Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Tax Man Cometh

It still amazes me that the news in the Wall Street Journal is so good while the editorial pages remain completely out of touch.

In today's edition, they report that, in large part because of BushCo.'s tax cuts, property taxes are on the rise all over the country. In fact, they are rising so fast in some areas that there have been so-called "voter revolts," where voters have forced the passage of caps and restrictions on further increases. John Kerry has labeled this phenomenon the "Middle Class Squeeze."

In many parts of the country in recent years, strapped local governments have imposed big increases in property-tax rates, as well as in home assessments, to fill budget shortfalls. In response, voters have organized efforts to repeal or slow property-tax boosts in states from Virginia to Oregon, in some cases with the support of frustrated local officials.


For many homeowners, the increases have eaten into benefits they gained from President Bush's cuts in federal income taxes. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Inc., a research firm in West Chester, Pa., estimates that nearly a fifth of the income-tax benefit Americans are receiving from federal tax cuts this year is going to pay for higher property taxes. Mr. Zandi says he expects property taxes to continue rising "very rapidly."
On the editorial pages of the Journal, though, you can still find paeans to the Shrub's tax cuts for the rich with no mention of the "Squeeze." Regardless of the Journal, I know that this is indeed happening. Just last week I got a letter from the Tax Assessor's Office: my assessment - and therefore my taxes - were going up this year.

I'm feeling the "Squeeze!"

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