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Property taxes are based on property values, which are governed by a market.

My view is that property taxes fund the very things that make a particular neighborhood desirable, like good schools, roads, parks, and other local services. Your property's value is what it is because of these things, and you shouldn't be able to reap these benefits without paying taxes proportional to the value you've captured.




> My view is that property taxes fund the very things that make a particular neighborhood desirable, like good schools, roads, parks, and other local services.

In California, that's less true than it might otherwise be, given the prop 13 limits on both assessments and tax rates. Lots of those things are funded by sales tax revenue, income tax revenue (primarily state income tax funding local programs), development fees, and other revenue sources other than property tax.


They typically mostly fund schools, which long-time home owners generally aren't even using. One of the whole reasons to buy property is to have some long-term residential stability, which doesn't happen if property taxes can increase rapidly. If I'm holding onto my home, I've only captured value in a theoretical sense. I don't have any cash to pay for the increased property taxes until I sell.


> My view is that property taxes fund the very things that make a particular neighborhood desirable, like good schools, roads, parks, and other local services.

I think you're arguing that richer neighborhoods should have nicer schools, roads and parks. Granted, SF is an exception here, but that's precisely how things work elsewhere in California.

And if richer neighborhoods don't get that, California made annexations pretty easy, which is why you see those tiny municipalities in the vicinity of Los Angeles, San Diego, Anaheim, etc.


I'm arguing that richer neighborhoods DO have nicer schools, roads, and parks. Prop 13 says you may live in such valuable neighborhood while not paying taxes in proportion to that value, merely because you happened to buy a long time ago.


I an questioning how big of a problem that is empirically.

One can't really arbitrage that effectively.

Municipalities can't run consistent deficits, so the new schools, roads and parks will be built after a wave of newcomers buys properties, locking in higher prices and higher tax base.

In case there are no such newcomers (i.e. everybody is maximizing their Prop 13 benefit by not selling), the municipality just sticks to the last year's budget with a 2% increase permitted by Prop 13. But in that case new schools, parks and roads that make the neighborhood better don't appear either.


> I'm arguing that richer neighborhoods DO have nicer schools, roads, and parks.

That's a really good reason to stop funding those things through property taxes.




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