Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Laundry Room Sky High Taxes

An email:

"I just got off the phone with the appriasers office. You will not believe this.

The reason my taxes have almost doubled is that they have added the hot tub and wooden deck to the house. (And saying we added it in 2005.) However, they were added by the previous owner about 15 years ago. The hot tub is inoperable and the deck is so rotted, it is unsafe to walk. They also said that last year, they think they forgot to add the /laundry room as sqaure footage. So if you add 264 square feet of space, plus a rotted deck with a broken hot tub, you property can jump up $100,000 in value. They appraised the deck and hot tub at $11,000. So I guess they are figuring the laundry room is $321.97 per square foot.

Last year, they came out when the addition was added and my taxes doubled. I can agree with that as we did add on. This year, they have almost doubled because they didn't add the laundry room last year. If that small square footage would have been added last year, there may have been a slight difference and only 3% this year. "

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you want to know what I am paying a huge tax bill on?
My dog house.
Thats right.
That is taxable folks.
My dog house is being taxed.

Bloggerwife said...

Well, darn, we were getting ready to buy a doghouse. What kind of doghouse do you have? Is it two story? Bungalow style? If I buy a plastic one will that count? Maybe I can hide ours in a corner.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you what the problem is, for so long, they county has turned a blind eye to Seminole Heights with all of the run down crap houses that we once had. Now they have noticed that there are many nice houses down here so they are trying to play catch up. They are creating loop holes that benefit them to try to get peoples taxes back in check. And, with our current state laws, it is totally legal. While not ethical, legal! In this case, there is no way they can come back and try to charge full market value for a inoperable hot tub and rotted deck. They are grasping at straws to get more money from this property owner. However, they will be able to get some money for the extra square footage. It is unfortunate, but they have us Floridians and more importantly us Seminole Heights residents over a barrel. It is almost to the point that you want to have a crap hole of a house on the exterior to keep the tax collectors away.

Anonymous said...

Well, pick up today's paper and you will find out why you have a $100,000 laundry room and rotted hot tub. They are so freakin' hell bent on building a new museum that it will cost us Billions of dollars. We have a Museum of Art in Tampa currently. However, they want to move it to make way for another park that will cost us a few Billion dollars on top of the museum price tag. So in order for the Mayor to get these, we must raise taxes in a secretive way. I called the Museum and asked why they were relocating...Did you out grow the space, is there something wrong with the building. No, it is fine, they have other plans for our land. (Riverwalk?)

When we as private citizens can't afford to purchase something, we do with out. It took many years to teach our children this same lesson. However, we have a local government that can't seem to get it that we are all about to start losing our homes if they can't control spending. For many years, our city leaders have had no spine. When the Cancer Survivor park went over budget, they should have pulled the plug and walked away. Instead Iorio finished, way over budget, a park that is too frightening to use. Why did they not have a park called Memorial Park that encompasses all memorials. Build a inexpensive monument for each cause. The city does not have the money or the resources it takes to keep these parks up.

Tampa can no longer afford the current administration and her outlandish shopping sprees at our expense. If she wants to demolish a perfectly good building that does not have a good view of the water or interrupts her dream of a continous riverwalk, let her finance the construction with the new pay increase she will be getting. She has proven adequate in some areas, however, has also proven that she is in the same "Good ole boys" club worshipping the developers that want to capitalize on Tampa's resources at tax payers expense.

Anonymous said...

My doghouse is a one story, pretty big style with a tar paper roof.
The color is painted to go with my house.
I couldn't find out why I was being charged for a doghouse so I called.
They left it on my bill but reduced my taxable value on my house?
But, I am still paying for a doghouse.
My advice to you is to put it somewhere where it is not that noticable.
Not right up near the fence or anywhere right next to the road.
I am not sure how this is legal but it is.
All dogs deserve to live in a tax free doghouse.
If you dont check your tax bill regularly, you will find strange stuff on there.
You can always fight an appraisal.

Anonymous said...

Yep, you can appeal, but that will cost you another $15. What is up with everything for a fee against the consumer. If you pay your bills online, you get charged a "convenience" fee. However, if you allow them to stop sending paper bills and accept electronic invoices or statements, they don't pay you a convenience fee. Where's the logic. I understand they are in the business of making money, but they must also understand we are in the business of saving money!

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting poing with regards to taxes. All studies show that Real Estate is flat and homes are leveling off. Does this mean, we will see a drop in our assessed value next year? How with the Tax Collectors deal with this situation? Does this mean we will see in increase in the mileage rate. Our leaders are quick to say "we have not raised taxes" knowing that they will see an increase in the tax base through higher property values. If this levels off, they will have to raise the rate to keep up with their spending habits.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:55...If you really did read the newspapers, you would know that Pam Iorio is the one who pulled the plug on spending for the new museum. The strictly limited the City's spending on the project and stood firm to be sure that the taxpayers did not end up with any "cost overrunns". As for as the importance of the new museum and the Riverwalk....I have a totally opposite oppinion. Our City's economic future depends on our investment today in major infrastructure projects like the museum and the Riverwalk. There are at least 100 cities across the country that are competing for companies to relocate to their areas in order to create jobs to employ their residents. It is imparative that we have progressive politicians in office who have vision and understand this need. Also.....our property tax dollars will not go to the museum project.

