Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - November 26, 2007

Tax relief credit offset by other taxes

Recently, The Herald ran a story that stated property taxes did not decrease as much as homeowners expected with the new "tax relief" in place. While the observation is absolutely correct -- they did not -- the reason seems to be omitted.

Last year, before the "relief," my house tax was just over $1,200. This year, my tax bill has a new line added that states "gross taxes," which is the amount the tax would have been before the new tax "credit" is applied. This amount was almost $1,800!

There is a "tax relief credit." However, with the huge increase in other taxes, the total bill is not much less than before. I called the county to inquire why the "gross tax" was so much higher than before. The explanation was "the millage rate increased." It was not because the house is suddenly worth more. The only conclusion one can reach is that the county slipped a large increase in, hoping nobody would notice since we have a school tax credit added this year. The end result is, we got a large increase in county property taxes to offset the school tax credit, along with another increase in the sales tax.

Twenty years ago, the tax bill on my house was just over $100. This year, the "gross tax" is almost $1,800. The math is simple: almost 18 times more than 20 years ago. However, the value of the house has not gone from $75,000 to $1,350,000, nor has my paycheck gone from $1,000 to $18,000 per month. Taxes at all levels have risen at a disproportionate rate compared to the average taxpayer's income. The only thing worse, I suppose, is the cost of heath insurance (that was $9 per month 20 years ago, now it is almost $300). Another writer recently stated tax amounts are so ridiculous, it was time for another Boston Tea Party. Count me in.

Bob Knight

Rock Hill