What a Weekend (random notes)

A friend of mine was in a hit and run accident over the weekend. Here’s the kicker: he was on a motorcycle. The little information I have is that he was on his way home from work (not sure what time it was). He was knocked unconscious, broken ribs and a punctured lung. Left for dead in the street. He’s still in the hospital of course, while they pump fluid from his lung and try and get him fixed up. His prognosis is good and I’m sure he’ll be fine. But that doesn’t change the fact that the situation is fucked up. I mean, accidents happen and everyone understands that, but when you leave the scene you’ve just crossed some sort of line that you may not be able to come back from.

Of course, I have no confidence in the police to find the driver. And even less confidence in the DA to follow through if they do find this person. I’d like nothing more than for some of my more unreasonable friends to find this person first and work it out.

In other equally confusing news, I got my new assessment which is about 30% higher than it was. It was frozen last year. The good news is that I’m still eligible for the Homestead exemption so it isn’t like I need to pay anything. And of course it means the city thinks my house is worth more than it was. Now whether the market would bear this out to be true I’m doubtful. With the deadline for Road Home tomorrow I’ve been considering signing up, but I didn’t own the house at the time of the storm and as I understand it, that is a requirement. People keep telling me differently though so I’d kind of like to apply to make them tell me no.

The thing I can’t figure out is why they think it’s worth more. Is it because there were only 2 murders with in a few blocks of the house last year? It certainly isn’t taking into account the swat team being two blocks away shooting tear gas into a house yesterday. No one ever came out and looked at the place that I know of, so they at least couldn’t go in. You figure there’s no running water, only about three electrical outlets and three lights in the one side that actually work, there’s no floor of any kind in about 20% of the house, not one painted wall (just exposed barge board), none of the doors close from jacking up the house, the back door is literally nailed shut. I guess a year of gutting half the house netted me a 30% profit. Sweet, guess I should gut the other half, sell it, and move to Paris with by booty. Or better still, I could tear the whole thing down and just sell the land and double my money. My point is, that I don’t find it comforting that the less of my house there is, the more its worth. But then again, that’s what makes my oily rag/magnifying glass collection so valuable.

Speaking of Paris, that plan is shaky at best. Several folks have told me I’m the anti-Paris and should consider elsewhere. Craig, for example, suggested Belgium. Several other people also suggested that – something about the Flemish being all cool or something. So after looking up where Belgium is and somewhat later finding out that Flemish isn’t a small bird, it’s looking like a pretty good option. I’ve always wanted to go to the North Sea…lol kidding…But that is the other new foil in the plan: I wanna sail there. Thanks for the idea Craig.I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong with me and Scout spending nearly a month sailing to Europe. So I can sail up to the North Sea to Belgium. If nothing else, it’ll be a cool thing to have done in my life. Now all I gotta do is buy a boat, learn to sail. etc. I do, after all, look like a pirate as it is. I could shanghai some strippers from the Quarter and really have a nice trip knowing that if they get on my nerves I can just throw them over the side. I have to think once you throw that first mouthy stripper over the side, the rest of them will straighten right up. :) Chances are though, like so much of my life these days, it will just be me and Scout. I’d honestly rather make a nice, peaceful, happy life for myself here in New Orleans, but that’s more up to the anthropomorphic being that is New Orleans at this point, but I’ll do what I can to help.

Work on the over-valued-shanty-of-solitude has been slowly progressing seemingly against its will (in this case I think its personification more than anthropomorphism). I got the pvc drains in but discovered they’re backing up with shit from the other side of the house. At first I thought I’d done something stupid with the plumbing but after checking and rechecking it seems that there’s a clog somewhere in the city’s stack. Still my responsibility out to the curb though. I’m wondering if some of the fragments from breaking out the old cast iron piping got down in there. I need a bigger, motorized auger to try and clear it out. So I can look forward to a few hours of being elbow deep in shit next weekend. Can’t wait. Rather than deal with that, I opted to work on building the walls I need. Jerry-rigged the hell out of that crooked shit. But it’s strong and should square out the doorway for the pocket door. Next is sub flooring and then probably go ahead and lay the tile. Getting the tile in will allow me to get the bathtub in so I can install the door. What a complex mess! Everything contingent on everything else. Doing things in the wrong order can really create problems you don’t need. The bathtub was absconded (not really) from Magazine Street. I got an email about a couple of old cast iron tubs for free on Magazine so I went to check it out. One was in pretty good shape and even had all four feet attached. The only problem was that I was alone. If you ever run across a 200lb guy on the street trying to get a 400lb bathtub into the back of a pickup truck get the video camera out and start that mother up! It wasn’t pretty but I got it in there. It wore me out. Now I just have to figure out how to refinish it – anyone done that before? I’d love to eek some knowledge off ya.

