Jan. 22nd, 2009

litch: (Default)
I finally bit the bullet and paid my property taxes. The is particularly difficult because I had to first figure out what they were and I've been strenuously avoiding thinking about it because it scares the whillikers out of me. I am getting towards the bottom of my savings and property taxes are the single biggest expenditure I make all year. I wasn't sure I was going to have enough to pay them for the last 6 months and it has been dreadful. However, if they are not paid by the first of feb they get a nasty penalty (starting at 10% and going up each month) and today was almost the last day I could get them out and be sure they got in on time.

It is exacerbated because I live in multiple taxing jurisdictions. Travis County, A Healthcare District, Emergency Service District #4, North Austin Municipal Utility District #1, & Round Rock School District. Each has their own levy, but they almost all have different taxable values depending on which exemptions apply and what exactly is taxed. But wait, there's more, just to make things interesting some entities collect for other entities. The last few years Travis County collected for Travis, the Healthcare District and ESD #4, but RRISD collected their own taxes and Williamson county collected for the MUD. This year it changed because of something in the legislature and it seems that RRISD is collecting the MUD's taxes this year so I only had to cut 2 checks.

They send out the bills around September, and I only sort of remembered which pile they were in so I had to go through a couple months worth of bills & dust to find them and because of the above confusion I couldn't figure out who covered what until I called and talked to someone this morning.

Fortunately the real estate meltdown has had a salubrious effect on my taxes, last year is was around $4500, this year it is under $4k though I am getting screwed because I forgot to contest the valuation back in march and I am paying taxes on a $185k house when mine is much closer to $140-$150k.

I do have enough to pay it all and this months bills, even enough left to get through the next 4-6 weeks but after that I figure I can probably coast for a couple months before they start shutting off my power/phone/internet. Probably ought to apply for foodstamps. Not going to have enough to pay my taxes in april but that's a long way away and there are extensions & other options there.

I'm actually doing better than I had been afraid of, I was really scared that this was going to be it and I wouldn't have the money to pay what I owed. I have a little room to wiggle for a while longer, even enough to cover the deductible on my truck so I can get to job interviews if I can scrounge some up.

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litch

May 2009

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