Portland suspends revaluation

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Anonymous
Portland suspends revaluation

Thanks for doing this MG. This is a great service to all Portland residents. I'd love to see the effects that this information would have on the Tax Cap vote. Portland has been bleeding us to death with increases since my wife and I bought our house years ago.

Anonymous
Portland suspends revaluation
Melvin Udall
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Hm.....the natives are restless; very restless. We're going to hit them with 12.5%; oops....maybe we shouldn't hit them with a reval too.....it might just change even more votes.There's some fine fiscal frugality for you folks....12.5%!!!!Mavadones and friends are living in a dream world![ 02-24-2004: Message edited by: Melvin Udall ]

Ray Richardson
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Nick is a good fella, but he ought to be listening to his cousin Howie a little more. :D

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

I do not know if this is the result of fear (the election is coming fast and a new and vast greed attack by the city might actually change some votes) of it it makes sense. There will be a giant change in tax law this year after the cap passes and the city may be wise to wait to see how it all plays out so they can figure how to grab the most money next year.For example...say they decide your $100K home which you are paying $2600 on is now a $200K home but they reduce the mill rate by 9 points so instead of paying $2600 you now get to pay $3400. If the cap passes, is it better to have the taxpayer pay the new $1000 10mil rate on his old value or the $2000 on the new revalued rate as compared to the political risk..Decisions decisions and political calculations. :D

MGReilly
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

I wonder how they will react if I ask for my new valuation under the freedom of information act.

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

MG: Make the request. They should give it to you if it has been calculated. It is possible that they have simply done the new listings and have not run the computer program to assign actual values to individual properties, but I doubt it.The people who really get screwed in this whole deal are business owners. Everyone admits that they are paying more than their share but they will continue to do so with this decision.

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

I can't stand it ... simply must comment!There's probably insufficient time before the election, but how about some sort of class action suit to force publication of the revaluation amounts.Hopefully their withholding of the revals will cause a huge backlash ... another cynical attempt to manipulate the taxpayer.

Melvin Udall
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

remember....they're all really good guys. Mavadones is the one who did the 1A TV ad, and stared right into the camera and promised property tax reduction.Funny, when I emailed him, he wouldn't reply.[ 02-24-2004: Message edited by: Melvin Udall ]

Steven Scharf
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

The tax assessor yesterday claimed the revaluation information is still the property of the consultant. I think a lawsuit by business may be in the works. Some of them stand to save far more than the cost of fighting it. They have also been bouyed by our victory on the ponzi scam.The decision to hold off was made before the workshop even started. The City of Portland has been making these decisions in back rooms. Interestingly, the person who has been driving this effort was on vacation for his first city council meeting after being elected.Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Average Joe
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

What's the big deal about valuations? As of November, the only valuation that will mean anything is that of 1997. And those are already public..

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

quote:Originally posted by Average Joe:
[b]What's the big deal about valuations? As of November, the only valuation that will mean anything is that of 1997. And those are already public.[/b]

That part of the referendum will never stand up in court. The Supreme Court, as recently as last week in the Portland case, has said that the Maine Constitution requires valuations to be based on just value -- which means market value.[ 02-24-2004: Message edited by: George ]

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Just value is a chimera. How many homes are valued at their real sell price as of today if sold? One can define just value in many ways. The idea is not to produce a real value for the home but to prevent towns from arbitraily assessing value. That said, I fully expect my government to try every stunt they can to keep from ever cutting my taxes in any manner. I just figure the chaos will be good for me and the state.

Average Joe
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Here's a quote from California's constitution. How did they get around it there?[i]CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 13 TAXATIONSEC. 1. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or the laws of the United States:
(a) All property is taxable and shall be assessed at the same percentage of fair market value. When a value standard other than fair market value is prescribed by this Constitution or by statute authorized by this Constitution, the same percentage shall be applied to determine the assessed value. The value to which the percentage is applied, whether it be the fair market value or not, shall be known for property tax purposes as the full value.
(b) All property so assessed shall be taxed in proportion to its full value.[/i]

Melvin Udall
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

At the moment, the Palesky thing is not a constitutional act.

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

They get around it by simply noting that the WHEN part of fair market value is not mentioned. In california, the fair market value is the actual market value when the property is bought or sold, a transaction that turns imaginary value into money. Then that value remains within the constraints of prop 13 until it changes hands again and becomes a transaction involving real money.It is why this proposition is so wildly popular with the people of California and is so hated by the political class there. The people are safe in their homes and the government must find another way to loot the citizens that does not endanger home ownership.