Things like the bathtub and working on the house in general has created an odd kind of loneliness in my life. There’s so much to do and no one but myself to rely on to make the decisions and then do it. It’s an interesting little metaphor of the city. The weight of it has slowly pushed me into the ground. The gravity of it makes it easy to find myself just sitting on the futon/couchish/thingy in the fema trailer with my elbows on my knees, my chin in my hands just staring at the floor not thinking about anything. That’s usually in the morning which doesn’t help me get to work on time. I’m getting up earlier to accommodate it while I try to teach myself to stop doing that. It’s like a trance and time just disappears from me. And I don’t dare try and go to sleep without the TV on….my mind will torture me with questions or just run me through each undone project until I fall asleep having already build half the house in my mind several times.

I think part of my burn out is not getting out of town often enough. Craig often writes about the rejuvenating qualities of getting out of town, even if just for the day. I really almost never do that. It’s not that I don’t want to but it’s the same reasoning I use to not buy new work shoes. If I go out of town for the weekend then it means I won’t make any progress on the house that weekend….spending money on shoes means I didn’t spend the money on stuff for the house. Thing is, I’m to the point now that I don’t get nearly as much done over the weekend as I should. For example, yesterday I didn’t even leave the trailer, er other than to see what Swat was up to and to grab something to eat. I felt like I’d gotten enough done on the house on Saturday and needed a break. So it seems that I should get out of town more often because I’ll more than make that time up with the productivity and fewer mistakes when I do work on the house. It’s been a hard thing to convince myself of. I’ll be going to see my brother and his beautiful family in a few weeks in the Carolinas. I find I’m really looking forward to the trip. I’m hoping it corrects my perspective and recharges my batteries

I think that’s all…another long, rambling post full of non sequiturs.

Wait, one more, Ms. Hester’s soul food on Claiborne near Jackson is the Shiz-nat! Amazing food. Go get fat on these good eats.

30 Comments so far

  1. raspootin (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 11:12 am

    30%? Not bad… Nancy Marshall decided to simply take last year’s assessment and multiply it by 2.

    So everyone that I have talked to on my block received a 100% assessment.

    2 neighbors who purchased a tear down abutting the property of their home 4 years ago were reassessed at 500% more than their purchase price.

    As much as I was being Ms. Pollyanna sunshine a while ago – I have to say this 100% reassessment on top of increases every year is really souring me on the city.

    Nancy Marshall is sending a very bad message to the homeowners and Business owners in her district. She may well find that some of us are simply going sell and move on. What would have been wrong with phasing in the increase over the next couple years?

    A 100% reassessment puts me over $4000 a year after my homestead exemption. I do not think that my home value has increased over 4 x’s since I purchased it 12 years ago and it certainly has not doubled in value over the past year. I sincerely do not think that I could find someone stupid enough to buy a 1900 sq ft house for $400K…

    Please accept my sincere apologies for any recent attempts at trying to suppress negativity. No doubt renters who are already paying way too much are going to get passed the increase by land lords…/ small business owners will also see increases in rent with no increase in foot traffic… WTF is wrong with the powers that be in this city?

    I hope your friend makes a speedy recovery and the police find out who hit him.

  2. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 11:24 am

    Yeah, I commented to a friend yesterday that I’m sure if I got 30% other people really got hammered. Especially if the home was under-valued before. At the same time, given the city’s goal of making parking tickets and DUIs a primary revenue stream, you have to wonder if there aren’t more pressing financial motives.

    And I wouldn’t mind paying more if we actually get something for it…like better roads and schools, nice parks…I’m just not sure that’s going to be the case. That money will disappear.

  3. raspootin (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    The public schools in my district better see the money! I know that people in other cities pay a lot more than we do here, but they typically have good school systems.

    I still think Nancy Marshall could have phased this in, but all in all I don’t mind paying if as you said the money goes to what it is supposed go for.

    I would like to see some art and music programs paid for in schools with my extra $2K :)

    We all need to hold the city accountable for their windfall of assessment monies; it’s not like you can’t pay them so at least we can try to make sure the money is spent well.

