Forclosures on poor elderly

68 posts / 0 new
Last post
Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Forclosures on poor elderly

LePage has proposed a bill which will help keep poor oldsters in their homes rather than evict them for failure to pay property taxes. Seems like some municipalities have an automatic foreclosure process when the taxes are not paid. The Town sells the property and keeps all the profit above what the taxes were or sells at well below the market value to friends for the tax balance. This wrong on the face of it and hi-lights the failure of property taxes as a way to finance schools and government.

There is a poster in the comments section calling itself "Mepete Dirigo" who claims this is an example of LePage trying to benefit the rich. What a putz.

Also, the Maine Municipal Ass. is against this bill because, uh, er , um...their reason is just too dumb to understand.

Get Outta here

Matt
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 01/21/2008 - 6:21pm
I think what is essentially a

I think what is essentially a revese mortgage financed by the town is a pretty good idea, assuming the municipality can collect fees and interest after the sale. Why should the town sell anything at well below market value?

Bruce Libby
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 39 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Good question Smegma II.

Good question Smegma II.

The issue becomes, after meeting all the requirements of foreclosure procedure ,how long does a town want to carry the lien w/out
recovery of their costs and other lien holders . Why should they sell at below value ? They have to at present.
By the way have Smegma check you spelling.

anonymous_coward
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 10/21/2016 - 12:18pm
"He provided another

"He provided another disgraceful example where a homeowner, whose total income was just $735 a month, owed approximately $8,000 in back taxes on a home worth about $60,000."

Umm, don't mean to be judgmental here but how many years of missing your tax payments does it take to accumulate 8k worth of back taxes on a 60k house?

As a bleeding heart liberal, I'm all for helping out poor people. But as a landlord, there's gotta be some kind of intervention before it gets to that point. If people can not pay their taxes for a year and feel absolutely no consequences, they're going to just keep going.

(I live a conflicted existence, as you might have guessed.)

Toolsmith
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 07/14/2016 - 11:22am
Most towns don't wait that

Most towns don't wait that long. Bridgton takes possession after 2 years, many other towns do also. Most towns have a lien on your property once the full year's tax is overdue. Some towns, like Bridgton, will be reasonable if you talk to them... a friend actually got her property back after the town had taken full possession (she had been ill). Key is... you have to keep talking to them.

Most towns sell by auction. I bought empty lots in Rome and St.Albans that way back in the '90s. Sealed bid, must be over the tax due, must be paid within a short time. No effort to sell at market. The extra lot next to mine in Rome was $250 (it was not buildable, but made a nice addition since it had a well). The previous owner had died without heirs.

I think many towns are now using more formal auctions that generate much higher prices. My personal feeling is that they should keep only the tax and expenses, not the whole amount. At least that would preserve some money to keep people from being homeless.

Economike
Offline
Last seen: 19 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
I'm in agreement with

I'm in agreement with anonymous_coward. Municipalities shouldn't be in the mortgage or subsidized housing business. While foreclosure procedures should be transparent and equitable, it's easy to foresee that when tax delinquency is overlooked towns will end up underwater on their eventual foreclosures.

Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
This whole thread reinforces

This whole thread reinforces my position that property taxes are idiotic, arcane, regressive and just plain stupid. Keep in mind, you never really own your own home. You are renting your home from the teachers and their union. If you don't pay them what they DEMAND, you lose your home. With 70+ percent of the taxes going for schools...most of which is salaries for teacher and much of it for union administration and reps, they will take your house and sell it if you don't pay them. True, they do it through the Town but the union gets the money.

With a compounded 8% interest rate, it doesn't tak that long to get to several thousands of dollars. In the example give, the $60,000 quoted was the profit...after mortgage balances are paid. Who knows what the Town assessed it for. If it is like my Town, properties are selling for 60-66% of assessed value and have done so for 8 years

Economike
Offline
Last seen: 19 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Watcher -

Watcher -

Any kind of tax creates winners and losers.

The best practical tax regime strikes a compromise among competing interests. The idea is to prevent any interest from gaming the system. If there were no property tax, how long before property became the preferred tax shelter?

Jasper
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 02/06/2014 - 5:24am
There is a poster in the

There is a poster in the comments section calling itself "Mepete Dirigo" who claims this is an example of LePage trying to benefit the rich. What a putz.

You are the putz, and a compulsively lying one at that. I read all the comments and Mepete Dirigo said no such thing. Once again, you put words in people's mouths that were never uttered or written. No one on this forum has more of a stench of sebaceous secretion in the folds of the skin than you.

Jasper
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 02/06/2014 - 5:24am
By the way have Smegma check

By the way have Smegma check you spelling. What irony.

