The secret to lower property taxes

Municipal mergers could cut costs, boost federal aid
Published on Jan 22, 2010

Recently, I wrote an article related to the high cost of owning property in Florida. I noted that in the Miami area, the cost of property taxes and insurance equate to a veritable second mortgage. The editor for that publication, who lives in New Jersey, sent me an e-mail saying things were no different in her state. It's not just New Jersey and Florida where homeownership has gotten more expensive, but almost everywhere else as well. The problem is that local and state governments need more money, and the only way to get that is to increase one of three types of taxes: income, sales or property. For some reason we tend to accept higher income and sales taxes, probably because they are not so apparent as the lump-sum thousands of dollars we all have to pay in property taxes. Governments, unlike private industry, consistently expand and rarely contract, so the need for capital is an ongoing problem that is exacerbated in times of recession. But governments, if they did act ...