YesterDazed said...

I too had a shock when I saw my tax bill. I called in and got the same sort of thing. They poked into my privacy fenced yard...I had a carpenter working on my kitchen and he left the gate open...tax assessor waltzed right in and started taking notes while I was out.

Well, I was assessed $3,500 on 2 utility sheds (more than they cost!)and $8,000 on central a/c, which had been here awhile. I'm not sure what criteria they use to justify these numbers, but there doesn't seem to be any room for depreciation...as would be the case in the 'real world'!

Somehow with this added to the 3% uppage from last years assessment I ended up with $23,000 added to my taxable value.

All they could tell me was to get a market appraisal, if I think the assesment too high, and then file to dispute it.

Sheesh!

So much for peaceful enjoyment of the home we are fixing up! We fix it up and then may not be able to afford to stay!!

Lock your fences....get a big guard dog....do whatever you can to keep them from snooping, I guess.

Anonymous said...

We were assessed around $2,000 this year for a fireplace that was built in 1925, along with the house. They are 80 years behind the times and this scheme appears to be an attempt to subvert the "Save Our Homes" law.

Anonymous said...

It is very frustrating. Last year, the sent an inspector out to measure the home. Now they are saying he miss square footage. As I disputed, they now want to come in and walk through my home. I am not about to let him in! You can get perfect measurements from outside. I am disgusted. Mine are going up so much I am afraid my family will be packing up and selling. We discussed this tonight, that if we sell, take our small profit, after taxes of course, and rent, it will be much cheaper. You figure our house is almost $2000 per month. We can rent an extremaly nice house for much less than that. Granted we won't get the "tax breaks" if there is such a thing, but will be much less. I am at my wits end. Now they are telling us we need flood insurance on top of the insurance we have otherwise it will not be covered in the event of a storm surge. I can't take it any more.

Anonymous said...

Is the Tax Collector an elected position, Rob Turner's?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:42, while I agree it is important. I also agree you don't cripple your city for what you hope will come. I would love to drive a Mercedes, but I know I can't afford it. I know it is safer than my current car, but I can't afford it. This city has more unfit and unfinished parks than any other city. For us to spend $100 million dollars to complete a park that most of us will not use, is absurd. And to uproot the museum so that we can add more green space is unacceptable. The total project will cost over $200 million dollars, meanwhile many of us lose our homes, our nesteggs, etc. I can't see the positive in this situation. While the luxuries would be nice, WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY!

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Atlanta, the same thing happened. (It may be much worse here.) Gays, Urban pioneers and middle class people moved into neighborhoods that the city found impossible to clean through their code efforts. Most moved in as it was the only thing they could afford. Once they started organizing, cleaning and rehabing, the city woke up and came in and started raising taxes at enormous rates. Most were forced to leave as the wealthy came in to claim the homes of their hard work. There has got to be a way to fight these crazy claims they are making on old, missed or inaccurate inspections. It may be different if all of the city services were getting better, but everything that happens in this neighborhood that is positive, is created, driven and accomplished with little or no help from the city.

Rick F. said...

The bottom line is they are suppose deal equitably. That doesn't happen. For instance, I have found properties that sold at the same time Dimas and I bought our dump...some were assessed as low as 60% of purchase price on up. The assessed our barely habitable dump at 97% of purchase price. Question the disparity and they will ask you "so your house wasn't worth what you paid?" or You can get an independent appraisal...that is like saying gee let me shoot myself in the foot.

So they went up last year $1,200 and this year after the addition they are going up another $1,000.

During the time we were in Pensylvania we bought a house just outside Philly (4/2 with full basement and covered porch). Our Borough taxes were about $950 (which included sewer and garbage and snow removal). Our new trim notice has the chunk going to Tampa at $745 Add the wastewater and solid waste fees for a year and we are paying $300 more than we paid in the "high tax north". The sam goes for the county portion of the tax bill. On top of that the City and County are proposing budget changes to take it even higher.

The only savings is the school taxes are about $1,600 less here.

Rob Turner is an elected official.

Maybe the hearings on the taxes and budgets should be packed...the various hearing dates and times are on your TRIM notices.

Anonymous said...

Damn anon 11:12 which one of our "mansions" do you live in? $2000 in mortgage, insurance and taxes? Thinking there are only a couple of houses that might chaulk up this high a payment. Glad Ilive in my "little" bungalow,,,,,,,,$2000 is more like what I make, not what I spend!

Anonymous said...

