There are many people in my neighborhood who own their homes free and clear. The means they don’t have to make a mortgage payment each month.
Yet some are struggling to hold onto their homes because the taxes keep going up. If you own real estate in St. Paul you probably got a notice over the weekend of a “Right-of-way” maintenance assessment (ROW) There was another assessment I just paid that was due in November and for some reason the notice arrive months ago. This latest assessment is for a month larger amount and due on November 15, 2012.
The roads and right of ways have to be kept up and some one has to pay for it. People who live on corner lots or who have an alley behind their home get to pay the most.
We can count on taxes. They will keep going up even though property values have gone down because the cost of road repairs and other itens that we pay for keeps going up. Taxes like the right of way assessment are what we call “regressive” taxes.
The tax is not based on income or on property value but on the footage of road and alley frontage along the property. Our invoice is for $252.00. People with money hardly notice the tax but for people who are out of work or on a fixed income or who are struggling to make ends meet for any reason it is a real hardship. Too bad for them . . right?