Jul 22 2008

High Property Taxes vs. Suburban Car Costs

Published by at 11:10 pm under Resources

Came across this interesting article on Jamie Smith Hopkins’ blog on Baltimore Sun.


Think of this as a rebuttal to the previously posted article in the Wall Street Journal regarding high property taxes in Baltimore:


Property Taxes vs. Car Costs
Annoyed that the city’s property tax rate is twice as high as Baltimore County’s? Bob Aydukovic with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore has a comeback: car costs.
He says AAA calculates the average annual cost of owning and using a car, assuming you drive it 15,000 miles a year, at just over $8,000. (The range is $6,300 for a small sedan and $10,500 for a mid-sized SUV, and it includes gas, maintenance, tires, insurance, payments and depreciation.)

If you’re part of a couple living in suburbia, you probably need two cars. But if you move somewhere where you can get rid of one car — like, oh, say, downtown, he suggests — then you save $8,000-plus a year on average.

“Owning two cars is almost a necessity in suburban locations, and therefore, it functions as a tax on suburban living,” said Aydukovic, vice president of economic development with the Downtown Partnership. “It costs you a lot more than filling the tank every week. And I think people don’t realize that.”


8 Comments to “High Property Taxes vs. Suburban Car Costs”

  1. mgo2000on 23 Jul 2008 at 9:04 am

    That assessment naively assumes that you have a job downtown. We are a couple and neither of us has a job “downtown”, but rather outside of the city (30 and 40 miles respectively…) How does living in the city help us? The truth is that many times the jobs are nowadays in the suburbs or even in other neighboring cities. We live here in B City because we like city living. Lower taxes would go a long way to attract people. The car argument is not very bright or useful….

  2. c-feron 23 Jul 2008 at 9:28 am

    I can’t get away with dropping a car because there’s no public transportation from my house to the close suburubs (Towson), where I work. On the other hand, I can buy a house that is very close (6.5 mi) to by job for much less in the city than what I could find within the same distance in the county. Plus those more expensive houses in the county would have a lower tax rate, but a higher net tax bill. Most of my co-workers get caught up in the very long commutes for a cheap house in PA. I think my solution costs less and I don’t spend hours every day sitting in my car.

  3. baltimorerowhouseon 23 Jul 2008 at 9:49 am

    Since Baltimore city is so unfriendly to businesses (high taxes), there aren’t as many jobs in the city as there should be. I wish I worked in the city, but most jobs are out in the burbs.

  4. I am so wiseon 23 Jul 2008 at 10:03 am

    And let us not forget that suburban schools are vastly superior to anything Baltimore City has and the residents of places like Baltimore and Howard counties generally are better behaved.

  5. JimGreektownon 23 Jul 2008 at 7:54 pm

    yes, we pay higher taxes than the surrounding suburbs, however we have much more infrastructure to maintain and crime to contain. in fact, i don’tt think we should have gotten the 2 cent tax cut this year because that meant nothing to any of us and added up could have made a big impact on the city.

    don’t forget that we are getting more house for our dollars in the city and we will also see much more return on our investment than our suburban counterparts, especially now with the housing downturn.

  6. mgo2000on 24 Jul 2008 at 11:22 am

    So the cycle goes like this:
    high taxes because we need to keep crime down and infrastructure up ==> business will stay away from B City keeping well paid jobs in the burbs ==>
    no good jobs means no means to increase the tax base (most folks in the city earn less than a paltry $30K a year….) ==> good schools will forever stay away from the city ==> no graduates capable of getting well paid jobs (which wouldn’t be in the city anyway because of business stays away…see?) ==> gosh we need higher taxes to keep crime down and infrastructure up ’cause we HAVE NO TAX BASE!!

    Don’t cut it by 2 cents….cut it to B County levels!

  7. BePineyon 31 Jul 2008 at 11:21 am

    One less car in the city? Yeah right! My commute is only 7 miles – but it’s to AA county. Guess how much longer public transportation would take than private auto. Now, factor that 90 minutes a day in at a modest $15/hr and it pay’s for most of the car all by itself. Losing a car in the city is far more than a small inconvenience, it’s a significant sacrifice in time and money.

  8. Bookmarks about Weblogson 08 Sep 2008 at 5:30 pm

    [...] – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by MomomiyaKagome on 2008-08-18 High Property Taxes vs. Suburban Car Costs http://www.baltimoregrows.com/2008/07/22/high-property-taxes-vs-suburban-car-costs/ – bookmarked [...]

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