Our property taxes went up by about 25% this year. This is probably fair. The amount we were paying reflected what the house was worth in 1991, which is 1/3 of its market value now.
At the same time, it sort of pisses me off. What are we getting for the extra $X we're paying the city? It feels like we're sending the money into this big black bureaucratic hole where it will be used to... I don't know... pay for the mayor's new iPhone (oh wait, that was the OLD mayor).
The elementary school in our district is failing. And when it snows (which thankfully hasn't been often these past two years) the city doesn't even bother to send a plow down our street. They refused to turn the lights on in the city parking lot on our corner because it cost too much money, leading the lot to become a haven at night for people doing / selling drugs / other nefarious activities. Maybe the money is for police? Whenever I call the cops -- probably something I do once every other month or so -- they are always quick to respond.
The elementary school situation makes me laugh. With irony. Soooo.... this is the backup school to the good school that people pay a 150K premium for to buy a house in that catchment area. And the backup school is an "empowerment" school, which means that it has been taken over by the federal gov't (I believe) because it is so bad.
People in my neighborhood who have no choice / for some reason WANT to send their kids there try to guilt / cajole / apply peer pressure to get you to see what an awful entitled human being you are for saying you'd rather shell out 25K per year for private school than to send your child to that shit hole. They will say that they are working with the school to "green" the playground (woo - bushes.) and to start an "art" program. And.... I guess that's nice and all. But what good are either of these things if they kids can't do math or read. Or if some 15 year old 8th grader brings a gun to school.
Oh! To that end, some moms in the community had gotten together to donate books and create a reading corner in a 1st grade classroom. And... on MLK day last year (a school holiday), the feds came on an unannounced walk-through of the classroom and demanded that the reading corner be discarded because it was "messy." It was gone by the time the kids came to school the next day. Nobody's opinions were asked, and all that time -- all those books -- that had been donated by members of the community were simply pitched into the trash, and there was nothing anyone could say or do to stop it.
So yeah. Color me unimpressed.
Honestly, I don't give a crap what those other parents think. There is no way I'm sending my child to that school. I will live in a cardboard box if I have to in order to afford private school for her.