January 7, 2010

Okay, then, tax on, o wise ones.

Just in case you felt some sympathy for the old people who might need to move out of their houses because of high property taxes. Don't bother. They are putting up with it just fine.
"The fact that we're a high property tax state suggests to me that if we're not finding an impact of property taxes on elderly migration, it's likely there's even less of an impact in states that have lower property taxes"....
So says UW econprof Andrew Reschovsky.


AJ Lynch said...

Another liberal balloon popped!

Robin said...

I'm having trouble grasping what he's saying. Does he really mean that since he hasn't actually run the elderly out of their homes yet, everything's cool?

elHombre said...

But while property taxes can mean economic hardship for some elderly homeowners who want to stay in their homes, taxes aren't driving them out, the research says.

Oh just "economic hardship." No problem.

Carry on, then. The death panels will soon make short work of the old bastards anyway.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So are you down in Texas house-hunting?

jeff said...

See, the secret is to jack ALL states property taxes up. Then the Elderly, or anyone else, will not be moving because of high property taxes. Problem solved.

kathleen said...

old people are very resourceful. many of them know how to knit their own sweaters. they can always buy hardcover books to burn for heat.

J said...

Extrapolating a tiny, stable market like Wisconsin to all areas of the country is ridiculous. My parents still live in the CA burb I grew up in; without Prop 13, their property taxes would be at least $1000/mo higher than they are now. One benefit never mentioned about that law is that because of extremely high appreciation rates in the past, when there are huge drops in property values like the state has experienced, there's not much loss of property tax revenue, since so many houses are still worth far more than their tax assessed value.

Eric said...

I would think with advancing age you would be more concerned with being near relatives who can help out in a pinch than low property taxes.

Unless you were living on the edge, financially, or the taxes were patently ridiculous.

traditionalguy said...

The study is seeing that after paying taxes the older homeowners don't have the money left to move with, and no mortgage loans are available for a buyer anyway at a price that is near what properties were worth 18 month's ago. So all are trapped like good little serfs. What's not to love here?

Rumpletweezer said...

Think how much better off we'd all be if stupidity actually hurt. We could avoid all the people, like this guy, who walk around going "OW! OW! IT HURTS!"

knox said...

Old people are so annoying, with their creepy old bodies and stupid old houses. They keep getting in the way of all the compassionate, progressive initiatives!

peter hoh said...

Ignorance is Bliss asked: So are you down in Texas house-hunting?

Property tax rates in both Texas and Wisconsin are among the highest in the nation, according to this source.

With its generous homestead exemption, Louisiana has the lowest real estate tax rate in the nation, at $1.72 per $1,000 of home value. Two states with the highest effective tax rates are Wisconsin and Texas, where rates exceed $18 per $1,000 of property value.

Irene said...

Texas, however, has no personal income tax.

rick said...

Comparing state to state property tax rate are exercise in futility.

For example: Florida (speaking of God's waiting room)does not have an state income tax, so their other taxes are probably higher. You must compare the overall tax rates.

TosaGuy said...

I don't plan on hanging around in WI long enough to have this study's parameters apply to me. I bet many UW professors with state retirements do the same.

My neighborhood when I moved in in 1998 was loaded with retired people. Virtually all have moved while my taxes have doubled. They may not have been forced from their homes by the taxes, but they certainly didn't help them stay.

PatCA said...

"I'm having trouble grasping what he's saying. Does he really mean that since he hasn't actually run the elderly out of their homes yet, everything's cool?

Yes, because anecdotal sob stories of hardship caused by tax policy are only permitted to defend liberal policy.

Joe said...

What an idiotic study; it fails to account that the property tax is still relatively low in absolute terms.

"The median property tax paid by Wisconsin homeowners was $2,769 in 2005."

If that's all you have to pay, then that's not bad. But the implication that you can raise property taxes with impunity is absurd.

Since it's Wisconsin, we can do a marvelous experiment. Let's double the property tax in some areas, triple in others and quadruple it in still others and see the effect.