  4. Chris (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

    I think part of it is just that most houses in the city have been completely undervalued by the assessors’ offices for the last couple of decades and now they’re finally catching up. before the storm I remember looking up my neighbors houses on the board of assessors website and they were all still being assessed at 1970s prices..
    after the hurricane they valued my place at $5,000 or something ridiculous, my tax bill has been about $30 for the last two years. I expect that to rise soon though.

    I have been toying with the idea of buying a motorcycle lately, when I read something like this it makes me want to reconsider. I guess riding a bicycle isn’t any safer though.

  5. steve (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    Marshall just fucking more than TRIPLED mine! It’s official folks, I can no longer afford to live in this city. I am an attorney who makes a decent living on paper and can no longer afford his $260,000 house.

  6. steve (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    Marshall just fucking more than TRIPLED mine! It’s official folks, I can no longer afford to live in this city. I am an attorney who makes a decent living on paper and can no longer afford his $260,000 house.

  7. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    Well Chris, buying a motorcycle is something you have to reconcile with yourself. It’s a very personal choice because you’re sort of putting yourself out there. Even just the condition of the roads makes me weary. I know a lot of people who ride all the time and they’re all safe, responsible riders. But it never hurts to give motorcycles a little bit wider berth. Riding responsibly, I’d actually say a bicycle is less safe than a motorcycle. At least a motorcycle is actively in and keeping up with traffic. Either way, with the number of trucks and SUVs in the city, if you get smacked you aren’t likely to come out of it unharmed. But why in the hell would you leave someone for dead in the road though – there’s no excuse for that.

    Many houses have been undervalued for decades so on some level it’s good to see people having to pay their part. However, phasing it in would have taken the blunt force off it. Between rebuilding, insurance increases, and now city taxes maybe we’re the New Big Easy: Easy to go bankrupt. My real problem with it is that there’s no transparency that I can find on how these assessments are being done. I’d like to know the formula and the process being used. Then we move on to transparency of where this money is going to go. There should be visible improvements wherever it goes. I suspect though we’re doing nothing more than metaphorically “restocking Jefferson’s freezer”

    If we’re running out people with good jobs and modest homes, how are the less fortunate going to hold onto their houses? What is a single mother working a minimum wage job going to do? Rent? With the cost of owning rising sharply there isn’t much choice but to pass the expense on to the renters. Why would you invent in rental property if it wasn’t at least paying for itself if not, more ideally, making a profit for you?

    And where are all the watchdog/advocacy groups now? I haven’t heard anything from them on the subject. Has this gotten by under the radar?

  8. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

    Well, in a happy coincidence my hot, somewhat Tina Fey looking council woman sent out an email full of yummy reassurances. It explains to some extent how the asseeement is only part of the equation for determining what the property tax will actually be. She describes it this way:

    “First, it is important to understand that assessments are merely one portion of the equation to determine a property’s tax rate. Assessment times millage = tax rate. So, until the millages are set in November, it is impossible to know a property’s tax rate.”

    Since I got it through the Freret Neighbors United mailing list I thought it best that I post it on their site and link to it. You can see the whole email and/or comment on it here:(The sight is still sort of under construction so bear with us.)

    There’s also information on how to contest your assessment.

  9. raspootin (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

    WWL is discussing the reassesments for the next 2 hours on Garland’s show if you are near a radio.

    2:15 – 4:00 7/30/07

  10. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

    Thanks, I’m listening to it now streaming live on wwl.

    All you have to do is figure out the gauntlet of bullshit you have to install to listen to it.

  11. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

    Wow, they’re throwing around numbers like 500 to 700 to 1200% increases. right or wrong, its going to sting.

    They’re also suggesting that the two week time frame to contest the assessment isn’t enough time. Hadn’t thought of that.

  12. raspootin (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

    Stacey Head is an iconoclastic cow. She wants to tax people out of their homes for the betterment of whom? The wealthy people who will buy in Orleans Parish when the middle and lower income people are forced out? That is what is sounded like she was saying; perhaps I misunderstood? I would love to know who all these wealthy people are that are clambering to purchase over inflated housing in Up Town New Orleans.

    People that just purchased properties in Orleans Parish were well aware of what they were going to have to pay in property taxes when they decided to purchase their homes.

    A person who purchased their home 15 or 20 years ago when the city was not as trendy and there was a huge white flight to The North Shore / Slidell had no idea that 15 years later their $80 K to $115K house was going to be assessed at 200 -500% more.

    That’s right, let’s punish the people who took the risk and made Orleans Parish sought after neighborhoods by taxing them out of their homes.

