Monday, January 19, 2009

Forgive me if this is a bit of a ramble, and forgive me if I sound a very shrieking Cassandra, but...

When I gingerly dipped my toe in the pool of housing management, I'd no idea I was embarking on a career in a growth industry. Actually, I didn't expect anything which might be deemed a career here, but so it seems to have turned out.

I have long suspected that property taxes were a disincentive by the powers that be for individuals to own land and the improvements (structures) thereon. If I purchase a piece of land, I have no problem with paying a one-time tax at the time of purchase for the transfer of title, etc. I recognize there is infrastructure provided by the city/county/state/utilities which make my land usable for whatever service I should require from roads to utilites. Why can I not pay for the particular services/repairs to my property on an as-needed basis? Rather, however, than have a tax on actual usage, these taxes are often bundled together in the form of annual tax on the property which are monolithically levied against all private property owners. If I fail to pay taxes on a property I legally own, the government can legally take it from me. In other words, by virtue of what they term taxes, I am permanently renting my land from a government which has the final say in its value, disposition and monies owed.

I am not saying that I will never again own property, but I will be paying annual taxes on same begrudgingly. Such arrangements make very long leases from private interests sound more appealing by the minute.

Come to that, as more and more residential properties revert to banks who hold the mortgages, and as more and more of these banks are owned by the federal government, I see in the road ahead a tipping point at which our government will become residential landlord to millions in fact. After all, people need to live somewhere, and houses left empty fall apart and lose their value more quickly than houses which are occupied. The compromise of renting out the millions of empty houses will be the only real option for the government to protect their "investment" in these structures, with the toothsome fringe benefit that the government will have even more purview over the people who live in those houses. Remember that a landlord has a fiduciary duty to protect the interests of the property owners they represent, and if you read your residential lease carefully, you will see that at any time, the landlord or property maintenance can legally enter your residence for any reason which may involve concern for proper mechanical or systems operation in your apartment/house. I'm not saying the powers that be would have their landlords and ladies misuse that right to enter a private residence, but I'm also saying that until the powers that be have an actual face, name and mailing address, I'm not going to ascribe to them the moral high ground when it comes to respecting the right to privacy of every American citizen. Call me cynical.

All the while I'm asking myself who are the powers that be I am also wondering how do they benefit from a mere lowly person like myself being financially compromised? Why do I have a staggering fraction of my paycheck confiscated and then I have to pay additional taxes from the change that's left over from the dollar I bloody well earned through my own sweat and ingenuity?

More rental houses mean more landlords and landladies. Considering the necessary degree of strict regulation (in other words, no real opportunities to manage and make decisions, coupled with the possible horrid potential for violaiting the rights of others), I'm guessing Landladies of the Electric variety need not apply. Not that an Electric Landlady would want the job.

Oh well. Time for a change, anyhoo.
Written by phlegmfatale
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
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