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Thread: Living outside Chicago -the Sanctuary city ......people leaving means higher taxes...

  1. #41
    Senior Member sylvia's Avatar
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    Not expecting zero sales tax but you get jealous of Texas and Florida with no food tax! I call this the triple tax state! High taxes with no benefit in return. Still staying here for the job and for the kids to finish school.Last week a proposal to turn extra lanes of highway going into the city as a toll road. The local tollway system is a beast of its own. DH hit a big pothole on the tollway. It was big enough to call the tollway itself, when he explained where the pothole was the agent transferred him to the "right" department. A 911 operator asked him what was his emergency! She said why are you calling in a pothole on an emergency number. He replied that he was transferred there by the Tollway authority. Now that's a special kind of beast!

  2. #42
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about state and local and sales taxes for a while now as I've watched this thread progress. Then, over the weekend, I read a thread on the city-data forum that was started by a woman who was looking for a place with zero property taxes. She was of the mindset that if you can have your house taken away because you didn't pay the property tax you don't really own it, the government does and you're just paying rent to the government. Thinking bigger picture, the reality, to me anyway, is that the basic services that the state and local governments provide have to be paid for somehow. We're not talking military and foreign aid and whatever else that people may or may not want to be paying federal taxes for. I'm talking schools and roads and libraries and all those day to day things that people actually use. Different places use different combinations of taxes/user fees to pay for them but at the end of the day either people pay and get good services or they scrimp and get crappy level services. It's not rocket science to figure out why the south generally has crappy ass schools compared to the rest of the country. The only variable is whether there are tourists/outsiders that can be bilked into covering a significant portion through hotel taxes/toll roads/etc. or whether the residents actually have to pay themselves for the services they want.

    I live in a high income tax state and high sales tax city but a low property tax state. I don't nearly get back in services what I"m paying in in taxes, especially since we rent our home. But damn, our city library is awesome. Every book I've ever wanted to read, they have. Amazon books doesn't make a penny off me because I check out hundreds of books per year from the library. Is it a good bargain? I don't know. But I like living here, I make a good living despite the taxes I pay, and I like living somewhere where most people actually believe that government using taxes to provide services to those less fortunate than themselves is not some evil conspiracy to rob from the deserving rich to give to the greedy poor.

    And for the record, according to multiple posters on the city-data forum all the unincorporated chunks of alaska have no property taxes. These are places that are basically so unpopulated that the land isn't even broken out into counties, much less incorporated cities or towns. Kind of like how the western US was not all even broken into states 150 years ago. But, as with anything, you get what you pay for. The best you can hope for with any of this unincorporated land in Alaska is that the best of it is at least somewhat within driving distance of a dirt road that will eventually get you to civilization of some minimal sort. Most of it requires 100% self sufficiency from anyone who wants to live on it because your nearest neighbor/road are a long long way away.

  3. #43
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    ...Thinking bigger picture, the reality, to me anyway, is that the basic services that the state and local governments provide have to be paid for somehow. We're not talking military and foreign aid and whatever else that people may or may not want to be paying federal taxes for. I'm talking schools and roads and libraries and all those day to day things that people actually use. Different places use different combinations of taxes/user fees to pay for them but at the end of the day either people pay and get good services or they scrimp and get crappy level services. It's not rocket science to figure out why the south generally has crappy ass schools compared to the rest of the country. The only variable is whether there are tourists/outsiders that can be bilked into covering a significant portion through hotel taxes/toll roads/etc. or whether the residents actually have to pay themselves for the services they want.

    I live in a high income tax state and high sales tax city but a low property tax state. I don't nearly get back in services what I"m paying in in taxes, especially since we rent our home. But damn, our city library is awesome. Every book I've ever wanted to read, they have. Amazon books doesn't make a penny off me because I check out hundreds of books per year from the library. Is it a good bargain? I don't know. But I like living here, I make a good living despite the taxes I pay, and I like living somewhere where most people actually believe that government using taxes to provide services to those less fortunate than themselves is not some evil conspiracy to rob from the deserving rich to give to the greedy poor.
    ....
    Agreed. The library system here is one of the best in the country; it's a treasure--and I don't begrudge it a penny of my taxes, which hit $6000 this year. One of the reasons I'll eventually move is that my tax burden is high, but in general I like living in a well-kept civilized part of the world, and I don't begrudge my state, county, or country a percentage of what I earn or own.

  4. #44
    Senior Member sylvia's Avatar
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    Well Im glad someone is happy with their library. We have an awesome one too. However our roads are filled with hundreds of potholes, you call it it they dont know where to start. Bridges have potholes, you avoid them and you end up swerving in the next lane. Illinois is ridiculous because you dont see any benefit to your taxes.We do have great public schools in our town all my boys went through the public school system. Other than that library and schools, its sh#t. No state budget second year running so its affecting the public colleges and universities with warnings to educate yourself out of state because there is no guarantee that they will stay open.

