Business: Those Wild, Wild Property Taxes

As more and more homeowners are bitterly learning, the Achilles' heel in the family housing budget may not be mortgage payments or heating costs or even that unexpected leak in the roof, but property taxes. Such taxes have risen an average of 76% since 1970, and 136% since 1967. The spiral has been caused in part by expansion of local public services, but more by the enormous inflation-sparked increases in the wages and benefits of teachers, policemen and firemen, and even the maintenance of local roads. Some examples:

Veterinarian George Beatty operates a small animal hospital on a 1¼-acre plot in the...

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