Driving around town yesterday, as is my unfortunate wont, I noticed a bumper crop of new yard signs. "STOP THE NC HOME TAX" they exhort me. "Hmmm," I wonder, "what's that?" Noodling around on the web a little, as is another of my wonts, I find the site that explains it all: www.itsabadidea.org, set up by The NC Association of Realtors. NCAR has also started The NC Homeowners Alliance, an advocacy group, "to develop positive information campaigns to educate residents on issues of local importance." It's hard to see how a website and signs saying "STOP THE NC HOME TAX: Taxing the Equity in your Home is a Bad Idea" qualifies as positive, but I suppose that's just semantics.
Stop the madness, I say. I can't open the paper without reading about some whiner filing suit against my county's school system for this or that transgression. The constant refrain is that when they were moving here, the Realtor or the Realtor's website promised them top-flight schools, which we have, and now they're being asked to transfer/change schedules/make some sacrifice for the good of the entire system, and they're mad as hell. Well, now I'm mad. No one wants to pony up for Wake County, or any other county I bet, but they sure do want those great schools. They don't want to pay higher taxes and they don't want to pass bonds (nyah nyah nyah, as the Stooges would say), and now they don't want to pay a transfer tax either. Well, who does? It would be great for all of us to kick back and invest our tax money in our lawns (or shoes if you're me), but the reality is we're a society that believes in educating our young. I mean, we do believe in that, right? Guess what? That's not free. It costs lots of money, and it costs more every year since our beautiful state keeps on growing. Wake County's school population alone is projected to almost double by 2025. Since most growth projections have been exceeded, we should plan for at least that much. And that means ponying up at tax time and at home-buying time and at home-selling time. Because that's the way civilization works, we have a shared value and we share the cost of making that value reality. Come on, NCAR, put the Real in Realty and let's all pay for what we say we believe in.
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