Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Monday, May 23, 2011, 3:05 PM
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My friend and colleague Todd Huttunen, a periodic contributor here in his column “The Hall Monitor” and my old blog, the now defunct Soapbox, is an assessor for the Town of Eastchester, New York. He penned a response to the NYT article earlier this month: Westchester Towns Take Hit From Rise in Tax Appeals.
Todd is spot on with his commentary on the growing phenomenon of tax appeals as the economy flounders.
The increase in this number is the appropriate and predictable response to the devastating economic events of the last three years, and their impact on homeowners.
In fact, property taxes are rising in a weak economy despite much lower real estate values. This is an expected result in any economic downturn.
Government spending always lags such a downturn since it is much harder and less politically popular to address. Spending expanded during the boom largely due to real estate tax related revenue growth (property, transfer, permits, construction/housing related jobs, etc.)
Large local government shortfalls, with the lag in response to the change in economic conditions, is the next big thing the US will have to grapple with.
It’s particular interesting how private sector employment is finally rising but being partially offset by government employment declines. That’s the lag.