For those of you who have the pleasure of paying property taxes, this is a good explanation of localities’ needs and methods for determining their millage rates.
The key insight here is that aggregate real estate tax rates are set simply to cover the locality’s budget.Â There is no ‘fair,’ ‘equitable,’ or ‘normal’ real estate tax rate.Â It all depends on two things:
How much the locality wishes to spend
How much local voters are willing to tolerate as their individual tax burdens.
Here are the local mil rates for Central Virginia.
Aargh. Government is the only “business” that I know of that seems to determine how much they need, and then they go out and take it.