GRANOLAPARK • BY GILBERT
Takoma Park’s taxes are going up. But don’t worry, it’ll mostly hit the old, retired, and poorest home owners.
The city manger proposes not to raise OR lower the tax rate, but don’t be fooled – that amounts to a tax raise.
And that means a tax double-whammy on long-residing, older city homeowners.
Folks who bought their Takoma Park homes decades ago paid much less than they are worth now.
Their real estate tax rates have not kept up with the assessed value of their homes. Lucky for them the county puts a 15% cap on the yearly increase so they don’t get clobbered all at once.
Nevertheless, those people’s real estate taxes creep up year to year.
Slick and slippery
Here’s how the city proposes to stick it to them. It’s slick. They can boast that they aren’t raising the the tax rate.
They aren’t raising it, yes, but they aren’t lowering it. If they lowered it most homeowners would pay the same amount or less than last year.
But they can’t do THAT, Dear Readers. That would not fund all the new programs and expenses the city budget proposes.
Rest easy, you newer, better-off homeowners who are paying your full real-estate taxes. You’ll pay about the same as last year.
You older, long-time residents who pay the automatic 15% yearly rise will pay that 15% extra to the county AND the tax on that higher amount to the city. A double-whammy!
Those venerable citizens who bought homes 30-40 years ago are now at least middle aged. These are the people who shaped the city the newer residents are attracted to. Now, some are retired, living on fixed incomes. Few could now afford a house in Takoma Park, where home prices have soared as much as 1000% since the 1970s and 80s.
Sure, if they sell they’ll be sitting pretty, but that doesn’t pay the tax bill, and they couldn’t afford to buy again in Takoma Park.
The city, as required by state law, is holding a public hearing on the tax increase at their Monday, April 28 meeting.
Budget Public Hearings – Monday, April 28, 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium: 1) Public Hearing on the FY 2015 Proposed Budget. The proposed budget may be viewed at: http://takomaparkmd.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7eeebe001a5959260ff9ae083&id=20ba1ff749&e=96caabc7ff. 2) Public Hearing on the Property Tax Rate. The City is considering not reducing its real property tax rate enough to fully offset increasing assessments. The City proposes to adopt a real property tax rate of $0.57 per $100 of assessment. This tax rate is 1.1% higher than the constant yield tax rate of $0.5640 and will generate $118,150 in additional property tax revenues. The public is encouraged to attend the public hearings and sign up to speak. The full notice of the property tax rate hearing may be viewed at: http://takomaparkmd.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7eeebe001a5959260ff9ae083&id=073629a3c0&e=96caabc7ff.
Ya’ll come, and bring the torches and pitchforks!
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