Friday, March 10, 2006

High Property Taxes Driving New Revolt - CBS News
Fred Pilot sent this story, which actually originated in the Christian Science Monitor. So now we have a second wave of the property tax rebellion to go with the anti-Kelo/eminent domain backlash. Sounds like middle-class homeowners increasingly feel that they are being milked like dairy cows by municipalities and school districts. (Not to put too fine a point on it or anything.) But local governments are having a hard time balancing the books, so they are using HOAs and other mechanisms to generate or save money, and of course tax and fee for service increases are part of the picture. The tug of war continues...

Welcome to the flip side of the real estate boom. Years of rising home values have boosted property taxes steadily. Now, homeowners across the United States are fighting back. "Real estate growth and real estate boom seem to be happening all over the country and [property-tax revolt] is an inevitable consequence," says Roger Sherman, a property tax expert in Boise, Idaho. This year, legislative proposals, citizen initiatives, and lawsuits are on the agenda in at least 20 states. These new efforts reflect both residents' distrust of how their property tax dollars are being spent and concerns that rising assessments are driving working-class people out of popular towns and cities.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's A War Of Words: From The Tampa Tribune
Another HOA trolling successfully for bad press? And note that the press is now referring to HOA board members as "officials."

TAMPA - Before David Kelley went to Iraq, he bought his wife a "Support Our Troops" sign to display outside the couple's home in the Westchase subdivision...But officials of Westchase, in northwest Hillsborough County, view the sign differently. They say the 2-foot-high sign violates community rules. Stacey Kelley, 24, received a letter from the homeowners association last month stating she could be fined $100 a day if she does not remove the sign.