Property Tax Reform

Archive Report

Mounting Complaints About Property Tax

All taxes are unpopular, but the property tax may be the least popular of any. Walter W. Heller, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1961 to 1964, has called it the “sick giant of our tax system.”1 Homeowners, business executives, and even government officials agree that it is often unfair and burdensome, and badly in need of overhaul. Yet the property tax is, and is likely to remain, the principal source of local revenue for such essential services as public education. In many communities the levies have become unbearably high but cannot keep abreast of the rising costs of vital services. The communities can expect little help from the states, which themselves are pleading virtual bankruptcy and ...

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