Oh how wonderful it was when finding our temps up above 60 degrees this afternoon. Having dressed for winter before I headed out this morning, I ended up running around the City without my coat and gloves once noontime arrived.
Part of my morning was spent chasing down commercial listings for a client of mine, and the more I’ve been researching available properties, I’ve come to the conclusion, there being no rhyme or reason many of those sellers place such high prices on their properties, and especially the building sites. Irregardless what those owners think, we’ll not be seeing any big boom in commercial build-outs, even in the nearest of future.
As chance would have it, I did get a call from a past colleague who relocated with his family out of State. I hadn’t talked to him since he left about three years ago, so we did some catching up on each other’s lives. I was quite surprised that he’s no longer working in the arena of real estate which made me a little sad. He went on to inform me his wife has a very good job she loves, and he now working a factory job which is a far cry from his previous profession. Irregardless of his major life change, he’s happy and healthy, and when it’s all said and done, that’s all that matters.
He did make a statement which troubled me, because I’ve been having similar feelings these recent years, which was, “I’m glad we left Mason City when we did, because I could see an economic downturn taking place, along with a year-over-year erosion of our tax base.” I couldn’t help agreeing with him, along with mentioning how much more our real estate taxes are rising, and especially on the commercial side.
I didn’t mention it to him, but I am saying now, how nearly all of our taxpayers don’t realize how many non-profit entities there are in Mason City who pay zero in real estate taxes. Some of them, like our churches, I consider being valid, but all the other ones like the Music Man Foundation, Mercy Hospital, Handicap Village, North Iowa Transition Center, and even the smaller ones like the Egloff House which is part of the non-profit “Community Benefit Mason City”. This may also be a shocker when saying our Chamber of Commerce building that’s located at 9 N. Federal, and assessed at over $800K, pays zero in real estate taxes. Now please tell me, how can the Chamber of Commerce pay no real estate taxes?
As we all know, when a community is overly-infected with non-profits paying zero in real estate taxes, the slack and/or lack of tax revenues, is made up, and then passed onto those of us who’re already struggling with high taxes. For some reason, it just doesn’t seem right, and as far as I’m concerned, when such entities are not having to pay their fair share, they willfully waste by giving themselves hefty salaries, along with frivolously squandering money on their own personal needs and wants. Any way I look at it, it just isn’t right. Please do tell me how you feel about it?
The remainder of my morning was spent working on my first of the month accounting, and fortunately everything balanced except for one journal which was off 30 cents. Of course yours truly had to find the error before I would move on to the next one. There’s no question I’m such a stickler about such things because it was forevermore drilled into my gray matter, way back when I worked in an accounting department at a bank. Some things we just never forget.
I arrived at my public open house at 114 – 11th St NE early enough to where I was able to get all the lights turned on and doors unlocked. It couldn’t have been a better day for an open house, but for some reason, there were only four groups who arrived, but most of them stayed long enough to where those two hours raced by.
When visiting with one of the attendees, I couldn’t help getting on the subject of how all the more of our younger generation, absolutely will not buy anything that needs cosmetic work, yet willing to spend $30K or more for something costing far less to “lipstick”. If there’s a real money-making niche in Mason City, I’d say the resurrecting of well-built homes by good contractors who’re not out to take advantage of buyers, is the very niche.
I have absolutely no problem with buyers paying extra for something that’s been fully updated, but what I’m not happy about, is seeing cheap materials used, and poor quality workmanship. Unfortunately, I can close my eyes and see in my mind the “lipsticked pigs” that’ve recently sold for big bucks. I can only imagine how in time, the sorrier those buyers will be over making likely the largest financial mistakes in their lives.
After having placed at least five calls to a couple I’ve been working with over these past months, one of them called yesterday about the closing we had on their home last Fall. Of course, I couldn’t help challenging my caller over not having the decency to return my numerous calls. It came as no surprise they found a “For Sale By Owner”, which tripped their triggers. The exceptionally “weak” excuse I got for not calling me back was, “We’ve both been so busy that we never had the time.” Could that’ve been one of the most unremarkable of excuses to be heard? I think I would’ve found it more believable if told, “We were kidnapped by aliens two months ago and they finally brought us back last night because they could no longer tolerate the odor of humans polluting their space craft.” But, I did wish the both of them a happy life in their new home.
If this weather continues, I’ll not be surprised if we start seeing Spring flowers poking their heads out of their wintery beds, and especially if we get the rain next week that’s been forecasted. I can certainly say, we’re long overdue for some green grass and warmer days.
The above photo is of a newspaper article that was written a number of years ago about the Egloff family which has been so recently popularized by some in our City and the Chamber of Commerce, and the “non-profit” home that was recently relocated.
Tonight’s one-liner is: The beauty of democracy is that an average, random, and unremarkable citizen can lead it.