Friday, January 28, 2011

How To Determine Your Real Estate Taxes

As all investors know the government shakes you down every year for property taxes so your money can be played with to buy golf courses, rehab buildings at costs where they will never get our money back out, and fund never ending and ever growing welfare programs that have no termination dates forcing a person to stand up on their own two feet and care for themselves and their family.

And there is this misconception that the government seems to have these days thinking that the money is "theirs" when the reality is that it is "OURS", they work for "US" and it should be spent in a manor that the general public feels it should be spent. And shaking down the middle and upper class to toy around with things they don't know about such as real estate or giving it to those who desire not to help themselves but rather to "work" the system is not the desire of the general public.

But regardless of the situation and regardless of the fact that real estate had dropped by at least 20% in value since the bubble popped and they never dropped the tax appraised value of property to match; we still have to pay them what they demand until enough people have decided that they have had it and stand up to this theft from hard working Roanoke Citizens.

So it is what it is for now and this is how you determine your real estate taxes in Roanoke City without having to call the Tax Man to get an answer. Take the total GIS tax appraised value of your home and multiply it by $1.19. Then divide that number by 100. That's what you pay annually for the property. If you want a 6 month amount divide it by 2.

So you have a rental that's total tax value is $65,750.

$65,750 X $1.19 = $78,242.50.
$78,242.50 divided by 100 = $782.425
So your taxes for the year will be $782.43.

If your property is in Salem drop that tax you multiply it by to $1.18
And if it is in Roanoke County drop it on down to $1.09
If it's in Vinton slash it down to $1.00 even
And in Botetourt County you can knock it down to .65

By the looks of that, Roanoke City is really sticking it to it's citizens. 

Quote from Benjamen Franklin on Entitlement Programs and the Poor:

…I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.—I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

There is no country in the world [but England] where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor.

Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen?—On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.

In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday, and St. Tuesday, will cease to be holidays. SIX days shalt thou labour, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.

[From Benjamin Franklin, "On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor" (1766), Writings (New York: Library of America, 1987), 587-88.]

Have Your Maintenance Guys Been Pulling A Fast One On You?

One of the easiest ways for your maintenance guys to get one over on you is to overestimate the cost of paint and either return paint or use the additional they have on your next project or someone else's while billing you again for it. Yes, unfortunately we live in a world these days where everyone seems to always be trying to get one over on someone else. And knowing this you need to keep people on their toes and watch them closely.

It's easy to figure the exterior paint if you have the square footeage of the house. Most exterior paints say they cover 300 - 400 square feet but realistically for a good solid coat you really can count on about 200 square feet per gallon...... As long as they are using a halfway decent paint like Olympic Premium exterior paint. Not that Olympic Fast Hide garbage which is so watered down you will paint it 3 or 4 times to get a solid coat.

A 5 gallon bucket of Olympic Premium is going to run you about $105 these days and a one gallon about $22.

So for the exterior of a 1,500 square foot house they are going to need about 7.5 gallons for the walls and another 3 or so gallons for the trim depending on how many windows and doors there are. I would estimate around 11 gallons of paint needed and would subtract if the siding was a smooth surface like hardy board and add if it was a rough texture like never painted concrete, brick or cedar siding.

So on a 1,500 square foot house you're looking at about 2 five gallon buckets of paint and a one gallon totaling about $232 plus tax and at most $20 bucks for some roller covers, a cheap drop cloth or whatever other little things they need.

Interior can be a little more complicated but can be found out easily with this calculator.
Interior Paint Calculator

I find these calculators underestimate a little because they are basing their figures on what the paint manufacturers say their paint will cover (300sq ft per gallon) instead of the 200 sq ft per gallon that they really cover. If your contractor has materials costs well over these calculations you can pretty much be sure they are pulling a fast one on you. Unless we are talking about previously unpainted material that they will be painting which can almost double the cost of paint.

Exterior Paint Calculator

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