Would you pay more tax to help house the homeless?

46 Replies

Do you believe that we should be willing to  pay more tax to help house the homeless?

I'm going to ask again in a minute, but first am going to tell you about 2 of my properties.

Rental 1.

I've owned it for  4 years  without ever having an insurance claim. Situated next to a boarded up property.

Rental 2.

Owned for 3 years. Had a $10k insurance claim  2 weeks after taking out the policy which the insurer paid.

Up until this month premiums on both were the same about $600pa. Guess which premium just doubled. 

That's right Rental 1. 

The reasoning as explained by my broker is that homeless people break into vacant properties for shelter and end up starting fires whilst trying to keep warm. If next door burns, good chance you burn too.

So do you believe that we should be willing to pay more tax to help house the homeless. No point saying it's not the role of government because there isn't anybody else who is going to solve that problem.

Ihe,

I think that government should give us a tax break if we rent to the homeless 

sad fact is many who live on the streets prefer it.. you could offer free place and they won't take it.. only in cases of EXTREME weather do they come inside..  we have it bad here in Portland.. homeless camp out every where.

we don't have what your describing breaking into vacant homes because we don't have vacant homes we don't have any ghetto type settings.. so these folks will just camp in anyplace they can find many times right by million dollar homes.. its a problem. as nothing in our inner city sells for much less than 600k a door..

Honolulu same thing.. no one Is breaking into vacant homes there are no vacant homes.. they all camp out literally camping on the side walks in the financial districts..  

Its a long thought process.. however I worked with many like this for many years.. ( my dad did) we would pick them up at the Y or other shelters when they were leaving at 7am for the day.. and give them day jobs.. we did this for years. so I have talked to many.. and like I said for a certain amount of them its a lifestyle choice ..

Granted you have the families that would love housing .. so bottom line don't know what to do really.

The vast majority of homeless have varying degrees of mental illness. They live on the streets for that reason by choice. At one time these people were institutionalised however the government has for the most part backed out of that endeavor and turned them lose on the general public. Homeless people can not be helped if they do not want help.

The upside is most do not collect s8 which is a savings in tax dollars. On the other side it is necessary to often involve the police to clear them out of certain areas of a city where they are having a detrimental effect. This has a cost to tax payers as well. 

For those areas where there are abandoned homes the owners should be forced to tear them down or the government should step in to do it.

Abandoned homes should be sold to investors for $1 to get taxes rolling again or they need to be bulldozed.

No, I already pay too much in taxes.

I would be all over my city to deal with the abandoned property next to mine.  The city needs to fence it off, board up and monitor the attractive nuisance next door to your property.  Or have the fire department use it for a practice burn.

Can you buy the property for unpaid taxes and either upgrade or bulldoze?

@Ihe O.

No, I would not pay higher taxes to house the homeless.

The problem is not rooted in homelessness, it is rooted in mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse. Merely giving a homeless person a place to stay doesn't actually solve the problem and as @Jay Hinrichs said, many of them would not stay in provided housing anyway.

@Anthony Gayden

OK. 

Would you pay higher taxes to address mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse. 

Or would you rather pay higher premiums to your insurance company because the house next door became vacant and insurance companies are afraid someone from that demographic will break in an accidentally start a fire whilst trying to keep warm.

Originally posted by @Ihe O. :

@Anthony Gayden

OK. 

Would you pay higher taxes to address mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse. 

Or would you rather pay higher premiums to your insurance company because the house next door became vacant and insurance companies are afraid someone from that demographic will break in an accidentally start a fire whilst trying to keep warm.

 I can shop around for different insurance providers. I can pick and choose the features of my insurance plan and the deductible. I can also purchase the house next door and rehab it.

If a tax goes up to support the homeless, there is nothing I can do but pay it, whether it helps the homeless or not.

@Anthony Gayden

Most insurers won't insure you and I am only able to stay with my current insurer because I am grandfathered in.  My broker found insurers that were $200 cheaper but they were not offering the coverage  I wanted (e.g they  would have excluded the claim I had on Rental 2 in my initial post).

