Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Taxes, Revisited.....

This has me thinking that maybe I need to run for office so that I too can get my home way undervalued and my property taxes reduced. We pay over $400/month in property taxes on our home now which is about what we were paying in Ann Arbor. But at least in Ann Arbor we had a great school system, great public services, and some faith that everyone's property value assessment was fair. Its a very interesting exercise to look at the properties for sale in New Orleans and check out their tax assessments. Granted, once the houses are sold they'll be taxed at their sale value. However, its amazing the number of homes that are selling for way more than our house is worth but whose current tax assessment is just a fraction of ours.

Some examples:

Our home is on Jospeh St (you can look it up by my last name but I don't want to give the address on the public blog). We purchased it for $329,000 and its appraised value post-Katrina is now $284,000. This translates roughly into $4,800 a year in taxes depending on what the millage rates are set at (and includes our homestead exemption).

1923 Octavia Street is selling for $775,000. It's appraised value is $158,600 which means that (assuming the owners live there and get a homestead exemption), they are paying roughly 3 times less taxes this year than we will be but their house is worth twice what ours is.

1935 Octavia Street is selling for $999,000. It's appraised value is now $240,000 which means they are paying about 2/3 the taxes we are (assuming homestead exemption again). What's even worse, is that last year the house was appraised at $400,000 which is what it sold for in 2003. So somehow their assessor saw fit to say that the home was impacted enough by Katrina that its value is only 60% of what it was before (and it definitely did not flood). If this was truly the case, how is that its now on the market at just under a million dollars? For reference, our appraised value came down around 12% due to the storm.

427 Arabella is selling for $495,000 though, to be fair, it has been on the market a long time and is not selling at this price. It's appraised value is now $110,400 (it was $125,600 before Katrina) which means the owners are paying roughly one fifth the taxes we're paying.

I really do love New Orleans, but its looking less and less likely we'll be there any longer than we have to be for Holly to get her degree. I'm blessed with the ability to work from almost anywhere I want and that makes it hard to rationalize paying $400/month in taxes plus $400/month in insurance (property & car), and still have to shell out at least $8,000 a year for my child to go to a decent school.


At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Randy said...

I hear that Fairfax county has a great public school system!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Holly said...

True... the only snags in that beautiful tapestry would be that it produced Paul and I. :-)


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