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Home Ownership is a Myth!

November 23rd, 2009 at 08:22 pm

I'll never forget these words from my Political Science professor when I was in college. He was a passionate teacher and kept us debating his often radical points-of-view about the American government and politics in general. Of course, this was back in the 70s and it was a radical time.

My poli-sci professor argued that we could never really own property in the USA, and in fact, home ownership was a myth. "You don't own your house... the bank and the government own your house," he would say provoking a debate. He maintained that even if our home was paid for, we would always continue RENT our property from the government and the rent is called "property taxes." "Just stop paying your taxes to see how long you will stay in your house," he asserted. Yeah, I think he was on to something here.

I got my ID property tax bill today expecting a reduction in my taxes. After all, our property value dropped almost 13% last year. But guess what? The local government raised the levy... the tax rate used to calculate taxes... so my taxes actually stayed the same. Well, maybe not exactly the same... they're ~$12 less. So yes, when you read in the local paper that taxes went down, it's technically true. And yes, I guess your landlord has the power to raise your rent, especially when you have no lease.

3 Responses to “Home Ownership is a Myth!”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hehe, you know this subject has crossed my mind before. And... I'd have to say that I agree with your provocative teacher.

    However... you CAN own the peace of mind, and you can own the "leased" property's worth. For all practical purposes, that to me is good enough.

  2. PrincessPerky Says:

    I have to agree, you never really own it, if the govt can take it away for not paying them rent (err taxes)

    But I am too lazy to revolt. so we pay up.

  3. milehighgal Says:

    My home value keeps going up according to the tax appraiser even though I know based on recent sales that's not true. I wish there was an easy was to dispute the home values they assign, I think I would be more apt to do it rather than sigh and write a check.

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