What Do Property Taxes Pay For?
All homeowners must pay property taxes, however they usually do so begrudgingly. Property taxes help local municipalities pay for public services residents enjoy every day. These include, but are not limited to public schools, road maintenance, law enforcement, libraries, and parks and recreation. It’s important homeowners understand what their tax dollars are paying for.
Education usually comprises the largest portion of a county or city budget. It’s not uncommon for education to use more than half of a municipality’s budget during a give year. This is because education is extremely important. Children need to be well-educated to succeed in life. For this reason, parents want to live in areas with good public schools and often pay more for housing to do so. To attract good teachers and administrators, cities and counties need to pay them competitive salaries. Children also need quality textbooks and materials to get a good education. Providing all of this is expensive.
Infrastructure is extremely important for a good economy. Goods and services need to be mobile. People also need to be able to get to where goods and services are located in order to purchase them. To enable this, municipalities need to provide an adequate system of roads. Doing this requires significant investment. In addition, poorly maintained roads can damage your vehicle. You wouldn’t want to drive your car on a road with numerous potholes. Your suspension and alignment would take a beating.
Public safety is extremely important for a municipality’s well-being. People generally won’t move to areas where they do not feel safe. Nobody wants to be a victim of crime. Safety also includes firefighting and EMS services. Some localities rely on volunteers, but many densely-populated areas pay for professionals. You want the fire department to arrive quickly if your home is on fire. You need that ambulance to be prompt if you have a medical emergency. To attract the best public safety personnel, they need to be paid competitively.
While they haven’t been used as much recently as in the past thanks to the Internet, they still serve an important purpose. Some people cannot afford books or don’t want to keep them forever, so they get them for free at their local library. Also, libraries usually provide public computers with access to the Internet. These are also commonly used by people with limited financial means. They often serve as polling places and public meeting places as well.
Parks and Recreation
Citizens don’t want to be bored. They need places to socialize and exercise. Parks help provide this. As a result, abundance of parks can make an area a more desirable place to live. While not technically essential, the parks and recreation department greatly improves quality of life.
While paying property taxes can be unpleasant at the time, they provide important services. You might not realize how much you miss these services until you don’t have them. Remember this when you pay.
Propel Tax is a financing company offering property tax loans in Dallas County, TX.By theodion in Tax Tips Comments Off