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I am now getting confused as to how it works in the US.

My council tax pays for things like rubbish collection, local roads maintenence (hollow laugh) street cleaning, landscaping in local public spaces etc.  The sort of thing that everyone needs/uses/benefits from.  The society environment if you like.

Are you saying that in the US if I am renting a property then the landlord/owner pays the contribution for all these things even if they live thousands of miles away?  So the tenent does not pay for their rubbish collection, street cleaning etc?

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1 minute ago, Starsphinx said:

So the tenent does not pay for their rubbish collection, street cleaning etc?

As I see it, they do in practice as it's added to the rent. Only the liability is different- they're liable to pay the landlord, not the council.

It does make for a much narrower tax base, though.

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Thinking about all of this takes me back to when Maggie Thatcher introduced the short lived poll tax. This was based on a tax per person rather than per property. There were riots including the one in 1990 in Trafalgar Square when many people were injured. A friend of ours was a news video photographer who was badly injured when he was hit on the head by a scaffold pole.

The tax was scrapped and the existing council tax came into being.

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1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

I am now getting confused as to how it works in the US.

My council tax pays for things like rubbish collection, local roads maintenence (hollow laugh) street cleaning, landscaping in local public spaces etc.  The sort of thing that everyone needs/uses/benefits from.  The society environment if you like.

Are you saying that in the US if I am renting a property then the landlord/owner pays the contribution for all these things even if they live thousands of miles away?  So the tenent does not pay for their rubbish collection, street cleaning etc?

When I lived in Oklahoma City, the trash pickup charges came with the water bill each month. Rubbish collection was a city thing. 
Here in Wichita, Kansas, each homeowner/renter hires one of a few businesses that have rubbish collection services. I can choose which company. I pay my bill online every 3 months. I believe each town/city chooses how to do it, but I was surprised rubbish collection wasn’t a city-run thing when I moved here 2 years ago.

I haven’t seen a street cleaner machine since I was a girl living in a small town. That said, I don’t see rubbish in the streets, at least in the towns I have lived in. Used to, years ago, but not a lot.  There are hefty fines for littering.

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Estelle, I hate to add to your confusion about the American way of doing things, but be aware that the USA has 50 states and countless cities, and the laws can be different in all of them. Yes, there are federal laws but the state and cities laws would be controlling much of what we're discussing. 

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

That said, I don’t see rubbish in the streets, at least in the towns I have lived in. Used to, years ago, but not a lot.  There are hefty fines for littering.

 

Not the streets but the major roads where I live are absolutely rife with litter. It looks awful. It’s not so obvious in the summer but come autumn (fall) and the grass is cut and the vegetation dies back you can see how much litter there is.

On a road trip in the US a few years ago I was impressed by how clean the road sides are. I wish it was the same here.

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Sorry Ed, your thread has left home and gone off on its own....again!

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I guess people get so used to the system they live with that other ways just seem odd. 

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39 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Estelle, I hate to add to your confusion about the American way of doing things, but be aware that the USA has 50 states and countless cities, and the laws can be different in all of them. Yes, there are federal laws but the state and cities laws would be controlling much of what we're discussing. 

 

Yep - it gets more granular in the different states, cities, counties, and other taxing entities.  

 

In Texas local control and accountability is important. 

 

I don't live within a "city limits" but rather just at the edge of one.   Our property tax liability is broken down into several pieces.  By far the largest $$ amount goes to our local public school district. Then much smaller amounts to our county & county road district and one other entity.    Each property is appraised annually by our local property appraisal district for it's taxable value.  Each property owner can appeal their tax appraisal valuation each year if they have good reason to believe it's incorrect.  So there's two pieces to the owner's tax liability - the appraised tax value and the tax rate which is also set by the taxing entity within limits.

 

Property valuation inflation and hence property owner's tax liability growth due to an area's rapid economic/population growth is a big concern - especially for many of those on fixed incomes.  Locally and in other areas around the US local taxpayers have been able to get property tax increase relief put to public vote. In many cases voters have been successful in capping/reducing rapidly increasing property tax liabilities, mainly for age 65+ and perhaps a few other qualifiers.  Otherwise many on fixed incomes would be forced to move due to inability to pay rapidly increasing property tax liabilities. 

