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Lower property taxes in the near future?

January 12th, 2013 at 08:13 am

Finally, what I've been waiting for...our town's four-year property revaluation.

Four years ago, in 2009 I guess it was, our property was valued pretty high since the assessment was based on 70% of the Oct. 1, 2007 market value. But now (finally) we're due for another revalu, and I just got the notice from the assessor's office that my value has dropped considerably.

Bad news, I guess, if I wanted to sell now, but pretty good news if I want to pay lower taxes:

Old assessment: $269,760
New assessment: $175, 770

The new assessment is based on 70% of the Oct. 1 2012 market value.

That's a difference of $93,990, or a 35% reduction. so 35% less of $6600 (my current annual taxes) would be $4,290, if I figured that correctly. Put another way, a savings of $192 monthly/$2,310 annually.

It makes remaining here instead of moving a bit more feasible. And since the revals are only done once every four years, I could sort of count on that for four years. However, the new mil rate will be set in the spring after the budget vote. So I don't know. I think I can safely look at the 35% reduction as a BALLPARK reduction in taxes, but it could be somewhat less if the town budget rises. Which is usually does, by at least 2%.

Right now, my property taxes are not quite tied with my COBRA/health insurance premiums for #1 expense in the Patient Saver household. (Monthly COBRA: $562, monthly property taxes: $548). I'll be curious to see how much my property taxes drop down in my ranked expense list.

I guess in my mind this sort of commits me to staying in this house for another four years, as I want to maximize my profits when I move. I bought the house for $209,900 in 1995.

Not much else new, though I haven't posted recently.

Going for lunch at the neighbors tomorrow; I'll be returning some food containers of hers from when she brought me hot, home-made soups when I was sick (what a neighbor!) and I'll be filling them with my chocolate nut and cranberry clusters.

On Monday I'm getting together with The Author. I think she'll have another payment for me on the book; she's a little behind on the schedule.

Also on Monday I have to return to the computer repair guy for the 3rd time as he's been unable to fix an annoying problem whereby my computer locks or freezes up (with the spinning circle) every 10 minutes or so and I have to wait for a minute or two for it to resolve. He charged me $105 to add more memory and that didn't do anything to fix the problem. I really can't afford repair bills and am hoping he won't charge me again. (He didn't charge the 2nd time.)

This weekend I can start work on a new condo brochure; my client, a real estate brokerage, often gets condos, new subdivisions or other communities that other brokerages have been unable to market/sell successfully.

Hmm. Just realized dropping off the computer and possibly not having it for 2 days may interfere with that freelance job. May have to delay the repair another week.

I just spent about $50 worth of Amazon gift cards I earned from online forums. I bought a book, a mattress cover and two things for the cats: a catnip toy and a cushioned seat that fits over the Ultimate Scratching Post. They didn't really get anything for Christmas, so I think they deserve it.

I only have 2 more weeks left of unemployment benefits. Considering that I thought they would run out last April, I guess I did pretty well stringing it along with my part-time and freelance jobs. But it really will run out for good before month's end. that's the scary party, becus not counting my freelance work, my p/t job only nets me a little over $900 a month, which is about half of the bare minimum I need to cover monthly expenses.

The freelance work is impossible to predict, but looking at last year, I see I earned a low of $0 in May to a high of $2,709 in October. So it's hard to count on that money, or at least, to count on the timing of receiving that money, but the average works out to about $500/month. I think that while I've raised my prices over the years, they're still pretty low, but I can only raise them by degrees, once a year at most.

Anyway, I was able to save enough money in an online money market to cover my next bi-annual property tax bill, but after that, I suspect I'll have to begin withdrawing savings. Assuming I still can't come up with a f/t job or another p/t job to supplement what I'm getting now.

7 Responses to “Lower property taxes in the near future?”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    Great News!!

    I always find it interesting how property taxes/assessments are done in other places. I know California is somewhat unique in that they have made property taxes extremely predictable, because real estate has tended to be so volatile. (Too many elderly losing homes to beyond insane property taxes - when home values went up 1,000% in a couple of decades). I was initially surprised both our parents seem intent on retiring in their homes. BUT, when you have a paid-off home, you removed a majority of the "high cost" of living in such an expensive region. Property taxes go up 3% per year. Period. Anyway, the end result of all this is that it could be a surprisingly cheap place to retire. Especially if you don't move around a lot or didn't buy up over the years. Both our parents started much smaller (condo or tiny house) and bought up a little bit, but they were both settled by about age 30. In addition, I believe you get one lifetime transfer anyway, of property tax valuation. So, does not rule out downsizing with age.

    All this to say that I Can definitely see how property taxes would be a huge driving factor of "affordability" in retirement. & I very much appreciate my predictable property taxes.

  2. patientsaver.com Says:

    Well, I was wondering what your take on this would be! Yeah, I'm fairly certain I won't want to age in place here in this house as I don't need an acre and a half to maintain and the house is much bigger (1650 sf) than I need, and it does cost a lot to heat it.

    Property taxes are definitely a huge factor to consider, as my town is fairly high, although simply by downsizing to a condo I'd reduce my property taxes anyway. But a condo in a different town would be cheaper than a condo here in my town due to the property taxes. I do really like it here, although I wouldn't mind being closer to where I do all my shopping in neighboring small city. But I couldn't live in that small city; just don't find it attractive.

    So i'll probably end up in a condo (PERHAPS a small but very well-maintained and updated ranch house, if I could find one, on a small lot) but guess I have 4 years to keep thinking about it!

    Wherever I go, I know most CT towns offer seniors over age 65 a discount on property taxes. They look at income only (ALL income, including Social Security benefits), not savings, which is good. And in my town (I just looked it up) you can make as much as $65,000 in annual income and still get a discount on the property taxes.

    If you made under $45,000, you are eligible for $2,000 off your taxes.
    - If you made between $45,001-$55,000, you are eligible for $1,500 off your taxes.
    - If you made between $55,001-$65,000, you are elilgible for $1,300 off your taxes.

    Seems like a significant credit to me.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm glad to see you posting! I was just thinking that I hadn't seen a blog from you in awhile.

    That is good news about your property taxes. I hope they go down as much as you're thinking.

    I'm sorry to hear that your UI benefits are close to running out. At least you were able to lower your minimum budget by paying off your house last year, so that is a plus. Hopefully you'll be able to find lots of freelance work.

    How old is your computer? That seems like a really weird problem. Have you checked on different computer guru forums on the internet focused on your particular computer to see if anyone else has experienced the same thing/has ideas on how to fix it?

  4. patientsaver.com Says:

    checking online forums for the computer problem is not a bad idea, FT. The computer's not that old; I bought it in 2010. it's a Dell XP

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    PS--What internet browser are you using? I find Internet Explorer locks up a lot (at least 2 to 3 times a day), Google Chrome rarely does, and I've yet to get it locking up from Firefox at all. It might be worth looking into. Firefox is free.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'll second FireFox. It's what I use on my home computer and my assigned computer at school. IE is on most of the lab computers, and is a pain. (in my opinion.)

  7. patientsaver.com Says:

    I use Firefox exclusively!

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