Renters Don’t Pay Taxes?

In the weeks and month leading up to the City Council’s adoption of a new budget, I have seen several blogs and forums that have taken the attitude that renters do not pay taxes and that somehow don’t matter in this city.

I saw one post in particular after the council voted this week, which stated that “property owners in the city, subsidize the majority of the population who are renters.” I guess the same goes for commercial tenants.  Sometimes I wonder about the lucidity of these individuals.   So you mean to tell me that none of the rent that is paid by an apartment dweller or office user ends up in the city coffers? Seriously?

Acting like renters don’t pay tax is an arrogant, failed argument.  A check may not be written directly to the municipality by a renter, but don’t act like property taxes don’t get paid  in some fashion.  Anybody that knows anything about real estate knows that any increase in property taxes will get passed along to tenants in the form of a rent increase. It’s as ridiculous as the people picketing with “I hate government signs” but use our police, electric and water utilities. I mean, if you hate government then you at least have a rainwater collection system and solar panels on your house, right? I digress.

In fact, if you do the math on how much tax some of the “renters don’t matter” crowd pays,  I would bet that our unimportant (to them) household of renters ends up paying more in taxes then that amount and has for years.

I guess if there weren’t people to rent apartments and commercial space, the property owners would happily keep paying the same level taxes to the city and county. I guess you would still have a downtown Dallas, since developers build buildings just so they can pay taxes out of their own pockets instead of having renters whose rent will allow for such payments. Or maybe not.  Maybe, just maybe, the lease payments (rent) of said property end up in the hand of the building owner who then (gasp) pays some of it to the city and county in the form of property tax.

The reasoning of some that it’s OK to raise taxes because Dallas voters approved a bond program also doesn’t hold water.  Voters approved that increase in taxes for bond-program related projects, not to fund city services and programs. 

Homeowners and renters make a city. Picture where your city budget would be without renters, then maybe you’ll reconsider your attitude about our contribution.

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2 Responses to “Renters Don’t Pay Taxes?”

  1. Glenn Says:

    Would you call the Corinth Fiji project a blessing.I would assume that this project comes with extreme risks.Why would we be so happy to see more section 8 HUD apartments in Oak Cliff.They are killing us over here.The police only have time to patrol these types of apartments and leave the neighborhoods without any protection.These types of apartments are only projects just renamed.I know our council man attended Roosevelt and he must remember how bad the old apartments on the hill had been.NO MORE SECTION 8 HUD IN OAK CLIFF.I know you guys are going to let these apartments be built anyway.I would love to see the day where Goodhaven apartments are purchased, torn down, and $200,000 dollars homes are built there.

  2. Michael Davis-Dallas Progress Says:

    Glenn,Thanks for your thoughtful comment.I understand your concerns. However, you are mistaken about the residential makeup of the Fiji project, and of the general development philosophy of your elected and appointed officials for District Four (i.e. myself and Mayor Pro Tem Caraway). I have made it clear to developers that to build tax-credit, multifamily in District Four you must demolish other older apartments in an effort to revitalize our aging apartment stock. This is why during the last round of tax-credit apartments voted on by City Council, none of them were located in Council District Four.With that in mind, quality senior housing is at a premium in our neighborhoods. Only the senior housing portion of the Fiji project will be subsidized. The multi-family will be market rate housing, not section 8. Some of these apartments will have a view of downtown and the Trinity River, and will serve as the gateway to Oak Cliff as you cross the Corinth Street Bridge. An office building will be built as well.The entire project will be a first-class development. When it came through zoning at the City Plan Commission, the developer and I negotiated specific requirements with respect to building materials and design. That is what happens in North Dallas council districts, and it will happen here. This will be unlike any other development in our part of Oak Cliff, and set a standard that future developments in District Four must attain. Also, Goodhaven apartments are in council district seven. I believe they were nice when Good Street Church owned them years back, but they now are a crime haven and need to be addressed. I hope you attend the groundbreaking so we can meet and talk face to face. We need more caring, interested citizens in that area.

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