Property Taxes and Communism

From each according to his ability (means), to each according to his need (or needs) (wants) is a slogan that Karl Marx made popular in his writing Critique of the Gotha program, published in 1875.

So, exactly how do ad valorem (according to value) property taxes differ from the intent of the slogan above.  The answer is very little.  Most private property owners who have more means have nurtured their abilities and therefore have more but are punished by having their means confiscated by the state to be redistributed by others to others.  The city of Cedar Hill is a good example of a redistributor of others’ wealth to others for the benefit of sometimes unknown others.

And you should ask doubters just exactly how ad valorem property taxes are not defensible unless one uses the rationale Karl Marx used.

The reason property tax rates should be as low as possible is to minimize the effects of the communistic style system.  However, the city of Cedar Hill has them as high as the rollback rate and subsequent triggering of taxpayer approval will allow.  See Rollback Rate menu item.  When appraisals are going up the city of Cedar Hill is accumulating more revenue.

Instead of lowering the tax rate, it is held constant just below the rollback rate threshold, and the revenues are redistributed to others.  Do you as a private property owner taxpayer ever see anything tangible for your taxes?  Some do. The city of Cedar Hill employees do.  See the City Financials menu item.  As a matter of fact, one of the top city staff has a total compensation that, per capita, is 2.6 times that of a neighboring, much larger city.  It is likely most city staff are remunerated somewhat similarly.  And then there are the puff balls that seem to be the fall persons for higher ranking staff.

The table in the city budget on page 22 of (also shown in the City Financials menu item)  shows the city revenues increased by 7.11% in fiscal year 2017 because the net taxable values increased.  Obviously there is no correlation between taxable values and city needs so the city has to find places to spend the revenue.   A novel idea would be to reduce taxes by 7.11% but the city is not into novel ideas of this type.