Synova said...

elHombre already answered for me.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

I'm not real old, but I did buy raw land in Wisconsin, use my cash to build homes, and then rented them to people with low incomes. I believe this improves Wisconsin by increasing the affordable housing stock, the taxpayer base, & employing people.

Because it was a lark, I didn't really investigate all the angles. Property taxes claim 20% of my gross, which shocks my conscience.

Plus, and more aggravating, the tax collector forces me to pay all of my tenants delinquent utility bills, but refuses to require the utilities to, you know, collect their debts. (I've never been in contract with the utilities, they never signed me to act as guarantor.) Anyone who understands incentives knows what tenants have done to me; and the worst part for me personally is that I have to be a dick to my tenants on behalf of the utilities. Thanks, Wisconsin tax authorities.

I'm an idiot for walking into it (not that much, considering what other investors suffered in 2008) and take my medicine. But, my purchase options to buy more raw land have lapsed, laborers will not be hired, the affordable housing stock will not be increased and Wisconsin will now see 0% of my investment capital.

I'm following Buell and Harley will follow me.

BJM said...

But while property taxes can mean economic hardship for some elderly homeowners who want to stay in their homes, taxes aren't driving them out, the research says.

Well that's a relief given this tidbit.

I agree with Rick, property taxes are only the tip of the state tax iceberg and vary wildly from county to county/state to state.

2009 property taxes in our neighborhood average $17k as home values continue to plummet. At some point the two arcs cross and many more homeowners will walk away from their mortgages.

bagoh20 said...

Surprisingly, none of the elderly gave up their diabetes meds or sold their wheelchairs either. Taxes are too low.

bagoh20 said...

This country needs to start talking about what it never does: What are we gonna get rid of in the government so that we can afford to have one. Everyone talks about tax cuts or where to spend money, but the solution is stop throwing good money away on crap. Cut something, anything.

I don't even have a degree in economics - can you tell?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

What a surprise. An employee of the state feels like ole Bessie can give a few extra gallons just because she's still breathing. I'm shocked.

I'll tell you one thing, as soon as I retire, I'm kissing Wisconsin goodbye. I'm tired of paying for lavish benefits provided to our public and government employees. Benefits that I don't receive myself.

former law student said...

Property tax is the most regressive tax of all, because the levy has no relationship to one's ability to pay it, so every good liberal must despise it.

In Cook County, Ill, if you are old and unable to pay your property tax, I believe the county will merely place a lien on it, waiting till you die to collect payment. So that's something the elderly have going for them.

Wisconsin taxes may be unusual. A co-worker who lived in Lake Geneva put up with a horrid commute after changing jobs because, he said, the tax consequences of selling and moving to Illinois would have been horrendous.

Comrade X said...

Do senior citizens get a property tax break in Wisconsin? Here in Texas, I believe it's about 75% off for seniors.

Pogo said...

All the study does is show that for the year studied, people dumb enough to stick around after retirement didn't or couldn't move.

But they're counting the wrong people anyway. It's the rich, not the elderly moving out.

From 1995 to 2000: "Migration of household wealth varied by income level, WISTAX found. At incomes under $75,000, 9,100 more households moved into Wisconsin than moved out. This resulted in a net gain of $1.44 billion in net worth and $346.8 million in income.

In numbers, the net loss of higher-income households was smaller, only 4,700. However, the loss of $6.16 billion in net worth and $801.6 million in income was far larger. Although overall 4,400 more households moved here than left, WISTAX concluded that net losses during 1995-2000 were $4.72 billion in net worth and $454.8 million in income.

Brian said...

Mississippi has a relatively low property tax rate (that varies from county to county), but we do have a personal income tax. You also get homestead exemption for homeowners,

Also, those over 65 (or disabled) get an additional exemption. In fact, if you live in a rural area (which most of Mississippi is), and your house isn't valued very highly, the elderly or disabled pay very little property tax because of the dual exemption.

JAL said...

In some areas of the country the elderly get a property tax break of some kind if the household income is low.

In my part of the country for those over 65 if their household income (not AGI -- it includes SS payments) is <$27,100 there is a 50% reduction in the property tax on the assessed value of the residence and 1 acre of land.

