When taking a look at this curve, as Davis wrote, “you’ll notice that homes above $200,000 are being assessed for well below their selling price, and homes below $200,000 have a much higher sales-to-valuation ratio. In other words, higher-income households are getting a break in county taxes, while lower-income households are getting inflated assessments and seeing their taxes increase.”
We continued the discussion by explaining how this issue of assessment iniquities plagues communities nationwide. This was first brought to light by Christopher Berry, of the University of Chicago, who published a salient analysis on tax inequities throughout hundreds of counties within the United States. Last summer, Davis also wrote about how this is a compounding issue for minority communities, who tend to make up a large portion of the over-assessed population.
Davis’ last article on the topic tackled potential solutions to the property tax inequities laying dormant in our own communities. We examined 5 key approaches that the analytics team at Urban3 developed to help dispel this issue.
One possible solution was to “take a systems approach.” Many counties have different systems for tax assessments so it is important to examine our own local governments and evaluate what could be the best solutions for our unique environments.
Strong Towns is proud to be a part of the Just Accounting for Health project over the next year and a half. We will be reporting on the research derived from this project, along with connecting it to other narratives throughout the country. If you’re interested in tagging along, sign up for email alerts at justaccounting.org.