If you're not familiar with Lyme Disease, you need to be. Because an epidemic broke out last night right here in the Old North State. In an orgy of greed sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Realtors, the Home Ticks spent upwards of $7 per vote to interfere in local elections, burrowing into the heart of North Carolina municipalities in an unprecedented display of crass self interest. They successfully undermined every local government Transfer Tax initiative, putting infrastructure at risk and increasing the pressure to raise property taxes throughout the state.
Make no mistake, the Ticks will stop at nothing to preserve their profits. You see, transfer taxes are a Trojan Horse that would wake up homeowners to the absurdity of their sacred 6% commissions.
But when transfer taxes are defeated, that leaves property taxes to carry the load. And in case you're not familiar with that funding mechanism, here's the scoop.
Local governments have two ways of getting more revenue out of property taxes. They can increase the actual rate, which they hate to do, or they can do reset (raise) the assessed value of properties in their municipalities so they get more money without raising the rate. That's what happened in Chapel Hill recently. Homeowners saw the tax values of their homes increase, but not their tax rate.
When home prices go up, Realtor Ticks make more money. This is just another version of the shell game being played by the sub-prime industry recently wherein appraisers colluded with lenders to artificially inflate prices.
The development and real estate lobbies in North Carolina are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into local elections with nothing but their own greed and self-interest in mind. I predict this will come back to haunt them in more ways than they can imagine - and I personally will do whatever I can to diminish their influence.
It won't be easy. The Realtor Ticks are just like the Pope Puppets, indeed they are the same exact people in many cases. And they are spending millions to shape public opinion in ways that serve their own greedy interests. We, on the other hand, are spending less than $100 a month.
It's David and Goliath all over again. So get out your slingshots and start practicing.