, I agree with Bland, the timing of the property tax is not good.  My taxes are due in two installments, December and the following April.  December is when I incur the cost of Christmas presents, and April is when taxes are due.  Whether or not I get a tax refund is beside the point; either I owe income taxes (which I pay in April), or else I am expecting an income tax refund, which I really do not want to use to pay property tax with.  Another reason why property tax is unpopular has to do with home improvements made by the homeowner.  Why should a homeowner be penalized when they improve their living conditions, or in the case of a landlord, they improve the living conditions of their tenants, only to have the home’s appraised value increase, which results in increased tax liability?  It seems as though the owner is being indirectly penalized for making improvements.
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2)      From what you can see from the chart on page 54, the property tax could be disliked for the government’s use of it.  People can look at the numbers and become frustrated that so much of the government’s revenue is coming from the property tax. Compared to all of the other sources of government revenue, the property tax is the major source.  It is probably unpopular also because of the irregularity of the tax and the ability for it to shift so quickly, like when neighbor sales their house and the tax is adjusted due to the value they sold their house at.  It is unfair. Proposition 13 takes care of that though.
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3)      The biggest benefit the property tax has on local government is to provide a source of revenue that is independent of the state government’s finances or the federal government’s benevolence. It is also, to some degree, provides the local government with a small aspect of sovereignty, as it is up to the local government to determine the amount of revenue it collects because local governments assess property and local governments bill property owners. This localized revenue stream allows local governments to fund services the local population utilizes, which is of benefit for other members of the public at opposite sides of the state who may not use local services funded by the property tax. A further benefit to local government arising from the property tax is to place local officials in charge of certain pots of money that are not dependent on grants, thus allowing local officials a certain degree of decision-making autonomy that does not come with funds coming from state or federal sources.

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