Out of the Air

I was back at my shoveling again early this morning, and if there’s any way to build up a sweat during the winter, shoveling heavy snow will quickly get you there. I wasn’t the least bit happy when hearing we’re to get sleet tomorrow, and then on Friday, an even larger dumping of snow. The piles of it are quickly rising in the parking lots of our Downtown, and soon to be sky-high if this continues.

I was back at my accounting and bill paying this morning, along with getting prepared for another grueling job of tax preparation. It’s no wonder why so many just send their boxes of invoices, receipts, and payment slips over to tax accounting firms and have them sort it all out, because the hours it takes to have everything readied for entry, while making a full accounting of every penny that was earned and spent, as well as being up to speed on what’s deductible, and what’s not, ends up being many hours of work. My conference table is in the process of getting all the more readied for it.

While out and about this morning, I stopped to check on a vacant home, and when I pulled up the driveway, I was shocked to see a huge buck deer comfortably nestled amongst some bushes behind the garage. I thought for sure it would get up and run, but instead, it continued enjoying its comfortable spot, so I walked towards it. When I got about 40 feet from it, it stood up and faced me. Ouch! The more it glared at me, the more concerned I was that it would possibly charge at me with that huge rack. All I could think of, was to slowly move back to my vehicle and leave. After backing my way to my car and then jumping in, I could see he was attempting to stare me down, so I started my car, turned my headlights on, and drove towards him while honking my horn. Alas, he starting moving way, and finally lumbered over to another neighbor’s yard and then stood there watching me. I went and checked on the house, and off I flew.

Never in my life have I been that close to a deer of its size. It looked more like a Jersey cow with antlers than a buck deer. His body size indicated he must’ve been eating well these past years, but after today’s experience, I can say without a doubt, River City has got a major problem with those animals, and there’d better be something radically done about getting their numbers reduced, or we’re going to be hearing about all the more creepy encounters with our herds of deer that are growing even bolder.

Just this afternoon I mentioned to a client how unfortunate it was when seeing the increase in reported cases of Lyme Disease on the Midwest. I understand that Wisconsin has got a big problem with it, and believe you me, you’d never want to come down with it, because for some, it’s a painfully long road back to recovery. And if you didn’t know, Lyme Disease is carried by deer ticks, so connect the dots, where if there are more deer, there are more deer ticks, and the many more deer ticks, means there’s a likelihood they’re carrying Lyme Disease. About a year ago, an old family friend shared his year-long battle with the disease, and according to him, it was a beast to get over.

Alas, I did get last week’s offer put together, and I believe the buyers are happy about their new purchase. It’s a handsome home, but in need of some tender-loving care. The buyers have resurrected other homes that had fallen into dis-repair, but when finished, every one was a welcome addition to their neighborhoods. If only more of our residents would take active steps in bringing our vintage, yet well-built homes back to life that’ve been desperately crying out for attention for far too many years. I’ll be wishing the absolute best for my buyers with their restorative project on their eye-catching new purchase.

Later this afternoon, I mentioned to a customer that I heard Governor Reynolds is wanting to see our real estate taxes lowered and the sales tax raised, which makes perfect sense to me because our property taxes have gone thru the roof, and now to the point where they’re becoming a growing burden on all the many struggling households. The ones being affected the most, are the elderly who’re on fixed incomes. When you think about the rising costs of utilities, food, and real estate taxes, it’s no wonder our elderly are cutting every non-essential cost they can find, just so they can remain in their homes.

I gave him several examples of homes that are assessed $30K and higher than they’re actually worth, which makes me wonder where our City and County Assessors are coming up with their bogus numbers. I showed him one particular home that was assessed in 2015 at a relatively fair price, but its new assessment for 2019 is over 30K more than it was in 2015, and the real question mark comes when knowing there’d been absolutely no improvements done on that home since 2015. Where’s the logic? Do our assessors simply pull numbers out of the air and plug them into their system? And to think our City spent upwards of a million dollars for that laughable city-wide assessment last year which was done by a company out of the Cedar Rapids area. You can be sure the values of homes in the upwardly growing Cedar Rapids metro area, are a far cry higher than what our homes are worth. Talk about the injustices that were handed over to our homeowners!

Before he left, I assured him that since I was raised here, and will always consider this my hometown, and I want the absolute best for our community, but when I see money being spent by the “powers that be” on things that aren’t realistic for our community, I can’t help but wonder if our assessments, and subsequently our real estate taxes are being raised to prohibitive levels, in order to pay for the past, and likely future flub-ups which were given the “nod” by the inner circles of City’s government. I try not to believe such things are taking place in our fair City.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Where belief is painful, we are slow to believe.

Joe Chodur

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