Patio Homes

Today’s Front Page article in the Buffalo News has Amherst Deputy Supervisor Shelly Schratz bemoaning the tax breaks that Amherst patio home owners receive relative to single-family homeowners.  The accompanying photographs show two virtually identical-looking houses:  The $200,000 single-family unit with taxes of $5,440 and the $295,000 patio home unit with taxes of $3,330.

“Half a million dollars”, she said, shaking her head in disgust.  People in this subdivision pay a premium to live in these “patio homes”, she said, yet they pay only about half the property tax of single-family homeowners down the street.

That’s wrong, she said, and the law shouldn’t allow it.

Damn right.  And Schratz should be voted out of office for saying it.

Not once does the article even hint that perhaps, just perhaps, tax burdens on Amherst and other towns might be a little too much for the average homeowner, and that perhaps the town should be looking seriously at ways to cut taxes so that everyone enjoys a tax burden as low as the patio home owners?  That a member of the town council looks at patio home owners as cheaters of the system just floors me.

Small wonder why we tend to have little respect for politicians.

2 Responses to Patio Homes

  1. Becky says:

    If I recall correctly from a conversation I had recently, some condos are similar to patio homes, but have an even lower tax burden. It’s all in the classification. That particular patio home owner (I think in Lancaster) was extremely unhappy.

  2. Becky says:

    Having just finished reading the article, I think I recalled a bit incorrectly.

    The woman in question probably bought what was termed a “patio home” in the sales pitch to her, but in actuality is assessed as a single family home.

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