    Stacey’s example of 10 people going to a restaurant and one week one person pays $1000 and the next week it is fair because then everyone pays $100.00 was rather pathetic.

    It assumes that everyone had the same thing to eat. What if I order a glass of water because that fits my budget and you order champagne as that fits yours – should we pay the same thing?

    When I purchased my house at $125K I knew what I could afford. When you purchased yours for $400K you knew what you could afford.

    Who is saying post Katrina that my $125K house is worth the same as your $400K? Fair Market Value is based on what someone is willing to pay for a home and is bias towards people with more money as they are the ones that drive and over inflate the market.

    Basically what I am being told is that I do not really own my home. If there is someone who is willing to pay $400K for a house that is the same as mine then I am immediately forced to pay property taxes at the inflated rate.

    Shouldn’t there be a standard tax based on a standard square footage price per dollar? I am assuming that my property taxes have gone up every year as I live in a “popular” neighborhood. However, my salary has not gone up in kind. I am ok with what is fair and equal, but this does not seem fair and equal to me.

  13. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    I’m not sure if I understand what you’re saying completely.

    “That’s right, let’s punish the people who took the risk and made Orleans Parish sought after neighborhoods by taxing them out of their homes.”

    Combined with

    “I am assuming that my property taxes have gone up every year as I live in a “popular” neighborhood.”

    Sort of sounds like you aren’t sure your taxes have gone up over the last 15 or 20 years. If it didn’t, which should be fairly easy to find out I would think, then is the new assessment fair? Or if it didn’t go up then should it not go up because you took a chance and invested all those years ago? In the first question, the new assessment might be pretty close to the actual value of the home since you can’t really have a square footage standard – I mean 900sqft across the street from a project is not going to hold the same value as 900sqft that’s not – so location is a factor. You have to ask yourself, ‘could I buy this house in this condition right now for 125k?’ And if the answer is no then you have to look around at what comparable houses in your area are selling for which is what the house is likely worth, but that is a little trickier. I think real estate agents can do that for you. In the second question I don’t think I can support the idea that being here longer entitles someone to less than equitable taxes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I feel for you and everyone else who just got slapped hard. It’s a huge jump in overall cost of living and coupled with all the other increases I think people are inevitably going to have to move to more modest homes and I can’t think of many reasons they would stay in Orleans Parish if that’s the case. And I’m unclear on the millage thing that comes out in November. Anyone understand that? Seems like what Stacy was saying when not using inaccurate examples was that if the millage goes down as its expected to many people will pay less than they did last year while their house’s value goes up because the multiplier is lower. That makes sense if that’s how it actually happens and would be a really, really good thing. But that’s a big IF.

    I think, from what I learned today that the city could have side-stepped a lot of the uproar about this issue if the millage and assessments would have come out at the same time so people could easily see and understand the net result. At least that way they aren’t saying: “we’re the government, just trust us”.

    There are too many questions and it seems the issue is more complicated than it needs to be which always suggests something is sketchy, at least to me.

  14. Ann (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

    Wikipedia knows all:

    The property tax rate is often given as a percentage (amount of tax per hundred currency units of property value). It may also be expressed as a permille (amount of tax per thousand currency units of property value), which is also known as a millage rate or mill levy. (A mill is also one-thousandth of a dollar.) To calculate the property tax, the authority will multiply the assessed value of the property by the mill rate and then divide by 1,000. For example, a property with an assessed value of US$ 50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax bill of US$ 1,000.00 per year.

    So, based on what you have related, Jack, it is possible that a decrease in the millage will offset the jump in assessments. In thoery.


  15. raspootin (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

    The millage may or may not go down. I think the board can pretty much do as they please.

    My property taxes have increased every year. I paid $600 when I purchased the house in 1994 and paid $1950 last year. I don’t have a problem with this at all.

    In 2002 a lot of couples started buying homes in my neighborhood and paying a lot more that they were worth, over inflating the market in my opinion.

    Yes, I understand based on my new and improved assessment that I could supposedly sell my house for 2 x the assessed value of 2007. The point being do I want to sell my house? No -not really so if I can not afford the note, the insurance and an increase in property tax I am SOL.

    People are being taxed out of their homes in a manner that smacks of gentrification and something about that does not sit well with me.

    Can I afford the increase? Sure, but there are many people on fixed incomes that can’t. Perhaps the millage will be lowered to compensate for the increased appraisal and we will all just be laughing our way to the bank when it comes time to sell…

  16. Craig (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

    My experience at property taxation (and this is the third home I’ve owned in as many different states) is that it’s screwed up everywhere. It’s like going to a flea market, in that one person’s trash is another’s treasure — and the valuations are highly adjustable depending on who’s doing the adjusting and who’s determining what’s fair.

