Here’s a funny thing. Your property taxes are set and collected by your local government. It uses those taxes to pay for schools, snow-plowing, and trash collection (and police officers’ overtime pay, HAHAHA).
Why the state feels it needs to butt in on it, I don’t know.
Governor Patrick Deval unveiled a plan Thursday to give lower-income homeowners the same type of property tax breaks available to some senior citizens, in an attempt to fulfill a key campaign pledge.
Under the new program, which would begin in January, an estimated 100,000 families and individuals would be eligible for a state tax credit of up to $860 a year. The average statewide property tax bill is $3,800 per household.
Single individuals earning up to $46,000 and married couples jointly earning up to $70,000 would qualify. The assessed value of their homes would have to be under $684,000. The credit would cover the amount by which a household’s property tax payment, including water and sewer charges, exceeds 10 percent of their income.
(Yes, I did the math, and no, I won’t qualify.)
I don’t like the idea. Every resident of the Commonwealth pays at the same tax rate on income. Messing with other taxes, especially those over which the Commonwealth has no control (!) is not fair and harmful and over-reaching in its scope.
I don’t get it, actually. I thought the now-Governor campaigned on the idea that the state was nickel-and-diming its constituents – not raising taxes but raising fees.
Wouldn’t a better solution to that problem be removing some of the fees it charges (rolling them back to pre-2002 levels, maybe?) and absorbing the cut in tax revenue, instead of kicking back cash to a set number of property owners?
This is a subtle (covert?) attempt to create a graduated income tax structure within the Commonwealth, but calling it something else.
(I’m a bit confused.)
Source: Patrick’s plan would give lower-income homeowners tax credits – By David Weber, Associated Press, by way of The Boston Globe