Dear Homeowner: If You’re Paying $260,000 in Property Taxes Over 20 Years, What Exactly Do You “Own”?

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

If we understand property taxes as a “lease from the local government for the right to gamble on another housing bubble arising,” we see “ownership” in a different light.

We’re constantly told ours is an ownership society in which owning a home is the foundation of household wealth. The concept of ownership may appear straightforward, but consider these questions:

1. If the house is mortgaged, what does the homeowner “own” when the bank has the senior claim to the property?

2. If the homeowner owes local government $13,000 a year in property taxes, what does the homeowner “own” once they pay $260,000 in property taxes over 20 years?

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