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Feeling the Pinch

If you’re feeling the pinch from the economic downturn, I’ve got some bad news for you. Chances are, you are about to be pinched a little harder by property taxes if you live in Bernalillo County:

About 11,000 homes will see a decrease in their values — and in their tax bills — to reflect declines in the housing market, assessor Karen Montoya said.

But people who haven’t bought a new home in the past two or three years should expect a 3 percent increase in their home’s value this year and every year for the foreseeable future, Montoya said.

Think about that for a second. Let’s say you’re one of those responsible people who has stayed put in the home you bought five, ten, or twenty or more years ago. You never felt the need to cash out on inflated property increases to buy “bigger and better.” Instead, you’ve continued to live within your means.

Now, let’s say you’re feeling the economic pinch. Maybe you got laid off. Maybe you’ve long been retired and are living on a fixed income, but have seen upward of 30 or 40% of your life savings evaporate in the recent market collapse. So, you do what makes sense. You cut your expenses.

Except those who insist on spending more and more money each year – namely, the government – are now going to hit you with higher taxes. And, in their own words, they plan on doing so “this year and every year for the foreseeable future.” You’re not making more. In fact, you’re making less. Yet, here they come to take a bigger and bigger share of that smaller and smaller pie.

Don’t you see a problem with this?