I got our first Property Tax bill yesterday. Property taxes are weird. The government sets a fixed percentage for most taxes, then sees what revenue flows in, but for property taxes the city government sets the exact revenue it wants to collect, and then works out what percentage to charge each existing property to get that revenue. It's weird.
Also weird are the odd fees added on to my bill. The actual amount I'm paying in property taxes is about a thousand dollars less than the total bill. That's because I have so many added fees: Unified School fee, Community College fee, both of which I understand, but are useless to me. Then all the charges for water: Metro water fee, not to be confused with the metro water standby fee, and different from the water availability fee. All these are separate from the sewer service fee. And keep in mind I pay the water company twenty dollars a month on top of my actual water bill, for things like "water cleaning" and "pipe maintenance cost."
But then we get to the fees I can't figure out: Mosquito surveillance fee? Vector disease control fee? Rabid Raccoon Zombies prevention fee? Ok, I made that last one up. But the other two are actually on my bill. Do I really pay some guy to sit around watching mosquitoes? Is that a good job? Does he make enough to own a house? Does he pay a Mosquito surveillance fee with his property taxes?