Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Clever Solution To An Age Old Financial Problem.

"My property taxes are too high," yelled one homeowner to the mayor of Palos Verdes. "I refuse to pay them." "Mine are too high too," cried out another Palos Verdes citizen. "And I don't like some government official deciding how much I should pay." Soon it seemed everyone at the massive city council meeting was complaining and refusing to pay their taxes.

After about an hour of the mayor listening to them, he struck his gavel several times to get every one's attention. "Let us have silence in the room," this aged and wise old mayor proclaimed. As the room fell silent, he looked across this facility, one as large as a football field and packed with people, and said, "I have a solution for you.

"How would you like to decide for yourselves how much your home is worth and pay taxes only on how you value the home, and not one penny more." In response, there was a buzz of voices that echoed ever louder throughout the room, followed by a spontaneous cheer.

"From now on, you can set your home values as high or low as you like," the mayor added. "But to be sure the process is fair, the city of Palos Verdes will reserve the right to buy your home for exactly the value you have placed on it. Now what could be more fair than that?"

And so it was, the city of Palos Verdes residents concurred, and never again did they have a tax assessor arbitrarily value and tax their homes, nor were values at levels they found unfair.

Note, this wise old mayor had borrowed a tax valuation and optional purchase tradition from ancient China, for tax assessors and the payment of taxes have been unpopular throughout history. Print Friendly and PDF

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