IN MY NEXT life I want to be a lawmaker.
Nevermind the drama that will come from people despising me because they don’t agree with me. As regards one of my “favorite” issues — taxes — I can take it. In a nutshell, I’d like to join the crusade — storm the city Square, as it were — and fight the good fight to eliminate property taxes.
Especially now that the nasty R word, reassessment, rears its ugly head once more, and politicos are inquiring when we might get to ride this crazy train AGAIN. How quickly flow the four years, eh? Yes, it’s already been that long since so many nastygrams arrived in mailboxes across this fair land, causing everything from mild heart palpitations to toxic sticker shock — unless you were one of the lucky ones living in a lush, lovely and large home you know could pull a pretty penny tomorrow yet perhaps was eyeballed by a guy or gal with eyelash-crusted corneas on judgment day.
How else to explain how some of our area’s most dashing domiciles got stamped as in no better than “average” condition and in a few cases even as low as “poor?”
You can probably guess mine was not among them. For some reason my circa-1940s shelter was initially categorized as practically new construction and otherwise labeled rather grandiosely by my assessor, which, of course, quickly had me on the appeals line with the rest of the unfortunate souls forced to trash-talk their own places. (No wonder mine likes to lash out at me.)
But that’s not my point. Today, I merely wish to agree with the county officials who say another reassessment is NOT yet necessary. Why? Because it happens to be my fervent hope that by the time re-reassessment IS in order, property taxes, at least of the school variety, will be history. That one-time pipe dream is edging closer to reality as certain lawmakers rally ‘round the cause. The piper would still get paid, but the bitter pills would come in smaller doses.
Sure, it might sound scary that school funding would come from, in addition to higher income tax, increased levies on cigarettes, liquor, non-staple groceries and services, but I’ll take it, and I don’t say that selfishly. I don’t smoke, so no harm there, but I do like my wine and would have to pony up more for the pleasure. Haircuts would pinch more, too — and not by mere pennies for someone who, left unchecked, could quickly understudy Rapunzel. Face it, most of us won’t get rich by not paying property taxes.
What we will get, we can hope, is a little more justice (and perhaps some new neighbors). After all, where is the fairness in the fact that well-maintained exteriors (which, speaking of, benefit our neighbors and the community at large, on many levels) cost more annually in taxes than grandiose interiors, which give more personal pleasure? And how, possibly, is it fair for someone who hasn’t seen our insides to determine our sale-fetch from our outsides? When’s the last time you made an offer on a house without darkening its doorway?
I know, deep questions. Hardly. So, the problem? My guess? Not enough people making noise. Join me in some good old-fashioned banging of fists and more. Call it old-time New Year’s Eve. Bring extra pots and pans.