Monday, September 1, 2008

The Property Tax Dilemma

I had the satisfaction of mowing my lawn this morning for the first time at my own home. My wife and I just purchased our first home in north Austin last month, so this morning was very satisfying that I have a yard that is mine, and not one that I am renting from another home owner.

But then, as I do when I labor, my mind drifted to more philosophical topics. I first designed a new deck for the back yard in my mind. Then, I thought about how I can fix up the garage to make room for all the tools I need to buy to build this mythical deck. Then, I thought about how much it would cost to buy new power tools and how I can trim my personal budget to do so. Then, I thought about how much I will have to pay in property taxes in Texas over the life of my mortgage and beyond.

Property taxes in Texas have doubled over the past twelve years. If the State Legislature and local governments do not address the problem, property taxes will double again over the next dozen years in Texas. Texas taxpayers are being taxed out of their homes. I quickly realized it is not a mortgage lending crisis that is preventing home ownership in Texas, it is skyrocketing property taxes.


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