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

I thought you might find this interesting, especially the part on prop 13's popularity:[url=http://www.bobhuffassembly.com/article.htm]http://www.bobhuffassembly.co...PROP. 13: 25 YEARS LATER Taxpayers still like measure's protections By Joel Fox Twenty-five years ago, Proposition 13 saved many people from giving up or selling their homes because of out-of-control property taxation. On this point, there is little disagreement and on that fundamental level Proposition 13 must be scored a big success. The measure came along at the time of escalating home values which coupled with high tax rates saw property taxes increase 50 percent to 100 percent or more annually. Many Californians, especially those on fixed incomes, could not pay their taxes, yet governments, for the
most part, did little to adjust tax rates to reduce the tax burden. Proposition 13 capped tax rates at 1 percent and limited increases, thus becoming a life preserver to the taxpayers who were about to drown in a sea of increasing taxation. However, as the saying goes: "That was then and this is now." Has Proposition 13 withstood the test of time so that its taxpayer protections should remain in place? The argument over Proposition 13's viability comes on the occasion of the measure's 25th anniversary when state and local governments are struggling with severe revenue shortfalls. Over the years, standard procedure is to blame Proposition 13 for the ills that have befallen
California. Some of those charges have been heatedly debated, like Proposition 13's effect on public education. Many charges are patently absurd such as the column in a 1995 issue of the New Republic magazine charging that O.J. Simpson escaped a guilty verdict in his criminal
trial because Proposition 13 reduced funds to law enforcement, resulting in a weak case presented against the former football star. Still, Proposition 13 has been accused of helping to create the gargantuan state deficit, holding down education, turning local government authority over to the state government, and being
undemocratic by requiring a two-thirds vote to raise taxes. Let's look at these issues one at a time. DEFICIT: If Proposition 13 caused the $38 billion state deficit 25 years after the tax cutting measure passed, it also must get credit for the billions of dollars of surplus a few years ago, but no one ever made that connection. To argue that the current deficit was caused by Proposition 13 is absurd. In fact, Proposition 13 did not stop increases in government revenue. All governments, state and local, have more money in constant dollars today than they had before Proposition 13 passed. The difference today is that government has expanded greatly. Government has more programs
than 25 years ago and pays its employees with relatively higher wages, more benefits and generous pensions. Increased spending has gotten California into trouble, not Proposition 13's restrictions. EQUITY: A constant complaint about Proposition 13 is that it treats similar properties differently depending upon when they were purchased. Under Proposition 13 all properties are taxed at a 1
percent tax rate, but the rate is applied to the market value when the property was purchased. Therefore, similar homes may pay different taxes because a recently purchased home pays more than one in which the owner has lived for a long time. In accepting Proposition 13's tax system, the voters opted for certainty in their taxes. Under the Proposition 13 system, taxpayers know what their property taxes will be when they purchase a property and can budget for their property taxes year in and year out. Prior to Proposition 13, neighborhood property taxes were adjusted upward when another home was purchased in the neighborhood for more money. If it were not for Proposition, 13, imagine what would have happened to long-time residents in the Silicon Valley a couple of years ago when a high-tech entrepreneur purchased a garage refurbished as a home for a million dollars. Taxes on neighboring homes, even modest ones, would have shot through the roof. To a lesser degree, this phenomenon is occurring in all California neighborhoods in an inflated real estate market. SCHOOLS: Proposition 13 did not change the ways schools would be financed. The Serrano v. Priest decision by the California Supreme Court prior to Proposition 13 said that it was unfair to base school funding heavily on property taxes because richer communities could afford to spend much more on education. The Serrano decision forced the state to get heavily involved in school financing. Additionally, more money is spent per capita on students in constant dollars today
than was spent prior to Proposition 13. LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Proposition 13 clearly states that the property tax shall remain in the counties and be distributed "according to law." The Legislature makes the laws and it has not made many good ones when it comes to overseeing local tax money. However, Proposition 13 does not have to be changed to give more control to local governments. Allocation formulas and other state mandates can be changed -- and should be changed -- statutorily to fix the state-local relationships without jeopardizing the taxpayer protections of Proposition 13. SUPERMAJORITY VOTE: Proposition 13 required a two-thirds vote for the Legislature to increase a tax and also a two-thirds vote by the people for local taxes dedicated for a special purpose. A supermajority vote has historical precedence to assure consensus on important matters. The two-thirds vote appears ten times in the United States Constitution for such things as approving a treaty or convicting an impeached official. The state constitution has had a provision
requiring a two-thirds vote of the people to raise property taxes to back local bonds since 1879. There is no more important matter than taking property in the form of taxation from the people and such an action deserves a two-thirds vote standard. Despite all the attacks against Proposition 13, it is still supported by the voters in polls by the same two-to-one margin it passed by in 1978. This is remarkable since many of those polled either did not live in California 25 years ago or were too young to remember the dire
consequences caused by an oppressive property tax system. However, the great majority of people understand that California governments receive ample money and that Proposition 13 is a taxpayer protection that will prevent more raids on their pocketbooks. The people have no plans to give that protection away. Joel Fox is past president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and a public affairs consultant. His recent book "The Legend of Proposition 13" is available at [url=http://www.HJTA.org/orderbook.htm.]http://www.HJTA.org/orderbook.htm.[/url]The original URL of this article is:
[url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/sun/opinion/news_mz1ed22fox... # # #

