Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ogden Valley Forum: The Rip Off of the Average Utah Taxpayer

Further information and a call to action on Utah's property tax delinquency loophole

In earlier articles we've spotlighted the efforts of Ogden Valley residents Larry and Sharon Zini, who've been feverishly carrying on the fight in recent months to persuade local and state officials to take action to collect a small mountain of delinquent Utah property taxes, which they've calculated to total in excess of $100 million. Larry and Sharon have now posted a new informational article on their Ogden Valley Forum blogsite, publicly re-addressing this subject, which we link below, for the benefit of those readers who are following this issue:
The Rip Off of the Average Utah Taxpayer
Among other things, Mr. & Mrs. Zini deliver a citizen call to action; and in this connection we urge all WCF readers who have concerns about this issue to contact their state legislators directly.

12 comments:

danny said...

You can bet that Gage Froerer will not be supporting a bill that would take away the free taxpayer stipend to his Realty cronies that the current law does.

The law as it is (essentially providing real estate flippers with free government loans for five years) is the way it is for a reason - the Realtor scum want it that way.

Froerer's bill is a sham intended to head off other legislation that would actually end this subsidy.

Local voters had a chance to get rid of the entirely dishonest Gage Froerer (who has stabbed his constituents in the back time and again) and the voters declined to do so. If you want anything good - look for it in another place than from Gage Froerer.

Whistler said...

To Danny, this collection process has been in place and the tax loophole exploited at the taxpayers expense long before Gage Froerer was elected to anything. I guess you can blame Brigham Young if you are looking to blame someone. Me, I'm hoping we can do something more constructive.

ozboy said...

If the counties didn't make big money on this fluke in the law then it would have been closed a long time ago. Our Utah politicians are very good at not leaving anything on the tax payer's table at the end of the day.

There are several fallacies used by the people that are alarmed over this. One is that it is a free loan to the scofflaws. Not so, there is a 2% penalty right in front and then a yearly interest tacked on. Right now that interest is 6.5% I believe. Last year it was over 10%. It is geared to the Federal discount rate and it's always at least twice what the counties could get from other sources.

The only benefit to the late paying property owner is that they don't have to apply for the loan, can't be turned down and don't have to pay any loan origination fees. A real boon to the real estate hustlers who appear to be taking advantage of this problem, but most of that doesn't have much benefit to the poor struggling home owner who is having a hard time coming up with his property taxes.

Another fallacy used by the proponents for change on this is that somehow the other tax payers have to make up a shortfall by paying more, or that somehow the county runs short on cash and other property owners have to pay. None of that happens. This money is essentially "rainy day money" that the county can count on and they can draw a heck of a lot more interest on that money with the current system than they could if they collected it all and put it in the bank at half the interest. If Weber County has $14 million in arrears - as reported here - then they are pulling in a million a year in interest on these overdue taxes - which is at least double what they could get any where else.

If there ever is any change with these laws, then I think they ought to make it tough on the institutional players and not the struggling small property owners. I doubt however that there ever will be any change as the bean counters at the counties and the state like things just the way they are. They can make more money on the float and hell, they can even help their developer buddies in the process! A regular old win - win!

Pistole said...

Ozboy, you couldn't be more wrong. First of all, if this was not a good deal for the delinquent taxpayers, there would not be over 100 million dollars of delinquent money out there. If you read the posted facts, the law would raise the penalty to 10% and the interest to 18% from the very low amounts they are charged now. No one has said this was a free loan.

Second, when everyone else pays their taxes on time on November on 3oth each year and these scofflaws don't, where does the money come from to run the property tax funded services? It has to come from those that do pay on time so they ARE paying the bill for the delinquent taxpayers.

Third, if this is such a good deal for the County and the State, why don't the elected leaders encourage every taxpayer to defer their taxes for up to 4 years? If it is good enough for the rich taxpayers why isn't it good enough for the rest of us? It is apparent you don''t want to see this ended, it sounds like you may be one of the people that may benefit from this tax loophole.

Caesare said...

Ozboy, your logic stinks, Pistole is right on. There is about $140+ million billed in Weber County every year in property taxes. If this tax delinquency was such a gold mine for the County and State, they would tell every taxpayer to not pay on time.

You are right about one thing, the large business people and property owners are the favorite charity of the Weber County Commission.

danny said...

Whistler,

I'm not blaming Froerer for the existing law. I'm blaming him for submitting a phony fixit bill that will not pass, and that will draw attention away from more viable fixit bills.

I remember watching him supposedly "listening" on behalf of his constituents vis-a-vis Powder Mountain. It was clear whose side he was really on - PM's - for whom he deep sixed public outcry while pretending to be "listening" to it.

He's the worst kind of politician - one who skillfully manipulates the system to benefit himself and shaft the people who elected him.

He's very good at being very bad.

Mladen said...

Danny, you are not well informed on Powder Mountain. It was Gage Froerer who set up the meeting for the affected Powderville homeowners with the Lt. Governor regarding their loss of civil rights from the incorporation. In addition, he met with the Weber County Commission members to let them know that they had more legal power regarding the incorporation than they were using to that poiint. The result is the Weber County commission has forced the issue into the courts.

danny said...

Mladen,

It is possible somebody is better informed than I am. But your examples are only examples of what I'm talking about.

Froerer is good at having meetings and engaging in other imagery. The meeting with the Lt. Gov was meaningless and useless, as was his meeting with the WCC. Your assertion that this meeting is what lead to the WCC developing backbone seems like a classic non sequitur.

Please note that what Froerer does for you and other citizens is hold meetings and issue lots of talk, often expressing afterward his "regret" when "things didn't go the way we wanted."

In contrast, when it comes to what various parasitic Realtors want, somehow it actually gets DONE, and no such crocodile tears are needed, nor would they be valued by the parasitic Realtors.

Watch what politicians actually ACCOMPLISH, and WHO they accomplish it FOR. Dismiss their statements. Then you will see more clearly.

Mladen said...

Danny, how do you know those meetings were meaningless? You are against almost anything by those you hate.

You are like a ghost pointing an empty sleeve and ridiculing every attempt by anyone to do something constructive.

I feel sorry for you, your little world must be pretty miserable.

danny said...

Mladen,

Sorry you've misinterpreted me. Offhand, I can't think of anybody I hate, and many I admire. But there are such things as sleazebags, and the thing is, the successful ones are that because they are good at fooling people too.

Stick around. Even though you've tried to slam me just there, I don't mind hearing what you think.

Mladen said...

Danny, it is difficult to understand any reasonable citizen that would not want to have such a tax injustice corrected. You choose to spend most of your effort in attacking anyone involved.

Everyone understands the flaws in many of our leaders, but under our system, that is all we have to work with until they are voted out.

Caesare said...

How is this property tax loophole in Utah any different than the antics of Daschel, Rangel and Geithner in Washington? They did not pay their taxes on time and the latest information is that none of them will pay the penalty and interest!

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