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Thread: Property taxes in incorporated vs unincorporated areas

  1. #1
    Dec 2008
    the delta

    Property taxes in incorporated vs unincorporated areas

    Where I live most people live in a city. If you live in the unincorporated county you pay significantly less property taxes but there are far less services available. 99% of all new development is inside a city because of the water and sewer service so outside development is not a problem.

    In areas of the country where much of the populated land is unincorporated (such as Las Vegas or Los Angeles) are the property taxes a lot lower than in the cities? Do unincorporated areas in these areas have water and sewer systems or are they all on septic systems and wells? Coming from a background of "only-in-cities" development I find this very interesting and unusual.

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Unincorporated areas in Ohio are called Townships. Townships have no income tax, but have a pretty even property tax. A lot of Townships have fairly rural schools so the overall tax burden is lower because less is needed.

    Townships all use the services of the County they are in. So people pay their taxes to the county for their water, sewer, etc.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Feb 2007
    Playing at a movie theater near you
    No difference in CA, except in most unincorporated areas, sewer, water, and other "special services" including fire/police/parks, etc may have additional assessments for those services in unincorporated areas. Cities may also add these additional assessments to annex or have new development pay its fair share to provide those services.

    It seems here, unincorporated development occurs more so because of relaxed development rules (depending on the County versus City of course) more so than anything else unless we are talking sales tax generating land uses, than..

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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
    Jun 2009
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Almost all places outside of corporate limits are on septic here. We have a policy with our sanitary district that if anybody's septic system goes out and they are adjacent to the City they have to annex or sign an annexation agreement in order to connect up to the City sanitary sewer system. This is how we get a lot of our annexations accomplished.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    One of the big problems here in Wisconsin is that the country property tax is levied evenly throughout the county regardless if it is in a city, village or unincorporated township area, but properties in incorporated areas often don't get the services from the county that most township residents get (ie, police) and are charged again via the municipal property tax for them when the muni provides it for themselves. Since there is a strict property tax uniformity clause in the state constitution, counties cannot charge different rates based on the services that various munis do and do not provide for themselves. Thus, for example, residents in the central cities, with their own police departments, are on the hook for providing police protection (via their county tax) for residents in urbanized suburban townships without their own police departments. Ditto health inspections, etc.

    Another 'double taxation' is where one muni (ie, an urbanized suburban township) does not require sidewalks while an adjacent muni (ie, a larger central city) does require sidewalks, both are in the same school district (also subject to the uniformity clause) and because of the unsafe condition caused by the lack of sidewalks, the city's property owners end up paying the majority of the cost (through their school property taxes) for busing the urbanized township's school children around the unsafe township streets - even though the reason is 100% due to the township's overt cheapness in not installing sidewalks.

    Inequities like this have been a statewide problem for many years.


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