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34 minutes ago, Phil said:

By far the largest $$ amount goes to our local public school district.

Also the big one here, and it's rare for the voters to reject a school budget. Our property tax bill (from the town) is broken down into Land and Buildings. Owners of undeveloped land pay property tax even if there is no building. I have to pay the odious tax on 'Personal Property Used in Business' on cameras, computer hardware & software, scanners, desk, chair, on and on, each year. Going from a business to a hobby is now on my radar, and more in line with the fees I'm seeing.

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7 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

 

Not the streets but the major roads where I live are absolutely rife with litter. It looks awful. It’s not so obvious in the summer but come autumn (fall) and the grass is cut and the vegetation dies back you can see how much litter there is.

On a road trip in the US a few years ago I was impressed by how clean the road sides are. I wish it was the same here.

One of our past First Ladies, possibly Ladybird Johnson, made beautifying our country her theme. There were billboards everywhere reminding people not to litter. Believe it or not, it worked and raised consciousness. I will admit when young, I thought nothing about tossing a soft drink cup out of the car window. That beautification campaign raised my awareness and focus and forever changed me.

Sometimes people don’t set out to do bad things, they are just unaware of what they are doing and the impact.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Here's a different kind of litter: 

 

Had a scam robocall early today -- the "HMRC" threatening me to pay a Customs fine or get arrested. 

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10 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Here's a different kind of litter: 

 

Had a scam robocall early today -- the "HMRC" threatening me to pay a Customs fine or get arrested. 

Too bad. Watch out for those. The other one going the rounds is an Amazon Prime scam. We got that three times yesterday and once so far today.

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We’re regularly getting the Amazon scam and “your internet is being disconnected” 

Now we leave the answering machine on permanently and just pick up if it’s a genuine call!

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1 minute ago, Thyrsis said:

We’re regularly getting the Amazon scam and “your internet is being disconnected” 

Now we leave the answering machine on permanently and just pick up if it’s a genuine call!

Problem is, BT do call, genuinely, from time to time. It's not too hard to identify it as genuine but you can see how people get taken in. Not by BT obvs.

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It is so sad that scammers have turned our phones into weapons. I too rarely answer a call that I don't recognize with the caller i.d.   Being self employed and working from home, this makes things a bit more difficult but thankfully, probably more than 95% of my photo shoots come to me via email or sometimes text.

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Too bad. Watch out for those. The other one going the rounds is an Amazon Prime scam. We got that three times yesterday and once so far today.

 

Just made the mistake of answering a call from an 01701 number. Bizarrely the guy said ‘thank you for calling Amazon, how can I help you” When I said “err, you called me” he put the phone down.

 

Looking online  01701 is a well used Amazon scam dialling code.

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52 minutes ago, Thyrsis said:

Bizarrely the guy said ‘thank you for calling Amazon, how can I help you” When I said “err, you called me” he put the phone down.

 

A bit slow there. I would have said, "Yes you can come and wash the dinner dishes for me."

 

Allan

 

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Early on I discovered Best Bargains and Poundland. Today I found Argos, a totally new kind of shopping experience . . . and they have everything. Their catalog is too heavy to lift. They're just 12 minutes away on foot in St. John's Shopping Centre . . . and they have low-priced furniture! 

 

I couldn't buy or contact Amazon here to buy a DVD player (too complex a story). That took me just 5 minutes at Argos. Next thing? Get me a library card to borrow DVDs, CDs, virtual books, real printed books, and wine. What do you mean I can't borrow wine?  

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Sounding like the good life, Edo.

 

Paulette

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YEP! He's livin' the good life.😀

 

Allan

 

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2 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

YEP! He's livin' the good life.😀

 

Allan

 

Not if he's shopping at Argos he isn't.😮

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Alas, Mark -- what is your problem with Argo? Curiosity is my motivation in asking. 

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41 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Alas, Mark -- what is your problem with Argo? Curiosity is my motivation in asking. 

Bit of a joke. Now there's ebay I spend even less time in shops. But I'm usually home to accept packages, and you explained about actual shop-shopping working better for you.

Argos is the butt of a few jokes here. Probably unjustified. I haven't been there for 20 years..

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