HOW DO FORECLOSURES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD ADD TO OUR TAXES??? HOW MUCH IS "FEATHERBEDDING"???

By
Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

MAIL FROM THE VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS THIS A.M. MADE MY BLOOD BOIL!

WE ALL KNOW THAT FORECLOSED AND ABANDONED PROPERTIES ARE AN EYESORE.  BEFORE THE BANKS WHO OWN THESE PROPERTIES TAKE OVER MAINTENANCE (IF THEY DO) COUNTY OR CITY GOVERNMENTS OFTEN HAVE THE GRASS CUT TO DISCOURAGE VANDALS OR TO AVOID UNSIGHTLY APPEARANCE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 

OUR TAXES PAY FOR THESE GOVERNMENT SERVICES.   This is an example of how much we tax payers pay to have governments do ANYTHING.

HOW MUCH "FEATHERBEDDING" IS ADDED TO OUR LOCAL TAXES BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS???  

                                                                                 * * * *

At the Governor's Housing Conference in Richmond this week, Jennifer Leonard of the Center for Community Progress and Jeff Blackford from the Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance explained that yes, foreclosures put a lot of pressure on local governments too.

  • At the same time, cities and counties are seeing their code-enforcement costs go up - there are more vacant Lennhomes to board up, and more overgrown grass in front of more vacant homes that needs to be cut, for example. (For example, according to Blackford, Fairfax County spends $250-400 to mow a quarter-acre lot.) (emphasis added)
  •                                                             * * * *

    WHAT???  $400 TO MOW A 1/4 ACRE LOT???  NO WONDER COUNTY GOVERNMENTS WANT MORE AND MORE TAX MONEY. 

    Spending $250-400 to mow a 1/4 acre lot is a prime example of the excess of government, any government. Can't the folks in the government SEE that the fee is outrageous????

    I pay $100 to have a t a 1.6 acre lot mowed. No wonder there's no money. Far too much of our money is going through government hands where more than half of it goes for NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except more government.

    If local governments are paying $250-$400 of our tax money to have a 1/4 acre lot mowed, the only logical explanation is that they are hiring their cousins and uncles.  If they are paying government staff to perform the duties that any neighborhood 16 year old could do, they must be using a staff of 3 to do a one many job. 

    We've seen many examples of local government excesses.  However, it hits home when it's in your back yard. 

    HOW MUCH DOES YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY TO HAVE THE GRASS CUT ON FORECLOSED PROPERTIES?

    Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.

    EXAMPLE:  While driving down Greenbelt Road past NASA one day last Fall, I observed government employees planting Tulip Bulbs at the entrance.   There were 6 men involved in the operation.  One with a clipboard observing.  Two digging holes, one dropping the Tulip bulbs in the holes and one shoveling dirt over the bulbs.   This is a true story.  I was reaching for my camera when the light changed, so I missed it. 

     

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    Re-Blogged 5 times:

    Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
    1. Nicholas Goglucci 11/20/2010 05:14 PM
    2. Gareth Ellzey 11/21/2010 11:20 AM
    3. Ellie Shorb 11/21/2010 03:23 PM
    4. Gina Lemos 11/21/2010 05:42 PM
    5. Jon Quist 11/30/2010 02:20 AM
    Topic:
    Mortgage / Finance
    Groups:
    Real Estate Trends
    Silent Majority
    Tea Party
    Tags:
    foreclosures
    government waste

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    Ambassador
    2,344,803
    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
    Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

    Bev.  Thanks.  I did!

    Real.  Eeeekkkk.  That one infuriates me.  The government always uses the FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE and SCHOOLS as why they need more, more, more. 

    If they put an item on the ballot that asked for approval of $250-$400 charges for grass sutting, do you believe that folks would vote for it????  HA!

    I can honestly say that I have voted NO for every tax item every presented on a ballot. 

    November 22, 2010 01:05 PM #147
    Rainer
    44,175
    Bonnie and Melinda
    Re/Max Premier, Realtors - West Hartford, CT
    Your West Hartford Real Estate Specialists

    Lenn, why don't you just get involved in your local government and put a stop to this type of thing instead of just railing against "the government?"

    November 22, 2010 03:46 PM #148
    Rainer
    277,179
    Steven Cook
    No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA
    - Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

    Lynn,

    You should be more careful in the terminology you use, you might date yourself using terms like "featherbedding".  LOL

     

    November 22, 2010 03:55 PM #149
    Rainmaker
    532,567
    Cynthia Larsen
    Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
    Sonoma County Real Estate Broker

    Huh ... our government doesn't mow lawns, but they are trying to find a way to fine the homeowners for neglect. Good luck trying to collect from a bank!

    November 22, 2010 04:43 PM #150
    Ambassador
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
    Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

    Bonnie and Melinda.  I have a perfect right to "rail".  Further, I AM quite involved in my local government and community.  

    Judging from th eover 100 comments from ActiveRain friends, this information, which I got from the Virginia Association of Realtors alerts was found to be interesting. 

    Ranting, Raving and Railing is a time honored tradition of involved American citizens.  Trying to shut me up merely inspires me to share more.  I know folks are reading my railings.

     

    November 22, 2010 05:34 PM #151
    Ambassador
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
    Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

    Steven.  HA!  Everyone knows that I'm "older than dirt".

    Cynthia.  Indeed.  The lawn isn't the problem.  It's the fee that they manage to charge that represents why our taxes go UP every year, government grows, government salaries go UP and by adding these inflated costs to the cost to the bank, just makes the entire process harder to cure.  If this home doesn't sell within a year, you could have $3,000-$5,000 added to the cost. 

