Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Price Is Blight

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.


Anonymous said...

You are describing my city. The exception is that they are squeezing every dollar they can from us any possible place they can get it. From renewal levies to county taxes, property taxes, state taxes, water/sewer rates, fees, etc. I am so sick of being taxed to death and see nothing in return for it.

"The Price is Blight" - you got it.


NV said...

Michele -- Yeah. I know you've got it a lot worse there!

Vicki said...

It's that shed you're pimping. I told you the tax assessor would be all over you ;)

Anonymous said...