A new game

This xkcd is spot-on – I’ve long believed that some of my more munchkiny gaming friends would make terrific tax-prep accountants, in the way they can exploit game mechanics to maximize benefit.

Yes, it took a lot of work to make the cards and pieces, but it's worth it--the players are way more thorough than the tax prep people ever were.

Texas taxes

I’m hopeful that my strategy for arguing my property taxes down works. I noticed that this year the county tax appraisal district almost doubled my land value; my house (improvement) value also went up. Considering home prices in Austin, I didn’t even try to convince them that my improvement value should go down. Instead, I found two empty lots for sale nearby that, when averaging the sales prices as well as averaging the county appraised values, brought my overall property appraised value down below what it was last year. Using they county’s appraised values actually gave me the lower of the two valuations. Here’s hoping they buy my well-reasoned argument.