  5. #45
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    There is certainly a place for taxpayer funded services. I'm especially thinking of the homely local government functions like filling the potholes, hauling away the garbage and the criminals, etc. It doesn't follow from that, however, that more taxes are always better. It can be a tough balance between providing what people think they need with what other people need to pay for.

    I don't think people really have a good understanding and appreciation for the difficult and delicate art of municipal finance. You have people demanding that "something needs to be done", but reacting negatively to the idea of paying for it. You have ridiculous unfunded mandates from other levels of government for whom no task is too difficult provided they're not the one that needs to do it. You have priorities set more by decibel level than rational evaluation. You have a plaintiffs bar eager to rifle what they think are deep pockets. You have dedicated staff and elected officials who think you can make two and two equal seven if only you would show "a little creativity and think outside the box". You need to atone for the sins of the past governments who made foolish pension promises or borrowed not wisely but too well. You get budget direction to "do more with less" for the thirtieth year in a row. You need to meet the needs of the reckless, the feckless, the lawless, the luckless and the insane with the means provided by people who like to tell the voters about how they held the line on spending. You have to serve a public who basically has no idea who their representatives are, except for the eccentrics, supplicants and unscrupulous looking to shake the money tree.

    And all the while, you are accountable to regulators, race-baiters, and self-appointed, reality-challenged zealots, watchdogs and gadflies with various axes to grind. And literally everybody wants you to know that "You work for me."

  6. #46
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Very well said (except the "race-baiter part has me scratching my head. But I quibble.) You really should write for a living.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    Very well said (except the "race-baiter part has me scratching my head. But I quibble.)
    Take your library, for instance. We were shocked to see you stock Huckleberry Finn on your shelves where any child could be exposed to and damaged by its deeply offensive language. We demand an investigation and some expensive remedial action. While we're at it, we will be requesting an EEO investigation of your staffing policies. We will also be looking into whether you are providing adequate non-English materials to the community at large. We will be demanding the construction of a new branch in a historically underserved neighborhood and will be wacthing with interest the contractors you choose to build it, and who you will choose to name it for.

  8. #48
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    I'm probably paying at least that rate in taxes (ok I looked it up and I'm paying more sales tax) and the library system leaves much to be desired, Amazon can make money off me anytime they want (and then I pay the sales tax when they do). If some areas are doing better maybe it's not solely because they pay a larger % in taxes but because there are more rich people to tax there. Can't get blood from a stone no matter how high regressive taxes like the sales tax go. The South as well, may have low taxes which underfund things, but it is also pretty poor to start out with I think. There simply isn't the wealth there that exists in San Francisco period. And pretending there is is - why Trump won.

    But, as with anything, you get what you pay for. The best you can hope for with any of this unincorporated land in Alaska is that the best of it is at least somewhat within driving distance of a dirt road that will eventually get you to civilization of some minimal sort. Most of it requires 100% self sufficiency from anyone who wants to live on it because your nearest neighbor/road are a long long way away.
    but you do get free money from the government just for living in Alaska. That's got to be nice. Though no it wouldn't be my choice. For one thing: it's cold and dark!
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  9. #49
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    It's been interesting moving from one state/city to another recently. In Austin, our property taxes had risen to $8200 on a modest house but we had no state income tax. They were beginning to toll all of the major highways around and through the city. Trash pickup included all kinds of options but recycling was required. I would rate the library system about a 7 out of 10 though they are adding a fancy pants high-tech, coffee/wine bar, restaurant, hangout kind of library downtown which I suppose will be wondrous for those who live downtown. Lots of small branches though. Parks were meh unless the ones you count that they could rent out for big mega events and then the citizens could not use them. Lots of silly talk about affordable housing but really just tradeoffs for developers to get mostly what they wanted. Some public schools excellent if you're in a pricey neighborhood. All the others, far below average ratings. Here in Colorado, our recent property tax bill was $783. There is a state income tax but in our case, being retired with much lower income, it is fair. Trash services are third partied so you can pick whatever option you like. IMO, not enough police and too many potholes but there are tradeoffs when you need to find a lower cost of living. However, I find the library system to be surprising good. At least, an 8. By the way, lots of folks from Chicago area were moving to Austin when I left. I guess we all just keep looking for perfect

  10. #50
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Take your library, for instance. We were shocked to see you stock Huckleberry Finn on your shelves where any child could be exposed to and damaged by its deeply offensive language. We demand an investigation and some expensive remedial action. While we're at it, we will be requesting an EEO investigation of your staffing policies. We will also be looking into whether you are providing adequate non-English materials to the community at large. We will be demanding the construction of a new branch in a historically underserved neighborhood and will be wacthing with interest the contractors you choose to build it, and who you will choose to name it for.
    Or take your safety cameras in more affluent neighborhoods, for instance. Fodder for race baiting victimology. In fact the St. Louis Newspaper which loves its race stories decided to feature that statistic in a front page story. The fact that private funds bought these cameras doesn't figure, it is simpley unfair and racist that predominantly African American communities dont have these cameras.

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