Basically the 3rd option of paying neither higher taxes nor higher premiums is usually not going to be there. 

What I can discern from your answer is that you are not willing to pay higher taxes and would rather pay higher premiums. 

@Ihe O.

I would pay lots more in taxes to care for the weakest members of our society. I would pay lots more for everyone to have a basic level of health care regardless of income. Most of all, I would pay lots and lots of taxes for prenatal care to reduce infant mortality to European levels in the USA and finally eliminate the racial implications in that American statistic as it stands today.

I think you've nailed it on the head, Ihe. Smallholder landlords and homeowners in inadequate neighborhoods are forced to pay a good part of the price for the deficiencies of our public health care system in the way you have described. It's a hidden tax on us. Through inflated insurance costs, we are unfairly targeted as a group and forced to subsidize the ineffective mental illness and substance abuse programs that exist in this country, to pick up the tab for many of the costs that are left on the table by these systems. So we are effectively subsidizing both the poor, who cannot pay, and the very wealthy, who do not as a rule own and operate SF or MF properties in C and D-class neighborhoods and therefore do not pay as well.

The only practical solution to this and many other dilemmas like it is to become richer and transition out of the C and D-class neighborhoods, or to become poor.

It was Thucydides who pointed out thousands of years ago that questions about what is "Right" and what is "Wrong" only really matter between people who are equal in power. In this world, the strong do whatever they want and the weak suffer what they must.

You have a better shot of winning the lottery and building the largest shelter in the universe than relying on the federal government to fix homelessness.

Taxes are low in my area and the city, county, and residents have a ton of outreach to the homeless.  The older I get, the more I learn that smart aspirational people, not more money, solve problems.

I would pay higher taxes for programs that would help homeless people to house themselves.

Health Care (including for mental illness) - YES

Birth Control for those who want it - YES

Subsidized Day Care - YES

Education and Career Development and Job Training - YES

Food Support (school lunches, food stamps, meals on wheels) - YES

Higher Social Security payouts for those unable to work - YES

Temporary Housing Programs for those working on improving their situation - YES

I fully support programs that offer a hand up rather than a hand out.

Originally posted by @Ihe O. :

@Anthony Gayden

Most insurers won't insure you and I am only able to stay with my current insurer because I am grandfathered in.  My broker found insurers that were $200 cheaper but they were not offering the coverage  I wanted (e.g they  would have excluded the claim I had on Rental 2 in my initial post).

Basically the 3rd option of paying neither higher taxes nor higher premiums is usually not going to be there. 

What I can discern from your answer is that you are not willing to pay higher taxes and would rather pay higher premiums. 

 The less expensive coverage was available if you wanted it, but you chose not to take it. If your taxes are higher, you can't do anything about the cost. You have to pay it. Meanwhile there would be no indication if the tax was even fixing your problem.

Imagine that your city decides to create a big tax against all property owners to fund homeless shelters. Your property taxes go up $2000 a year. However at the end of the day, the house next to your is still abandoned and your insurance company would still charge a higher rate. So now you are hit with a double whammy. Not only that but the homeless drug users and mentally ill don't like sleeping in the shelter because they aren't allowed to use drugs and alcohol in there, so the homeless issue is not solved.

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Account Closed - 

Image result for how much does the us spend on the military

But sure, out of all the people who indicated they'd pay higher taxes, pick on me.  It's all good.

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I wouldn’t choose to pay higher taxes for any purpose, because the government is the absolute last place that I trust to handle money. They do a terrible job with the money they already have.

At the end of the day I do not believe raising taxes will have the intended effect of helping those in need. Government is slow and inefficient in a lot of its social programs.

I do believe in helping those in need, but I do not believe that raising taxes will accomplish that goal.

Account Closed 

Or, we could change *where* we spend the money.  More for the people, less on war mongering throughout the world.  (WTF were we even doing in Niger???)

