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U.S. Land Survey The federal government passed the Ordinance of 1785 which established the Township and Range Survey, which was applied from central Ohio.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Land Survey The federal government passed the Ordinance of 1785 which established the Township and Range Survey, which was applied from central Ohio."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Land Survey The federal government passed the Ordinance of 1785 which established the Township and Range Survey, which was applied from central Ohio to the Pacific Ocean. Section 640 acres Township 36 sections

2 U.S. Land Survey Platbooks are issued by private companies periodically for most counties in the USA. Each page covers frequently one township or parts thereof, showing the survey system, transportation routes, and property owners. Sections are numbered and each property owner is identified by name, acres, shape, and location.

3 Land as private property Aspects of property Label/name/sourcePublic or private office 1) Land surveyProperty descriptionsurveyor 2) Property parcelsplatbookNone (buy or in libraries) 3) Legal description Abstract of title deeds None (kept by owner or bank) Register of deeds, county courthouse 4) Monetary value for public revenue Assessment recordsAssessor’s office, city hall, townships 5) Monetary value for selling Appraisal; Mortgage; land contract Appraisers; realtors; Banks, owners 6) Occupation of occupant City directoriesPrivate company 7) Physical characteristics Assessment record; Sanborn fire insurance atlases Assessor’s office; libraries 8) Property tax problems Education, public services, fairness

4 Information about Houses Example: 1313 Main Street – show the kinds of documents available for a single property The value of houses affects the amount of revenue that is potentially available for local units of governments. Examine house prices in the Eau Claire metro area (2007) house prices

5 Units of Governments Five Levels of Property Tax Jurisdictions 1 state government 17vocational, technical, and adult education districts (VTAED) 72county governments 444elementary and secondary school districts (ESSD) 1,839municipal governments: 1,270 towns(hips), 383 villages, 186 cities township village city township school district Local units of government: county

6 Assessment of Private Properties City of Eau Claire taxes levied: Eau Claire Free Property Search In contrast, California’s law limits property taxes to 1 percent of assessed value, with taxable value rising by no more than 2 percent until properties are sold or new construction occurs. Wisconsin's law requires assessments to be between minus to plus 10 percent of market value.

7 Property Tax Bill

8 City of Eau Claire Property Tax Distribution

9 What is your house worth?

10 Township assessment issues TAD = tax administrative district ESSD = elementary & secondary school district

11 Forms of Taxes Compared In 40 of 50 states the poorest 20% of the population pays the largest portion of their income in sales, property, and federal income taxes. Taxes are regressive or progressive relative to personal incomes. How defined? Classify the taxes listed above – click for the answers.  regressive progressive 

12 Preferences for Taxes Compared From a survey conducted by Wisconsin State Senator Rod Moen: Which tax do you consider the most burdensome? 31% federal income tax 6% state income tax 8% state sales tax 34% local property tax 5% social security tax 10% gasoline tax As an aside, what are social federal programs? 1.mortgage-interest deduction recipients, only 40 percent think so! 2.Federal student-loan recipients, only 47 percent think so! 3.Food stamp recipients, 75 percent think so.

13 Taxes by Level of Government TaxFederalStateLocal income sales property Type of TaxFederalState & Local personal42.9%12.5% corporate9.4%3.1% sales4.6%22.3% property0.0%18.5% Other (e.g., gas)43.1%43.6% total100%

14 Property Taxes & Exemptions Local budget = quantity and cost of public services, e.g., police, fire, library, parks, etc. Mill rate = local budget divided by total assessed value for a unit of government, e.g., city or township or school district Assessed value = + or – 10% of “fair market value” once every 5 years (100% assessment) Property tax = assessed value multiplied by mill rate Property Tax Exemptions Public buildings (e.g., city hall) and land uses (owned by city, county, township, state, and federal governments) Private land owners, not-for-profits, e.g., churches, VFWs, private colleges, hospitals In Wisconsin, these kinds of properties are not even assessed. In Illinois, they are assessed but not taxed.

15 Eau Claire Assessment Assignment examine the Assessment AssignmentAssessment Assignment What problems are generated by inequality in assessments for taxpayers? Variation in assessment levels create unequal and therefore unfair property taxes for property owners within the same taxing jurisdiction. For example: if two adjacent houses with identical market values of $60,000 were assessed at different levels of their full value, say ten percent and thirty percent, one house would have an assessed value of $6,000 and the other of $18,000. Under a tax rate of 6.0 percent ($6 per $100 assessed valuation) the first homeowner would have a tax bill of $360, while the second would pay $1,080, even though their houses have the same market value.

16 Property Taxes and School Budgets percent of property taxes are used to support schools percent of school budgets come from property taxes; the rest comes from state and federal governments as a “regular” formulae and/or as grants. Property Tax Problems 1) The largest amounts of tax money (federal and state income) are not captured by local units of government. [As an aside, U.S. corporate taxes dropped from 45 to 7 percent from Consequences: less federal and state money can be shared with local governments; thus, smaller local budges and fewer services or higher property taxes for private property owners (largely residential) for the same services. 2) StateRichest districtPoorest district VA$8,000/student$4,000/student KY$4,000/student$1,700/student IL$12,000/student$2,100/student WI$12,000/student$4,000/student

17 Property Taxes and School Budgets rich school district poor school district Average Family income: $80,000 Property taxes: $2,200 [more $ spent per student] Percent of income: 2.6% Average Family income: $15,000 Property taxes: $800 [less $ spend per student] Percent of income: 5.3% Solutions: 1.equal school funding per student 2.add supplemental funding: local sales taxes; state lotteries 3.replacement or augment property sources: state income taxes Is school financing constitutional? Highest state courts in 10 states ruled that it is unconstitutional. In another 12 states, including WI, courts upheld the challenge to current school financing. In 20 states, school financing is being challenged in court. Minnesota Wisconsin

18 Property Taxes and School Budgets New York City Schools Map: participation rates of students in the free lunch program by school districts. Would maps of family income, employment, occupation, etc. show similar patterns? Where are the greatest economic and social hardships or relative poverty?

19 Property Taxes and School Budgets Over one decade, from to , all school districts increased their revenues for students as the economy and the property tax base grew. But what was the rate of increase by district?

20 Property Taxes and School Budgets But from the consumer index (inflation) increased significantly. Three of the poorest school districts (Group 3) in effect suffered a net decrease in funds while the wealthiest districts (Group 1) had a small but real increase. About 100 times more students were in Group 3 school districts which had reduced funds. The property-based revenue system appears fair but in fact perpetuates poverty among the poorest population.

21 Property Taxes and School Budgets Is racial bias reflected in unequal school funding? The table shows that students in Group 3 schools are much more likely to be African- and Hispanic-American; those in Group 1 are suburban schools with more Whites

22 Property Taxes and School Budgets What are consequences of unequal school funding by school district? The higher the median teacher salary, 1) the higher the percent of permanent status; 2) lower pupil-teacher ratios; 3) higher graduates to higher education; and vice versa

23 Eau Claire Assessment Assignment Social Justice and Inequality “Justice is concerned with the fair distribution of benefits and costs in society.” But what is “fair”? Who decides? Solutions 1)Radicals, such as John Rawls, suggest that the lives of the least well-off should be improved first. 2)Conservatives, such as Brain Berry, assume that policies that assure that more resources go to the least well-off are inefficient. Funding should represent the greatest good for the greatest number. But is this illustrated by the New York City school funding? Does such inequality of assessment occur in Eau Claire? Go to the web for instructions on the Eau Claire assessment project.web


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