Tax Day

January 31st is the deadline for paying Travis County Property taxes. I headed over to Travis County Tax Office at 5501 Airport Blvd and discovered that I’m not the only person who likes to hang onto her money to the bitter end. Temporary signage directed traffic to either a drive-through lane or a drop box to drop off payment. With about 15 cars in front of me, I decided to save gas by not idling my car. I parked and walked into the building. In the lobby a cheerfully energetic young clerk stood next to a drop off box to ensure that my payment was received. I admired his brave smile in the onslaught of grumpy taxpayers. I had a similar job once and it’s not easy to be the public face of the perceived bad guy.

As it’s a matter of public record anyway, I won’t be shy in noting that in 1992 my 2-bedroom house was appraised at $41,078. In 2006 it was appraised at $381,971. Luckily (ahem), this was capped so the taxable value was a mere $277,119. The final bill for 2006, $6,479.55. I now pay almost as much in taxes a month as I did for the original mortgage on the house. Which pretty much gives lie to the financial advice that your housing costs will decrease by the time you retire and your mortgage is paid off.

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