Islander
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
Our town waits 3 years and

Our town waits 3 years and then to auction, went to one just last year. They were $1500 behind on taxes, maybe a better idea is to tax non profits just as any other piece of property, use the money to help those who need relief. We have some real nice pieces of property owned by Land Trusts, Botanical Gardens, etc who do not pay property tax or pay just a token

johnw
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 6 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2009 - 10:06am
Treating or punishing the

Treating or punishing the symptoms not the disease.Most towns are increasing taxes and fees to pay for an ever increasing cost of schools ,roads etc.Many towns have folks from away voting in spending on unneeded or unnecessary projects that increase the tax burden . There is rarely if any thought about older folks on fixed incomes .There are many of these seniors who worked hard pay ,taxes and mortgages all of their working years only to find that their SS and savings can not possibly keep up with the ever increasing cost of living.... Maybe the state or local towns should start thinking about some robust tax breaks for seniors to keep them in their homes.Giving them some return on the years they paid taxes and were productive members of society instead of punishing them for things that are beyond their control...We seem to have money to dole out to every freakazoid zombie freeloader that lands here but we can’t take care of those who contributed......Lots of elders are not only face with heat ,eat or treat..... but also the taxman cometh..

Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Johnw, for every tax break

Johnw, for every tax break given, others must pay for it. It is no solution at all. My home is not a reflection of my income, my assets or my ability to pay for schools. It has no business being used as a tool to wring money out of me to pay people who make more than I do and whom I treat to all of the best benefits in the state.

I note at our Town meetings and the school budget meetings that NOBODY asks what steps were taken last year to control or reduce costs. Never asked...never volunteered by the administration...never done.

Toolsmith
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 07/14/2016 - 11:22am
I've always thought the

I've always thought the valuations should stay the same, unless there's a transfer. It only takes one person "from away" to raise the valuations (and taxes) of everyone else in the neighborhood to levels only that one person can afford.

Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Again, what does the value of

Again, what does the value of my house have to do with anything?

Islander
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
Ever try to sell a house for

Ever try to sell a house for what it is Valued at? Property is an ATM for municipalities,

Toolsmith
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 07/14/2016 - 11:22am
Maybe freeze valuation?

Maybe freeze valuation?
One town in RI is looking at the problem.

http://www.newportri.com/newportdailynews/news/page_one/group-proposes-t...

I think this is the answer. Don't assume that I got rich because a mega-rich person built a McMansion next door.

Bruce Libby
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 39 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
I have always felt there

I have always felt there should be a mechanism built in reduce taxes for payers, at some point when they are not using services like schools. I assume that would address some of Watchers' angst about unions etc..
The problem with that is those who still pay full obligation will argue against it and question fairness etc..

Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Jeezus freaking Christ...the

Jeezus freaking Christ...the posts are about how can we make property taxes work. They don't, they wont and they never will. Just quit the stupid and inane talk about it. It is stupid, wrong, inane and, did I say stupid? get over this idiot,arcane method and make it work!......SALE TAX YOU FECAL MATTER BRAINS!

Bruce Libby
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 39 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Geez it is so nice to see

Geez it is so nice to see Watcher subscribe to the Smegma school of posting.

Economike
Offline
Last seen: 19 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Watcher -

Watcher -

In what sense do property taxes not work?

Do you favor elimination of all property taxes?

anonymous_coward
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 10/21/2016 - 12:18pm
Who the hell knows.

Who the hell knows.

I think most conservatives would agree that taxation/government works better at the local level, which means local property taxes are better than national income taxes (since you can't do local sales tax, as consumers could just drive to the next town to buy stuff).

Liberals like myself, on the other hand, feel sorry for poor people and the best way to distribute it is by taxing on a broader base.

KennyRoberts
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 01/18/2005 - 1:01am
In 1689, Locke argued in his

In 1689, Locke argued in his Two Treatises of Government that political society existed for the sake of protecting "property", which he defined as a person's "life, liberty, and estate".

free men may own property and leave it as an inheritance to their children. Slaves rent property from the state and are foreclosed upon and thrown in the street when they can't pay.

Allodial title is a real property ownership system where the real property is owed free and clear of any superior landlord. In this case, the owner will have an absolute title over his or her property. Property owned under allodial title is referred as allodial land.

Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Economike, property taxes

Economike, property taxes have been with us since colonial times and in Europe well before that:

Taxes based on ownership of property were used in ancient times, but the modern tax has roots in feudal obligations owned to British and European kings or landlords. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century, British tax assessors used ownership or occupancy of property to estimate a taxpayer’s ability to pay. In time the tax came to be regarded as a tax on the property itself (in rem). In the United Kingdom the tax developed into a system of “rates” based on the annual (rental) value of property.