I have a 1200 sq ft bungalow i bought for 40k 8 yrs ago as a rental property. Taxes have gone up to 3600.00 a year. Thats 300.00 per month in property taxes. This is why rentals are over 1000.00 a month.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:35 $2000 is about right now days. You figure homes have been selling for $200-$300K, with insurance and taxes, many are probably well over the $2k mark.

BunglesLow said...

Could always try to get your doggie ordained and argue he lives outside in his lil church. Put a dogbone cross on it and it should be fine, opps ... or would that be considered a code violation since you're a single family home? Maybe you could live in the doggie house and let the new canine-inister claim the house as his parish? Hope is doesn't close down any liquor stores tho!

Anonymous said...

I thought with the Homestead Exemption, your property taxes could not be raised more than 3% per year.

So let's say the county assessed my house at $190,000 after I moved in.

The next year, the assessment can only go up 3%, or $5,700, and so on the next year and the next year...

Is that not true?

Anonymous said...

Take a look at you new assessed Land Value. In our neighborhood, our 50X106 lots have jumped in assessed value from $23,500 last year to $37,600 this year. That is an increase of $14,100 per lot, a 60% increase in the land value.

SH Resident said...

We have 2 lots, one on which our house is homesteaded and the other an empty lot within our fence. Assessed value on our empty lot went from $87,550 to $128,750....Tax from $2114 to $3040 ...WOW!

Anonymous said...

My property taxable value was $32,000 last year and is estimated to jump to around $107,000 for 2006. That's just CRAZY!! I might be forced to sell my home, make what profit I can and leave Tampa all together because honestly there is nowhere else in the area that I can afford to buy something comparable to what I own in Seminole Heights right now. Who wants to throw money away in rent or buy a "condo" that 2 months ago was being leased as a 1 bedroom apartment?? Constant fear of skyrocketing homeowner's insurance and now the addition potentially of having to add flood insurance that may or may not help me will really force me to put up the for sale sign.

Anonymous said...

SH resident-
You can combine thise properties for tax purposes only and save yourself a heck of a lot of money.
Youwill only get one tax bill and it will do away with the second tax bill altogether.
Fill out the form on the property appraisers website to do it and turn it in.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the homestead exemption cap property tax increases by 3 percent per year?

So Anonymous 1:31 pm, go apply for a homestead exemption.

Anonymous said...

HOMESTEAD AND OTHER EXEMPTIONS

The state constitution of Florida allows up to $25,000 to be deducted from the assessed value of a primary residence...This important benefit limits the increase in the assessed value to no more than 3% or the CPI (Consumer Price Index), whichever is less.

Anonymous said...

I already have the $25,000 homstead exemption. I just saw a story on News Channel 8 saying the 3% cap is only good for the first year of ownership. Maybe I misunderstood. I'm still confused...

Anonymous said...

The 3% cap is NOT just good for the first year. It is good for EVERY YEAR.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the confusion, I suspect, comes from people who recently purchased their homes. If the taxable value was $32,000 when you bought it, that is what you will pay for your first year of ownership depending on which time of the year you closed. After that your property gets reassessed at the current market value. Many people are being told by sellers that they will only pay $700-$800 in taxes, this is simply not true. The three percent cap is only valid if you retain ownership of the property and you don't make any improvements to substantially increase it's value (like building a dog house).

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon 12:26am! Basically everything in your post is what I think has happened. I closed the end of July last year although I haven't really made any substantial improvements to the property to justify such an increase. Not being from FL the idea of the homestead exemption has never made much sense to me. I still may be forced to leave. The fact that the economy is quickly going to hell is hurting all of us who are just trying to make an honest living and live a simple life.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the economy is going to hell... Thanks Mr Bush.

Startarevolution said...

We should throw the tea in the bay!

AngelSil said...

anon 6:35..

A $2,000 mortgage payment is really, really easy to get to with homeowner's insurance thrown in. You don't need to live in a mansion.

Anonymous said...

I think the economy is great! How else could we be paying 3.00 a gallon for gas!
Of course I remember the carter, regean, bush sr, clinton and now bush economies. When the economy looks bad change your personel economy. Don't listen to the media or rely on the government, you can change you own economy!

Anonymous said...

you continue to bitch about increased property taxes and then complain about things like the lack of sound barrier walls along the interstate. taxes pay for infrastructure. dont like it, move to another state.

Anonymous said...

I guess that is why many are frustrated. We are paying ridiculous amounts and seeing nothing in return. Instead of a sound barrier wall, or improved streets, more code officers etc. We are instead seeing expanded Riverwalk, New art museum plans, New development in channelside, unused crosswalks on bayshore and this list goes on. I don't mind paying a reasonable amount more, but don't increase my mortgage by $100 a month every year and have nothing in return. How many years has our park been under construction, our road slated for resurfacing. (Don't even get me started on reclaimed water!)