In theory the assessed value is close to the market value in our neck of the woods. (These days that is probably true ... but may even be higher than the property could be sold for?)

In the case of elderly people owning tracts of lands (like old family farms) they can be harmed by property taxes and have to sell off land to escape the tax burden.

wv chotis
a chia POTUS

Huck said...

This is an astoundingly cold-hearted statement by a monumentally clueless UW professor. If I was wearing dentures, they would have dropped to the floor when I read this. All of us who live in Wisconsin have had our IQs lowered by 50 points simply through his words.

George said...

e a number of sources that track "total taxes by state" to show the net effect of all applicable state and local taxes. Among these are the following:



edutcher said...

I have the feeling this guy will turn out to be like Warren Buffett - he can talk about no impact because someone has already seen to he isn't impacted.

Opus One Media said...

Dammit Ann. If you meant to say "IN WISCONSIN" then say it as such and not generalize or post appearing to generalize.

In states were property taxes rise at 5-10% yearly as they cover school taxes and local/county taxes and where tax bills of 12-20,000 are the norm...then your professor needs and you need to say that this is JUST WISCONSIN and not everywhere from the get go.

Look at the comments on your blog and see how this is taken and understood.

Big Mike said...

I'd sure like to see his raw data and examine his methodology. I already know that I can't stay in my house in Northern Virginia after I retire about six or seven years from now, and I am given to understand that Virginia's property taxes are not as bad as Wisconsin's.

The wife and I have been scouting out places elsewhere in Virginia or over the Blue Ridge in West (by God!) Virginia where property taxes to support liberal fantasies aren't nearly as bad and we can afford to live without every night being beans and hot dogs.

Any thoughts you other commentators have on good places to retire to would be appreciated. (No, Beth, we are not moving to NOLA -- I don't think my 60 year old heart could cope with all the nipples flashed every Mardi Gras.)

Michael Hasenstab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Let's see.

Granny's property taxes go up at 6% per year.

Her income stays the same.

Because Granny has not moved, this is ok.

Plus, if it becomes not ok, she can move to Louisiana or something. Perhaps she can use the tax savings to visit her children and grandchildren once a year in Wisconsin.

Yeah, this makes a lot of sense.

MadisonMan said...

Mississippi has a relatively low property tax rate

You know what I remember about Mississippi from when I lived in Louisiana? License Plates cost something like $700. Maybe things have changed since 1985, but I moved to Louisiana in part because registering a car there didn't cost me more than $500.

Henry said...

...but old people do vote.

AllenS said...

WI property taxes
Alden township, Polk county

My total assessed value is $155,300
Last years property tax was $2,200.95
This year it is $2,197.03

1974 I paid $230. Since then I've added a garage and pole barn. I don't think property taxes are that bad.

AllenS said...

Additionally, I should add this. When I bought this farm, the taxes were assessed as such:

The acre that the well was on was taxed the most.

My nine acres of woods was at a different tax rate.

Another tax rate was the land considered pasture (not tillable).

Then at yet a different tax rate, the tillable land.

JAL said...

Big Mike --

Northern SC. ("The Foothills" -- Some seasons there.) Close enough to Charlotte, Greenville/Sparatanburg and Clemson for cultural and athletic events if that's your thing. Not a bad drive to the beach either.

But can be far enough away from things and places if you want that.

East Tennessee. Same stuff. Be somewhere in range of Knoxville (Hi, Insty), Chattanooga, or even Johnson City (ETSU for stimulation). No state income taxes.

People move to East TN all the time from Western NC to get away from the taxes (NOTHING compared to AllenS in WI ... geeze!) There is some real beauty there -- and the Great Smokeys National Park, too!

Western NC -- taxes are better than VA, for sure, (and Wisconsin!)but you might find the same amenities in a same or even better, less expensive place. National Park. Lots of pretty places. But real estate prices in WNC are inflated -- because everyone wants to come here from the 'spensive places, and they bring their big bucks house money to spend .... (Not good for the locals.)

Just some ideas that keep you east coasty and 4 seasonal.

AllenS said...

JAL, I have four buildings on my property.

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