In the words of Fredercik Stocker

Noted tax economist Frederick C. Stocker has observed that the property tax "resembles a structure designed by a mad architect, erected on a shaky foundation by an incompetent builder, and made worse by the well-intentioned repair work of hordes of amateur tinkerers."

Taxes were levied on property because the only source of income during the colonial period (and earlier in Europe )was money made in farming. The land, therefore, was the source of income. That is no longer true. Not only does my home not produce income, it costs an arm and leg to maintain.

The property tax system does not work because:
1. It does not correlate to either the landowner's income and or ability to pay.
2. The assessed value of a property is merely an informed guess by an assessor. As with any profession, the intelligence and ability of any assessor varies greatly. The assessment practice is imprecise (a guess), unfair because we can all point to properties which are much more expensive than ours but who pay less in taxes, and subject to manipulation with no real recourse.
3. As it was under the English Kings, we never really own our homes. We must pay every year to live in them.

The system under which property taxes were conceived no longer exists, ie, the size and value of one's property equals income. It needs to be eliminated.

Economike
Offline
Last seen: 19 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Ah, the self-flattering

Ah, the self-flattering vanity of liberals. They feel sorry for poor people.

Economike
Offline
Last seen: 19 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Watcher -

Watcher -

Every form of taxation is unfair in some way or other.

If taxes on property are eliminated, can you foresee that residential property becomes a more attractive tax shelter for the wealthy? This will help old folks on fixed-incomes?

JackStrawFromWichita
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 33 min ago
Joined: 02/05/2014 - 6:17pm
"1. It does not correlate to

"1. It does not correlate to either the landowner's income and or ability to pay."

Don’t think so.

Although not perfectly correlated I suspect that if you ran a regression analysis of income and value of the principal residence the correlation coefficient would be a lot closer to +1 than 0. Not to say that there wouldn’t be some outliers.

The main reason would be that most people take out a mortgage when they buy and the lender wants to make sure that they have the means to pay so if one wants a more expensive home they have to have more income.

There would be outliers-someone who’s income has had a reversal of fortune maybe through retirement or job loss, or someone who inherited property that they never could have bought on their own or someone who lives well below their means, etc.

I would think that the correlation coefficient would be positive

Economike
Offline
Last seen: 19 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
I agree with JSFW. Most

I agree with JSFW. Most homeowners own the property they choose and can afford.

From a supply-side perspective, the property tax on residential property is efficient, since the homeowner's tax burden doesn't rise with additional income. In this sense, property tax is voluntary in comparison with income tax.

Fixed-income hardship cases who owe back taxes are exceptional. A means of relieving them may be good policy, but I not convinced that scrapping the property tax entirely is likely to help.

Watcher
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Jackstraw, you may be correct

Jackstraw, you may be correct that the ability to pay and the property tax charged do correlate when a property is purchased but, that relationship changes rather rapidly and continues to do so as time passes. In my Town, which had a revaluation 8 years ago, 70% of all properties sold since then sold for 35% less than they were assessed for property tax purposes. Since that reval, property owners of the properties sold paid taxes on $25,000,000 in assessed value that was never there....even after 8 years of house price inflation. Clearly an example of how the assessors guess was just wrong in every sense of the word.

Moreover, in the small Town where I live, you could have purchased the whole damn village for $75,000 sixty-seventy years ago. Now, ocean front property has gone berzerk with the NY, NJ, MA rich discovering us. Prices went beyond sanity. I know on my street two families who have lived here for nearly 90 years and had to sell because their "valuable" "desirable" and now highly taxed homes became unaffordable. Their value went up but, being retired lobstermen, their income did not.

All the foregoing notwithstanding, property taxes were originally established to tax property based on that property's ability to produce income. The bigger the property the more value it had because it could produce more income. That no longer happens except stores, manufacturing buildings, bank properties, whore houses, et al which still do produce income but, most homes do not. No way to put lipstick on this pig of a system. Sales tax (Consumption tax) is the answer.

Toolsmith
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 07/14/2016 - 11:22am
Valuations can change

Valuations can change dramatically without any change in the owner's income. This is what causes gentrification and other such ills. How many natives still live on Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. Darn few. Most had to leave when all the rich moved in.

anonymous_coward
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 10/21/2016 - 12:18pm
@Economike: "Ah, the self

@Economike: "Ah, the self-flattering vanity of liberals. They feel sorry for poor people."

Hey at least I admit it.

Pages

Log in to post comments