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Thread: Fighting local property tax hikes?

  1. #1

    Fighting local property tax hikes?

    Anyone have experience in successfully thwarting a local property tax hike? If so, what tactics did you use (mailers, flyers, etc.), how did you frame the issue, and how much did it cost?

    My town of ~15K people has two municipal voter proposals in November: 2 mill levy for road and water improvements and a 20-year $15M bond to build a new community center. If both are passed, it will cost the average homeowner ~$300 each year. The community center is obviously getting the most attention and the pro-group is organizing. Unfortunately it doesn't look like there is any "anti-bond" organization. I'm considering starting something, but my time and funds are very limited. So I'm just wondering, what's the best way to start?
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  3. #2
    JC, what state?

    Advice? If it is going to cost $300 per year, then don't do anything that will cost, whether due to expenditure or missed opportunity to work, that will cost more than $299.99 per year for as many years as you expect to live

  4. #3
    Why don't you do what I did in another thread. Start a petition on Change.org. Share the petition with locals that you know and see if you can make it catch on.

    Another idea? Find out who your local state rep is and shoot him an email. My state rep is very accessible, because state reps only represent a small area of people. Maybe he'll help, maybe he won't, but at least he'll know the idea is not unopposed.

  5. #4
    You'll want to learn how to fight and win. These are two places you can do that:


    https://leadershipinstitute.org/training/


    https://facl-training.org/?page_id=1519



    The trick is to build a big list of people who are against tax hikes. You'll need their e-mail addresses. And you'll need to raise money for the effort, unless you can self fund. And then it is a matter of turnout... you have to get people to sign petitions, send in e-mails and phone calls, and then show up to the meeting to speak out. If that doesn't do enough to kill the tax hike, then you have to get the politicians who voted for it tossed in the next election, which is even harder than stopping the tax itself.

    It can be done, but it is a lot of work and you have to know how to fight, thus the two links above.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by EBounding View Post
    Anyone have experience in successfully thwarting a local property tax hike? If so, what tactics did you use (mailers, flyers, etc.), how did you frame the issue, and how much did it cost?

    My town of ~15K people has two municipal voter proposals in November: 2 mill levy for road and water improvements and a 20-year $15M bond to build a new community center. If both are passed, it will cost the average homeowner ~$300 each year. The community center is obviously getting the most attention and the pro-group is organizing. Unfortunately it doesn't look like there is any "anti-bond" organization. I'm considering starting something, but my time and funds are very limited. So I'm just wondering, what's the best way to start?
    Focus your criticism on the tax, not the associated spending.

    People love spending - tax, not so much.

    Since this is local government, they can't print, and have limited borrowing ability, so "starve the beast" might actually work.

    If you can kill the tax, that may effectively kill the spending, even if that's not what people really want.

    So, push the line:

    -They don't need the tax increases to cover the community center

    -The difference can be found in "waste, fraud, and abuse."

    -The incumbents are getting paid too much, aren't in touch with the people, etc.

    I guess it'd be a one shot deal, though, since people would eventually notice that the community center doesn't get built.

    Then again, people are forgetful, you might be able to keep running the same anti-tax campaign every couple years...

    ...blaming the incumbents for not building the community center because they're taking home too much pay, etc.

    Is this preposterous? Yes. It's also how politics really works.



    Good luck

  7. #6
    Also point out waste, fraud, and abuse... see if they have handed taxpayer money to local businesses, given money to their cronies, wasted money on stupid stuff, raised their own salaries, etc.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  8. #7
    I've got them angry with me, because every time I go in to pay those property taxes, I say; "I'm here to pay the rent."

    I've got several other people doing the same thing.

    I tell them I'll get evicted if I don't pay the rent and it has to be rent, because I have to get permission to do things to the property.

    Obviously, it's not my property or I wouldn't have to get permission to make changes to it.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.3D View Post
    I've got them angry with me, because every time I go in to pay those property taxes, I say; "I'm here to pay the rent."

    I've got several other people doing the same thing.

    I tell them I'll get evicted if I don't pay the rent and it has to be rent, because I have to get permission to do things to the property.

    Obviously, it's not my property or I wouldn't have to get permission to make changes to it.
    And it's true too, not just tongue-in-cheek. The "Deed of Trust" executed at mortgage closing conveyed the property over to the local government.

    People seem to love voting for bonds but then complain to high heaven when property taxes rise. It's like they think bonds are just free money, instead of voting to be further in bondage to some bank.
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