If you ever want to get the public blood boiling, start proposing tax increases… even better, property tax increases. That’s what the City of Edmond is doing.
This is a topic I could rant about for days, but I’ll try to keep it brief here. Apparently, the powers that be are proposing a tax hike for property owners in Edmond. It’s for a good cause no doubt. I mean, the city is in need of a new ‘Public Safety Center,’ which sounds to me like a new town hall basically. I certainly don’t argue the need for the facility, but how it gets paid for needs to be carefully evaluated.
As a busy Edmond Realtor®, I get to meet a LOT of home buyers, and I get resistance from many of them when I suggest they look at moving to Edmond. Guess what the biggest objections are. The one I get most is ‘TRAFFIC.’ Yes, the growth of our city has caused a pretty big traffic problem, however, the city is doing a great job of trying to catch up to the growth. Following at a very close second to traffic is ‘PROPERTY TAXES.’
“Again, though, we appreciate the city’s historically minimal and planned limited use of this funding mechanism.”
Limited use?? As it stands, we already have the highest property taxes in the metro, and now we want to talk about increasing them??? Here’s the question I have. Who benefits from the creation of this new public safety center? Property owners, YES. Are they the only ones though? What about the folks who don’t own property yet. Do they benefit?
If you want to raise money for a new public safety center, GREAT. But let’s be fair about it. All residents here, as well as the others who spend time in our city should be pitching in to help insure their safety and protection while they’re in Edmond. A sales tax would facilitate a great increase in revenue, without further extending the stretch that many have to make just to own property in Edmond.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I fully understand that one of the contributing factors to the great schools and great city that we enjoy is the high property taxes we’re accustomed to paying. I gladly accept that in trade, but there has to be a limit.
Caleb McCaleb made a great point in regard to this proposed tax hike:
“Here’s my biggest concern; it’s not one group wanting to add to the property tax but now Oklahoma County Commissioners are voting to buy the GM plant for Tinker Air Force Base”
At what point do these property taxes begin really limiting the appeal that our city has to potential future residents?
Let’s look at some numbers based on the figures used in the Edmond Sun article:
I pulled up the property tax record on a home in the Homestead addition, which is rated at a taxable market value of $234,000. This particular homeowner paid $2,691 in 2007 property taxes. Here’s how this proposal would affect a homeowner who own’s a median-priced home in Edmond:
Whether you agree or disagree with this tax or a sales tax, please share your opinion here, and pass this along to as many Edmond home owners as you can to help get the word out… This really needs to be scrutinized by ALL Edmond property owners!