    We can say we’re taxing on a flat rate that’s the same for everyone. But this assumes we all have the same budget priorities, the same number of children, the same everything. What’s fair for one house might be outrageous for the guy next door. My taxes went up quite a bit as well — but as much as the much smaller house across the street that was renovated later. Is it fair? No. But my contention is that it’s no less fair here than in other cities I’ve lived in.

    In one house, I saw a guy in my driveway looking at the house. I went out to question him and he said he was doing assessments for the tax office. He says, “this is a 3/2, right?” Stupidly, I said, “no, it’s a 5/3.” When my tax bill arrived a couple months later, the rate of assessment went DOWN. Huh?

  17. Craig (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

    May tax rate did NOT go up as much as the house across the street, I should have said.

  18. Craig (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

    My tax rate did NOT go up as much as the house across the street, I should have said. Dang new keyboard.

  19. jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

    Good explanation Ann. I think I get it now. But Raspootin brings up a good point, what’s in place to keep the council from just doing whatever they want? And do they solely control the millage rate or are others involved? I think I heard they only control about 49% of the rate or something.

    Glad I didn’t offend you Raspootin, it wasn’t my intention but I feared I might have. I hope you’re right and we laugh all the way to the bank. Clearly, some people are not going to survive the shakeout, which is more than a little sad.

    I guess, as Craig alluded to, there’s just something subjective in the process that makes it all suspect. I don’t understand the over site in place to ensure an equitable tax rate on both sides of the equation. The assessor makes what we hope is an educated guess based on Fair Market Value (which can be manipulated as Raspootin said) and then the mill rate is established through some process later. Bam, hit it all with the spice weasel and there’s the tax you owe. That disappears into the coffers (hopefully) which are then distributed in the city’s budget. That may be an oversimplified description but I certainly understand more about it now than I did this morning.

    Seems like they’ve lubed us all up, but whether they’re actually going to fuck us won’t be known until November.

    I think that about covers it….lol

  20. Owen (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

    I’d like to answer a few questions (paraphrased) that are floating around these comments:

    1. How do you value properties except by sales price?

    Proper market valuations aren’t easy, but they can be done properly. Formulas based on home sales and visual inspections of the relative conditions of homes can generate fairly accurate figures. The current plan is to contract out valuations to a private firm, which should ensure more accurate results in the future. However, although perfection isn’t possible, an outdated sales price is probably the worst way of assessing value. It’s also horribly unfair.

    2. Isn’t it unfair to revalue property based on market valuations, and thus price people out of their own homes?

    Refusing to revalue homes distorts the real estate market and scares off newcomers. You can’t have two tiers of taxpayers; people who have bought recently, and thus pay their full obligation, and those who bought decades ago or inherited their homes, who therefore pay practically nothing based on a hideously outdated price. First of all, having owned a home for a lengthy period of time doesn’t make a person any less obligated to pay their fair share of taxes. If they can’t afford to pay the taxes, they can always sell the home, recoup the increased value, and move elsewhere. Secondly, such distortions ensure that new homebuyers pay the tax burdens of others, which is grossly unfair.

    3. Won’t the city council just refuse to lower the millages?

    They can’t. The millages will have to go down as a matter of state law as the assessments increase unless the city council affirmatively decides to raise them. The city council has done that historically, but mainly because of the aforementioned two-tier system. If you have a majority of voters who come in under the homestead exemption due to deflated assessments and therefore don’t care what the millages are, then there’s no disincentive for the city council to jack them up. However, if everyone is in the sale boat, then the city council shouldn’t do so because in theory, it would upset *all* voters and result in the council being collectively thrown out of office.

    4. What about people’s expections when they purchase a home?

    If people had an expectation that corrupt assessors would prevent them from paying their fair share of taxes via bizarrely lowballed assessments, they deserve a wake-up call. The system was supposed to be based on home value; homeowners should have anticipated increases. Now, I would support an appraisal cap of, say, 10% once the appraisals are normalized, but right now the system is criminally out-of-whack and full of homeowners who leech off a corrupt system. I don’t feel sorry for them at all.

    5. What about people on fixed incomes?

    As noted above, they can sell their homes and get the increased value. Also, some jurisdictions give hardship exemptions to certain classes of senior citizens; such a system could be considered.

