Florida and Texas — two of the most sought-after destinations for Americans fed up with high taxes and strict lockdown measures during the COVID pandemic — are now facing their own exodus over the soaring cost of living in both states, according to reports.
When the Legislature reconvenes early next, lawmakers are poised to consider several bills related to Mainers' property taxes. Mainers have the highest property tax burden nationwide, coming in at 5.33 percent of personal income. Recently, several cities and towns throughout the state have announced their intentions to raise residents' property taxes, primarily as a direct result of increased municipal and local school spending.
A group seeking to eliminate all property taxes in Michigan plans to begin circulating petitions in January to get the measure on the state ballot despite failure to secure pre-approval by the state. The AxMITax ballot committee aims to put its potential ballot proposal before voters in the November 2024 election, spokesperson Karla Wagner told Bridge Michigan, estimating the constitutional amendment would save taxpayers a collective $14 billion a year.
NH Business Review
Governor Chris Sununu told the New Hampshire Union Leader, “New Hampshire currently spends among the most per capita on public education than nearly any other state.” The Governor is correct. Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that in Fiscal Year 2022 New Hampshire spent $21,605 per pupil, a figure topped by only five states, all in the Northeast: New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts, in that order.
New York City finance officials are pursuing legislation to reauthorize the city's ability to sell tax liens on property debt, a controversial program that lawmakers previously criticized for disproportionately targeting communities of color and hurting low-income homeowners.
During an interview earlier this month for an obscure podcast, former state Rep. Rick Becker, who is chairing the ballot measure campaign, admitted that he doesn't have as many signatures as he'd like. "I hate to give a number of only what I have in hand because...people will be disheartened maybe because it's not as much as what we want," he said.
Members of the special legislative committee tasked with taking a deep dive into property tax reform say everything, including an idea tying taxes to income, will be on the table when they get to work next year. When the biennial budget passed last summer it created a Joint Committee on Property Tax Review and Reform.
For the second time this year, a judge has ruled decisively that a U.S. state's system for funding its public schools is unconstitutional. Pennsylvania lawmakers have been grappling all year with the fallout from a judge's Feb. 7 ruling that the state dramatically underfunds schools in low-wealth areas. Now it's New Hampshire's turn after a judge declared Nov. 20 that the state's base aid to school districts is far too low, and that a state-level property tax policy gives wealthy school districts an unfair disadvantage.
While Texas used to be a top state for transplants fleeing high costs of living and northern weather, increasing numbers are leaving the Lone Star state behind just years after they moved to it. The exodus is occurring as Texas residents see heightened property taxes, and the state that was once known for its cheap living no longer fits the bill. Just last year, about 31,000 New Yorkers moved to Texas.
A drive is underway to give qualified Wyoming homeowners a 50 percent exemption on property taxes. Supporters are hoping to get the '“People's Initiative to Limit Property Tax in Wyoming through a Homeowner's Exemption” before state voters in 2024. If approved by voters it would slash 50 percent of fair market value from a property owner's primary residence for tax purposes. It would only apply to residential property taxes.