In public debate, sometimes people don’t let facts or reason get in the way of arguments they want to press. This is the case in some of the comments left to a Wichita Eagle article about Proposition K, an effort to reform property tax appraisals in Kansas.
Here’s one example of a comment left in response to the article:
It’s like having 10 friends go out to eat 2 of them order the steak and lobster platter for $22 bucks each, 6 people order regular burger/fries plate for about $7 each and you and the remaining friend having only a cup of coffee for $1. All of a sudden, when the bill comes and it’s $88, the 2 that ordered steak and lobster say to you “oh well, why don’t we all just pay $8.80 to make it easier for everybody. Does that sound fair? But, hey…that’s what Republicans do…protect the rich.
The argument this author makes is misleading on several levels. First, Proposition K has nothing to do with existing property values, only the increase in the appraised values. This writer makes the argument that everyone is going to start with the same value, whether they have a “burger/fries” home or a “steak and lobster” home. This is false.
Second, in the story the author tells, the diners who ordered the expensive meals try to change the rules afterwards. But when purchasing a home, everyone knows that more expensive homes pay more taxes. There’s no secret, no trying to change this after everyone has made their menu choices, that is, purchased their homes.
So the arguments this author makes are disingenuous, to say the least.
Then, some writers may not be thinking the situation through:
I am totally against this proposition. My home is already appraised at 20% more than it’s [sic] value. They have raised the value of my home 30% over the past 3 years. Adding an automatic 2% increase every year would then raise the value of my home by 50% over market in just 10 more years. I make $10 per hour and if taxes go up any more I will have to TRY to sell my house just to get out from under the tax burden.
Proposition K, as this writer correctly notes, proposed a 2% increase in appraised value each year. This writer complains of a 10% increase in appraised value each year for three years running. Wouldn’t Proposition K have greatly helped this person, if it had been in effect for these years?
This article is misleading for the following reasons:
Proposition K benefits the wealty because values in wealthier neighborhoods increase more than those in poor neighborhoods. Therefore wealthy neighborhoods are valued less than they are worth and the poor are valued more than they are worth.
Secondly when there is a 2% increase every year it works like a compound interest rate loan. The 2% increase will be on the original 2010 value plus all of the increases thereafter. This makes it misleading to the public.
I do NOT support this because I think it is biase to the wealth and areas of the state that are seeing growth.
I would also like to see a study on how much of the tax burden has been placed on real estate in the timeframe they analyzed due to exemptions that were enacted.