  21. Laureen (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

    wow, this might be the textbook of why nothing works from the ground on up! LOL, I started out seeing how you should hire a contractor for some more complicated things. Then I realized, it’s really about fucking it up yourself and blaming others ! Democracy ! Great Work, Jack. You could lecture across the nation and probably from your trailer.

  22. jack Ware (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

    I can’t tell if I should be insulted or not, Laureen.

  23. Frolic (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

    I agree with you completely Owen.

    The current system is corrupt and unjust. Reforming it is a major step in improving New Orleans.

  24. Ann (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

    It’s not just NOLA, which I think was Owen’s greater point. There are sections of Memphis where you have $499K zero-lot line McMansions next to circa 1950 3/2 ranches, more often than not occupied by lower income or limited income people. Same thing going on in Nashville and Chattanooga. TN just passed a homestead exemption for senior citizens who fall into the category of “bought 40 years ago, paid it off, retired, on a fixed income, and now can’t afford the property taxes due to gentrification.”

    Under assesment is a plaque that is difficult to remedy without the trauma y’all are experiencing. Additionally, LA has the most generous homestead exemption I know of (I could be wrong). There’s a necessary tension between worth, taxable worth, and feasability. I think NOLA is struggling to find that balance.

    I feel your pain. (well, sorta. My bedroom suburb was just named a Top 100 Place to Live so we’re now doomed. And we already pay out the wazoo for H2O. Can’t wait to sell – hey a nice 4/2 on a 1/4 acre, fenced, in Bartlett, TN. Relativley cheap. Call me!)

  25. Please (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

    Has raspootin checked out real estate listings for Uptown New Orleans? An assessment of $400,000 or so for a house in Uptown is in line with asking prices for decent homes in most decent areas there. The average asking price seems to be about $200-$225 per square foot. Go see for yourself at any website carrying the multiple listings for New Orleans.

  26. Raspootin (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

    Has raspootin checked out real estate listings for Uptown New Orleans?

    Yes I have. I still think the prices are over inflated.

    Yeah I’m rich!!! All I have to do is find someone to buy my 1 bedroom home for $400K.

  27. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

    So, Ras, have you started gathering info to contest it? Are you even going to try and contest it – which I think you can do in person or by phone starting tomorrow?

    **Not directed at Ras from here down**
    I was reading the TP article today about this (no link – you all know what I’m referring to I’m sure) and I started wondering:

    Do you think it makes a difference in the value of your property that with 80% of the city flooded, that you stayed high and dry? Better yet do you think it should make a difference? It just seems like its mostly the un-flooded house owners that feel they’ve gotten screwed. Unfortunately, the people that live uptown weren’t exactly sympathetic characters pre-K in the eyes of the rest of New Orleans for right or wrong. And uptown sure as hell isn’t a sympathetic character now. Think about what someone in N.O. East sees everyone saying about this argument….’Life’s so tough that you’re house value doubled in a few years while my house value went to zero in a few hours. Guess you’ll have to sell it, take your tens of thousands of dollars of profit and go buy something that isn’t in your precious “uptown”.’

    I mean, you can see there’s a point in there. Not that anyone would necessarily buy at the assessed value but they wouldn’t have for everyone that’s complaining to make a very tidy profit right? And that sets aside the fact that you may not want to sell. But still, it isn’t hard to see a pretentious slant to what’s going on if you look at it through different eyes.

    Maybe that answers my own question of where all the watchdog/advocacy groups are on the subject? Maybe they aren’t interested in what they perceive to be a bunch of whinny, wealthy, white people. It is certainly a possibility.

    The mayor hasn’t said shit on the subject but I doubt anyone finds that strange.

  28. termite. (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    you always manage to write posts that get folks thinking and talking.

    nice job monkeyboy. ;)

    Geaux Saints! ;D

  29. Please (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

    raspootin: My point was, What else are assessors supposed to go on? Your word? The worth of a house in an unflooded or lightly flooded area from two to even five years ago? Someone obviously must be successfully selling homes for $225 a square foot, or else there wouldn’t be so many on the market at that price. There can’t be that many greedy people in Uptown (or other pricey areas such as Bayou St. John). And if so many people are that greedy, they deserve the higher taxes until enough of their neighbors or former neighbors bitch at them about raising the neighborhood’s assessments. Reality will set in soon enough, if the homes are being sold for too much.

  30. Please (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

    Well, not “sold for too much,” but “on sale for too much/have a sale price that’s too high.”

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