Monday, January 31, 2011

Property Taxes

I cant believe I'm writing about our property taxes, but I am.  I was actually EXCITED to get them this month, which officially makes me WEIRD!  I have been working to get our property taxes lowered on the house next door since we bought it in October of 2008.  The auditor kept charging us $450 for the house that has no septic or well.  It was appraised at nearly $60,000 for tax purposes.

I called the auditor's office last year to see what we could do to get the taxes lowered.  I was told the auditor would come out and do an appraisal on the house and it would be reflected on the next bill.  The next bill came, and it was still $450.  I called again.  I was told I have to write a letter and show proof of the septic being crushed and the well capped (otherwise we'd have to pay $16,000 for a new septic system) along with the purchase agreement that the house cost us $8,000.  I sent it immediately.  The bill came last week, and it was STILL $400!  Yes, it went down, but the house was still appraised at $56,000!

So, I called, yet AGAIN!  I was a bit peeved.  I was as nice as I could be and told the lady who answered the phone what has happened, and I didnt know what to do to get the value to reflect what we paid for the house.  She sent me directly to the auditor.  I spoke to the gentleman and explained everything (again.)  I asked him if he needed Todd to come down with proof of everything, and he said, "No, that's not necessary.  I just changed it for you.  You will receive a bill in the mail next week.  Disregard the old one."  I thanked him over and over again, but thought, "I'll believe it when I see it."  Two days later, we got the tax bill.  It went from $400 to $45.  I am tickled pink!  This is a savings of $710/year!  YAY!

I can now HAPPILY pay the property taxes every half.  I was thinking about paying the full year, but I really want to pay off our last debt.  When the next property tax bill(s) come in the mail, we should be out of debt.  Then we can pay it yearly.  I want to free up as much cash as we can to get the last debt paid off as soon as possible.

As a side note, I think it is amazing that we are paying LESS taxes than what I paid in Akron for 1/8 acre lot...and we've got a full acre in this great, quiet, wooded area with lots of great neighbors and wildlife.   

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