Voters Punish Local Officials for Escalating Property Taxes

Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 03:59 PM

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Voters riled about property taxes across the country are starting to take it out on their local government officials. Homeowners are steamed because they are paying more in property taxes than before the recession, Bloomberg Businessweek reported Wednesday.

The Tax Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based research group that advocates lower taxes, estimates that 3.5 percent of household income went to property taxes in 2009. That number in 2005 was 2.9 percent.

The median property taxes paid on homes shot to $1,917 in 2009 from $1,614 in 2005.

Voters in Miami-Dade County ousted Mayor Carlos Alvarez by a nearly 9-1 margin in a recall election March 15 after he supported a property tax hike, pay raises to county employees and a new $600 million stadium partially paid for with public money. All that happened amid fast sinking property values.

Upset voters in other parts of the country are also resisting recent tax increases, albeit not with the same success as in Miami. In Jersey City, where homeowners have seen an 84 percent tax rate increase since 2005, a recall effort to get rid of Mayor Jerramiah Healy failed in February.

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