I’ve got a possible solution to the property tax assessment issue. My inspiration is the Rice University tuition policy. That policy is the following: You are told what the tuition is for freshman year, based on their analysis. It stays the same through senior year, except for cost of living increases. If the cost of living increases each year by X%, then the tuition increases by X% each year.

The theory is, if the parents can afford the tuition for freshman year, then, assuming they get at least a cost of living pay raise each year, they should be able to afford the tuition for sophomore through senior years.

In essence, there are four separate tuition rates each year, three of which are tied to the previous year’s rate by the cost of living. Freshman year tuition is whatever the university feels it should be.

Now switching to property taxes, when a family buys a house, the amount paid for the house becomes the assessed value. How could anyone argue this? In the next year, the assessed value would be the same except adjusted by the change in cost of living, if any. That would continue, year after year, until the house is sold, at which time the selling price would be the new assessed value.

There might have to be adjustments for the elderly or those otherwise on fixed income, but in general, there would be no need for an assessor or appeals.