There’s one very persuasive reason arguing against the purchase of any new car – regardless of make or model:
The property tax you’ll be forced to pay . . . forever.
Ot at least, for as long as you “own” your car. Which (like your home) you don’t really – because you’ll never stop making payments on it. Not to the bank – but to the government.
Which is the true owner of your home – and your vehicle.
You are allowed to conditionally possess it . . . for as long as you continue making those payments.
Stop making them – and the true owner will take possession of it, regardless of the absence of any liens and the silly fiction you are the “owner” because you have a piece of paper that says so.
If you were really the owner, no one else could lawfully take possession of it. The fact that the government can – and will – reveals the truth of the matter.
Not all states apply this especially obnoxious tax to motor vehicles – but about half do. And the average hit is $238 annually.
Work that out.
Over the course of say five years, the average cost of the property tax is about $1,200 – to be allowed to pretend you own the vehicle you already paid for – with money that was already heavily taxed – and which you also paid sales tax on at the time you paid for it as well as additional taxes each year called “registration” and “state inspection” fees.
Since these are also government-enforced extractions of money which the “owner” must hand over in order to retain permission to conditionally possess the vehicle, they are in fact additional taxes; they are just called by other names, in order to distract the victim and make him think he is paying for something else.
Of course, he gets nothing else.
But the property tax is the worst of them – for openers, because it’s based on the vehicle’s value. In other words, it punishes anyone who wants to drive a nice new car. It operates on the same loathsome principle as the “progressive” income tax – which operates on the same principle as the inquisitor who applies harsher torture to the stronger victim, because he can take it better.
The more you make, the more you pay.
The newer – and nicer – your vehicle, the more you pay.
Notice a common theme?
The property tax on vehicles is also confiscatory – both because it renders ownership in any meaningful sense preposterous (since you never really do) but also because, over time, the victim is bled for an outrageous amount of money relative to the dwindling value of the vehicle.
Here’s a personal example, based on my 2002 Nissan Frontier pick-up truck. It’s no longer worth very much – about $3,500 or so – but the annual payment I must make to the government in order to be allowed to continue pretending I own the truck is still about $100.
That’s about as low as it will go – because the retail value of my truck – on which the tax is based – won’t go much lower. So each year, $100… in perpetuity.
Or at least, until the truck is no longer worth anything at all.
But I’ve already paid – let’s see – about $2,000 in property taxes during the past ten years I’ve owned the truck. In other words, about half its current market value – just in property tax.
An effective tax of about 50 percent.
On a truck I had to pay taxes on the purchase of, using money that had already been taxed at about 28 percent of every dollar. Then more taxes in mufti for “title” (meaningless) and “ear tags” (i.e., license plates) and then again each year to renew the “registration” and have my car “inspected.”
That’s on an old pick-up, bought used – that was never worth all the much, except to me.
Now let’s look at new.
In Loudoun County, Virginia – where I used to live – the property tax on a new vehicle with an assessed value of $25,000 is $730 annually. That’s after about $320 in “tax relief,” a subtraction passed by the legislature after the natives got restless. Prior, the total amount “owed” on that $25,000 new car – an inexpensive car, as new cars go – would have been $1,050 (see here).
There ought to be a line item on every new car window sticker in states that have the property tax letting people know that in addition to whatever they end up paying the dealer (or the bank) they’ll end up paying the equivalent of another 25-50 percent or more of the total lifetime value of the vehicle, in order to be allowed conditional possession of the thing.
And they’ll never stop paying.
Might be better to just walk.
Until they figure out a way to tax our feet.
. . .
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