Personal Finance Roundup

How to Reduce Your Property Taxes [Business Week] “The housing market may have softened, but many homeowners are discovering one place where their property values remain at peak levels: on local property-tax rolls.”

12 Ways to Save on Insurance [Free Money Finance] “Here are 12 tips to help you get the coverage you need without spending a fortune.”

8 secret scores that lenders keep [MSN Money] “Lenders track every last detail of your spending habits, then use the data to estimate not just how big a risk you are but how profitable a customer you might be.”

How to Avoid Getting Blindsided By Job Loss This Holiday Season [Career Journal] “Don’t let all the merrymaking lure you into a false sense of security because the holidays are also the season for layoffs.”

Fight Soaring Fuel Costs with an Energy Audit [Yahoo Finance] “If we’re smarter about how we use energy in our homes, we can save plenty of money — and make a positive impact on the environment, too.”

(Photo: Annerna)


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  1. JiminyChristmas says:

    Don’t waste your time trying to jack with your house assessment. The very best you can hope for from an appeal is a modest savings for a year or two until the system catches up.

    Whichever jurisdiction is collecting taxes on your property needs a certain level of revenue to operate. They will collect it one way or another. As long as valuations kept going up the taxing authorities didn’t have to actually raise rates to increase revenue; the market did it for them.

    Let’s say you and your neighbors all have your assessments adjusted down 15%. Do you think the state, or whomever, is going to cut their budget 15%? No, they will just raise the tax rate enough to get their revenue back to what your ‘inflated’ assessment provided and you will be right back at square one.

  2. bohemian says:

    It looks like the bank data (TRIAD) is looking at things like if you run out of money by the end of the month frequently. Things like merchandise transactions at the beginning but cash advances before pay day.

    Not a big deal? Now combine that with the retail purchase data places like Choicepoint collect.

    Someone needs to find the scoring rules for both Triad and the data miners like Choicepoint. That would be a best selling book.

  3. kamel5547 says:

    @JiminyChristmas: Depends on the state. California caps assessment increases at 2 or 3 % annually. If you bought a house recently you can save a few years worth of increases and there is NOTHING the county can do except hope home values increase (my aprents are assessed on a tax base of less than half of their home value nowdays…)

  4. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Okay, so “property transfer” — if the purchase price for your property is significantly lower than the state’s assessed value, do they adjust the latter at all?