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

quote:Originally posted by George:
[b]The people who really get screwed in this whole deal are business owners. Everyone admits that they are paying more than their share but they will continue to do so with this decision.[/b]

PPH ARTICLE QUOTE: The revaluation - Portland's first in more than a decade - is expected to increase the overall tax burden for homeowners by about 12.5 percent, and the overall tax burden for commercial property owners is expected to decrease by about 8.8 percent.

EJ
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

DO NOT Forget this year IS a presidential election. That means more people at the polls to un-elect city councilors.EJ

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Woosta: My point was business owners get screwed by the delay.As for California's constitution -- it is not relevant to Maine. There is case law going back to shortly after Maine became a state that defines just value as market value. There is little question that that one part of the Palesky referendum won't stand up in court, but the 1% cap will.

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

I'll take what I can get George. You know as well as I that Augusta will do nothing to cut taxes period. ;)

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Take out the valuation freeze and the referendum is much less objectionable to me. I see no justification for different rates of taxation based on when someone bought their home. I seem to remember someone suggesting 1.5% cap here once. I could go for something like that.

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Then you would have greedy cities revaluing every other year to get every last dollar, a death of a thousand cuts only more slowly.No, lock the value what it was when real money was exchanged and not what some greedy government official wants it to be. :D

MGReilly
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Steve Scharf, did the city pay the consultant yet? It would seem to me that once the city pays the consultant the information should be available to the public that wants it. I called the asessors office today to request the information and was told that they "don't have the numbers yet". Notices were supposed to go out at the end of the month (which is fast approaching) so I find that hard to believe. I was told to call back in a week or so and they may have the numbers by then. Something just doesn't add up here....

Steven Scharf
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Yes, no consultant in their right mind would work without being paid monthly (generally in advnace). No checky, no woorky -- sort like union thugs. The agreement may or may not contain a clause that the information is the consultants until it is turned over to the city at a set point. I am guessing that clause does not exist. A FOIA to obtain the contracts would be the best place to start.A FOIA to obtain the valuations will probably end you up in court.Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

MGReilly
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Thanks for the info Steve. I haven't been keeping tabs on the council as much as I used to. I think that it is time to go "ruffle some feathers" at city hall.

James
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Let us know hpow you fare Mark. I suspect they are hoping to hide the vast tax increase in the chaos of the tax cap and then blame their greed on others. :(

MGReilly
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Well, I had an interesting trip to city hall today. I took a look at the contract between the city and the Cole-Layer-Trumble Company. It seems that some provisions of the contract are not being adhered to. According to the contract, the following was supposed to take place.1. Completion of field review by 23 Jan 042. Assessment notices addressed and prepared by 13 Feb 04.3. Informal hearings to begin not later than 16 Feb 044. Property records corrected, finalized and turned over by 30 Apr 04.If I read correctly, the city should have some preliminary numbers available for the public to get an initial idea of what to expect next year. When I asked about the delay in the dates stipulated in the contract, no one could seem to answer about that. The assesor was out of the office and I was told that the city attorney might be able to answer my questions. He came out of his office long enough to tell me (in a fairly loud voice) that he "didn't have time to deal with that now" and stormed back into his office. I have requested a meeting with him and was told that would happen "maybe by the end of next week".
It is also interesting to note that Cole-Layer-Trumble is supposed to submit to the assessor monthly a status report as well as a report of work completed which is to be reviewed by the assessor. When I asked to see copies of those reports, I was told that only Mr Blackburn knew where they were and he was out of the office. I then requested to schedule a meeting with him also. I will post more info when I get it.

MGReilly
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

Well, I am still trying to get the information on the preliminary revaluation numbers. I submitted a written request this morning. A copy of that letter also went to the city manager and the city attorney. Somehow I have a feeling the only way to get the numbers will be through court action.

Anonymous
Re: Portland suspends revaluation

MG: It might help if you got the press involved. Try talking to the reporter that has covered the revaluation for the Press Herald, I would think they would be interested in the city's stonewalling.

MGReilly
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Re: Portland suspends revaluation

I expect to recieve a written response to my FOIA request within the next couple of days. Based on my conversation with the city attorney today, I would venture to say that the city and I are on different schedules about when to expect release of the information concerning the revaluation.

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