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Letters to the editor, December 8

Slay the dragon

Have you received your yearly escalating property tax yet? Shocked?

If you are a mom-and-pop investor making a living from rental property, consider this:

1. If you do not live in the city where your property is located, then most likely you suffer taxation without representation. Your county appraisal district sets the value of your property on which the city tax is based.

2. Your tax is arbitrary and subjective; your property is compared to dissimilar properties using formulae to which you do not have access.

3. If you contest your appraised value before the appraisal review board, the paid appointees of the appraisal district then judge you. The inmates are running the asylum.

Take the amount you spend on property tax as a percentage of your taxable income (line 43, Form 1040). Mine came out to 59.7 percent for 2011.

The only fair tax is a sales tax or a state income tax, graduated if you are into class warfare. No loss of jobs at the appraisal district — those people could become auditors for the new tax system. The property tax is archaic and a holdover from the feudal system.

Landlords, let us unite to slay this ancient dragon.

John Thorngren,
Shady Shores