I’m sure everyone has parts of town that are less than what they once were. Conversely, you’ve probably got areas that are – or at least were – alive with new construction.
Most towns are made up of that area in between. But what I’ve noticed about my town lately, reinforced by a cold hard look on the way in today, is a growing amount of blight. Buildings that should be torn down before they just fall down. Or vacant lots where both commercial and residential properties once stood.
A lot of new retail and restaurants have appeared, or else existing ones have undergone dramatic remodels. But the price for this has been for so many of the old, family-owned anchor businesses to close up shop. (I call it the Wal-Mart Syndrome.) And, even some of the new shops and restaurants have disappeared, in most cases I'm sure thanks to the economy.
Except for the school district and a steel mill (which is currently idled and could be well into next year), we’re a bedroom community. We rely on the lifeblood of the region. It’s kind of a scary place to be.
That hasn’t, however, stopped the county from raising property taxes. The assessment came the other day and it appears to have gone up another $1,000. It’s good news in that the fair market value of my property then has increased by $3,000. The bad news is that that means there’s another $300+ I’ll be paying taxes on. Seems all the hard work got plenty of the tax man’s attention.
I guess I should be grateful. I could always be one of those folks with a mortgage that exceeds their property value.