How about we leave our taxation structure the same, and in that pie chart I posted (you saw that right?), we take that $598.5 billion and spend 98.5 billion on the military, 100 billion on paying down the debt and then 400 billion and increase all of those other pie pieces.

Or hell, spend 98.5 billion on the military, 100 billion on paying down the debt, 100 billion on the political asshats who want to fly private jets all over the country, play golf every weekend, and waste whatever they've been wasting and let's spend 300 billion on social programs.

Yes, it's a spending problem - we're spending it on the wrong crap.

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Originally posted by @Anthony Gayden :
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:

@Anthony Gayden

Most insurers won't insure you and I am only able to stay with my current insurer because I am grandfathered in.  My broker found insurers that were $200 cheaper but they were not offering the coverage  I wanted (e.g they  would have excluded the claim I had on Rental 2 in my initial post).

Basically the 3rd option of paying neither higher taxes nor higher premiums is usually not going to be there. 

What I can discern from your answer is that you are not willing to pay higher taxes and would rather pay higher premiums. 

 The less expensive coverage was available if you wanted it, but you chose not to take it. If your taxes are higher, you can't do anything about the cost. You have to pay it. Meanwhile there would be no indication if the tax was even fixing your problem.

Imagine that your city decides to create a big tax against all property owners to fund homeless shelters. Your property taxes go up $2000 a year. However at the end of the day, the house next to your is still abandoned and your insurance company would still charge a higher rate. So now you are hit with a double whammy. Not only that but the homeless drug users and mentally ill don't like sleeping in the shelter because they aren't allowed to use drugs and alcohol in there, so the homeless issue is not solved.

Originally posted by @Anthony Gayden :
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:

@Anthony Gayden

Most insurers won't insure you and I am only able to stay with my current insurer because I am grandfathered in.  My broker found insurers that were $200 cheaper but they were not offering the coverage  I wanted (e.g they  would have excluded the claim I had on Rental 2 in my initial post).

Basically the 3rd option of paying neither higher taxes nor higher premiums is usually not going to be there. 

What I can discern from your answer is that you are not willing to pay higher taxes and would rather pay higher premiums. 

 The less expensive coverage was available if you wanted it, but you chose not to take it. If your taxes are higher, you can't do anything about the cost. 

You are deflecting from the question. The premium offered by the same insurance company for the same coverage doubled. The lower premiums that were available still amounted to a 70% premium increase for coverage that wouldn't include basement flooding and given what happened in my other rental accepting that would be stupid. 

The scenario I presented to you is real, I'm declining your invitation to conjecture based on an imaginary city tax increase.

Interesting your insurance co did a search and found house next door was vacant.. as a new customer i might expect a higher rate buy as a renewal I would have not expected them to do a drive by...

If the area is getting that depressed so is your property value,, what would they pay for replacement,, maybe it's time to sell

My taxes are high enough, if the people actually needing the assistance were properly and more carefully screened there might be less homelessness. We do what we can and contribute to help those we can and pay our taxes.. 

It's your local city officials (along with other city's) that need to step up and flight blight , get these houses faster off the board up stage, so they can be rehabbed or tore down, so homeowners can keep their properties intact without being forced to pay this type of increase

Try a city council meeting to voice your concerns.. good place to start

I would gladly pay higher taxes for all of the things mentioned. The problem is that I know that there is no chance that my higher taxes go to any of those problems. If we had a government that was structured to solve these problems, they would already be solved. Tax revenue is not the reason we don't have single payer healthcare, better mental Illness care, or homelessness. The money is there, it's just spent on things that help no one but the wealthy

If the government was capable of solving this problem, I would definitely pay more taxes.  But the fact is that the more the government tries to solve this problem, the worse it will get.  I'll take that increased money that I would pay in taxes and give to n organization or person to help the situation, and I would have an expectation of a return on that investment - changed life or community.

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