Friday, June 11, 2021

Property Taxes

How the fuck do they work? 

Yet almost everyone balks at choosing between them — so much so that when we’re talking about unequal outcomes, we tend to insist we’re really only mad because the winners broke the rules. Even if we must invent new rules for people to break, such as “You shouldn’t wait until you sell an asset to pay taxes on your capital gains.”

That idea has recently gained currency among some progressive academics, but it’s not how the U.S. tax code works, for good reason. It probably wouldn’t feel very fair if it applied to you and me — just because the value of your house jumped in a hot market doesn’t mean you have enough cash to pay taxes on that appreciation. And while the ultrawealthy wouldn’t be forced out of their family homes, they might be forced to sell off stock of a business they spent decades building. Eight of the 10 richest people in the United States got that way by building very successful firms from the ground up.

(ht jon schwarz)