    That doesn't help anyone.

    November 22, 2010 05:39 PM #152
    Rainmaker
    130,807
    Denny and Denise Rockwell
    Prudential California Realty - Brea, CA
    Realtors - Brea Homes and Real Estate for Sale

    This is a great discussion and great information.  Thank you for the post Lenn!

    November 23, 2010 11:12 AM #153
    Ambassador
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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    Denny and Denise.  My pleasure.  Great discussion.

    November 23, 2010 12:34 PM #154
    Rainer
    11,260
    Brian Jergenson
    Keith Dressel Realty - Gaylord, MI - Gaylord, MI

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people.  Last time I checked we're the people.  Agree with Bonnie and Melinda #148, if you don't like it get involved and change it.  Complaining is easy. Coming up with viable solutions not so easy.

    November 23, 2010 04:13 PM #155
    Rainer
    18,340
    Pete Neuville
    Realty Executives - Slinger, WI

    The municipalities are small scale Wall Street folks . . . . everything they do is far more valuable than what the market value should be . . .  makes you wonder why so many of the municipalities in this country are in deep financial duress.  And, oh, by the way, it's usually somebody else's money that bails them out!

    Interesting post Lenn!

    November 23, 2010 04:46 PM #156
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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    Brian.  I'm a people and I'm involved by spreading the word about profligate spending by government officials.

    I won't be shut up, especial by folks who just go along to get along.

    Pete.  I can't wait to see how California gets bailed out.

    November 23, 2010 05:07 PM #157
    Rainer
    22,163
    Nicole Fleming
    FC Tucker Emge - Henderson, KY

    We have a kid down the street who does it for $25.  That's ridiculous!  I wonder how much it costs us here in my area.  I'm sure you could find out.  I think they send a bill to the owner of the property if they have to mow it, too.

    November 23, 2010 07:07 PM #158
    Rainmaker
    68,335
    Dave Miller
    RE/MAX Integrity, Dumont, NJ 201-385-8100 - Dumont, NJ
    RE/MAX Real Estate Dumont,NJ - Bergen County, New Jersey Homes for Sale

    Lenn, Insult on top of injury they are probably 'laying tracks' during this time of year.  When my brother was young he was landscaping for a large company during college.  He told me often in the late fall when the grass hardly grew they picked up the blades on the riding mowers & just drove around the lawn 'laying tracks' so the would get paid...

    November 23, 2010 09:24 PM #159
    Ambassador
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
    Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

    Nicole.  I know in many areas, local governments will mow and bill.

    Dave.  Correct.  When the contract for mowing is entered, it's not on a "needed" basis.  It's always for XXX # of cuts per year, even if they just drive around.

    November 24, 2010 05:26 AM #160
    Rainer
    22,130
    Carol & Vince Ciroli
    ConnectRealty.com - Columbus, OH

    Like so many things we see the symptom and not the cause.

    To understand exactly what is happening one just needs to Google "Parkinson's Law"..."Work expands to the time allotted".

    Bureaucrats in government and out of government will always try to "improve" their position...not because they are bad, it is just the nature of the beast.

    The only way to limit the expansion is to limit the supply of fund. Corporations do it through the budgeting process; this is why corporations are quick to lay employees off. Governments, with their power to both tax and bully are slow to take the proper action. This is why when voters reject a tax increase the powers to be lay-off police, firemen and teachers.

    So I guess you can say the reason it cost $250 to $400 to mow 1/4 acre is the voter's that voted for weak kneed public administrators and continue to let themselves be bullied by these people.

    Additionally, we the people now have the power, not just to talk about it be to expose it. Stop the car, take the picture and post it on a blog...many blogs...tweet about it. To the extent we don't become more pro-active we have no one but ourselves to blame. I'm sure if we all started a waste blog in our communities we would become both popular and pick up clients.

    I know I'm guilty as charged in not doing enough.

     

    Vince

    November 24, 2010 12:21 PM #161
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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    Carol & Vance.  On the contrary.  Making your views known on this forum is making a contribution. 

    I was surprised when I read comments to this post from two members who thought I should keep my mouth shut unless I, I'm not sure what, ran for office or something.  Nonsense.  We're making a contribution by posting and commenting on matter when we find out about them.  Spread the word. 

    I am aware of two congressmen in my area that read what I publish. 

    November 24, 2010 02:14 PM #162
    Rainmaker
    275,191
    Steven Pahl
    Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
    Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

    Judging by the appearance of most empty/abandoned homes in my market area our local municipalites are doing a great job conserving our tax dollars by not doing anything to improve the "curb appeal" of these homes!

    November 24, 2010 05:33 PM #163
    Ambassador
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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    Steven.  I believe that municipalities could easily manage to keep these properties up until the bank takes over and charge the bank, or perhaps not.  However, the expenditure should be sane.

    November 24, 2010 06:32 PM #164
    Rainmaker
    261,430
    Wayne B. Pruner
    Oregon First - Tigard, OR
    Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

    That is an outrageous price to mow a lawn. I hope they are at least adding a lien to the property and will eventually get reimbursed.

    November 27, 2010 10:08 PM #165
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    Lenn Harley
    Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
    Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

    Wayne.  No matter.  Eventually, the taxpayers will pay.  Or, the subsequent buyer throught the pricing of the property by the bank owner.  The tax laws will protect the bank.  There is no protection for the poor taxpayer.

    November 28, 2010 06:36 AM #166
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    Lenn Harley

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