Who, exactly, IS paying?
I received a check in the mail today. A check from the government. For over $300! Oh, happy day! But then I looked at the letter explaining why I got this check. In totality, it said:
This year’s State Budget provides tax relief by reimbursing homeowners for the increase in their property taxes if their local government or school district stayed under the state’s 2 percent property tax cap. This check reimburses the growth in your school property taxes because your school district stayed under the state property tax cap.
Now, it is important to note that the 2 percent property tax cap isn’t really a 2 percent property tax cap. But for the purposes of this piece, that is really neither here nor there. My school district did something that triggered a refund for its taxpayers. Bully for me! But… where did this money come from? I get an extra three hundred bones… but that money didn’t appear out of thin air, did it? Someone had to pay for it, right? Hey… maybe even me! Via other taxes! Hmmm…
I offer this to the commentariat for their thoughts, particularly about the potential for the government to be playing a bit of a shell game with one of the most fungible resources on earth (MONEY!) and the incentives this plan may create for local school districts.
PS: I’m not sure how I feel about the letter being address to “Taxpayer”. On the one hand, I’m glad that the government recognizes that, hey, yea, I’m frickin’ paying for you a-holes! On the other, am I not a man? Is my wife not a woman? Do we not have names? Oh… wait… They wrote the check out to “Zazzy Maiden Name ALSO KNOW AS Married Name”… presumably some sort of clerical error. So, maybe “Taxpayer” is more accurate…