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Nassau County: (516) 342-4849
Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940

TALK TO AN EXPERT NOW

Nassau County: (516) 342-4849

TALK TO AN EXPERT NOW
Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940
Why Do Property Taxes Go Up?

Why Do Property Taxes Go Up?

Property taxes fund schools, libraries, police and fire departments, along with public works such as roads, parks, and playgrounds. They’re essential to our communities – but that doesn’t make them any easier to pay. When you buy a home, you learn what the property taxes are in your area. However, when those rates start rising, it’s often difficult to understand why. When you’re holding a higher tax bill in your hand, it’s most likely one of the following reasons that are to blame for your property tax bill rise.

1- Property Revaluation

Predictably, municipalities do reevaluate the properties in their area at certain intervals. During this time, accessors, who are government officials, will go around and do their best to determine the true assessed value of the properties in their jurisdiction. This is to help ensure that the tax burden is correctly spread amongst the area’s homeowners. The assessor is only responsible for assessments – not taxes.

According to the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance, months after assessments are finalized by the assessor, taxing units (school districts, cities, towns, and counties) determine the amount of taxes that a taxing unit needs to collect from property owners, known as the tax levy. The property tax levy is determined separately from the assessments and is then distributed over all taxable assessments.

A home assessment doesn’t necessarily mean that your taxes will go up. For example, there may be a lot of new constructions in your community, which can help to offset any tax bill increase.

2- Home Improvement and Additions

Renovations are a common part of homeownership and revitalizing your home can add to its value. Unfortunately, however, that bathroom or more substantial kitchen renovation you just finished will most likely cause your property taxes to rise as well. Why? There’s a simple reason. Improving your home means it’s worth more. As your property taxes are based on the value of your home, when your home value increases, your property taxes will increase alongside.

Adding a second floor to a ranch home or an extension to the back of a colonial house will most likely increase that home’s property taxes. But anything that increases the square footage of the living space that you already have, such as finishing the attic, garage, or basement with sheetrock and adding heat and air conditioning, will likely trigger an automatic reassessment as well.

Building an additional bathroom is an improvement that will trigger a reassessment of a home. While replacing cabinets in your kitchen may not trigger an assessment, moving walls and adding cabinets and countertops may.

Even improvements to your property outside of your home can trigger an assessment. While above ground pools don’t tend to increase property values, inground pools do. Adding fences, sheds, patios, and decks can also increase your home value, causing corresponding property taxes to increase.

Before any home renovation, it might be worth running the numbers. Calculate how much the renovation will cost you, what it will add to your property’s value, and then figure out what the probable rise in your tax bill will be. Before you pull the trigger on your home renovation, decide if you can afford a higher property tax bill, or if the expense of the remodel will leave you with too short a cash flow to pay the higher rates. If you’re unsure, you might want to hold off and save up until you’re sure you have enough for a renovation and your new property taxes.

3 – Higher Home Sales in the Neighborhood

Home values are partially based on the value of other homes in the area – so keep track of what your neighbors are selling their homes for, not what they pay in taxes since what they pay can include exemptions.  If the homes in your neighborhood are selling for more than the asking price, it might be a sign that property taxes are soon to rise. Unfortunately, this type of tax increase is out of your hands.

4 – Building New Schools

New schools are important additions to the community – however, they’re also almost always a signal that a property tax hike is on the way. First off, new schools will attract new families as your community becomes a more desirable location. This will drive home prices up, and subsequently, property taxes.

New schools – at least, if they’re public – may also contribute to higher government budgets, as administrators, teachers, and school employees will need to be hired, and grounds will need to be maintained, which almost always indicates that a tax rise is on the way.

5 – Local Government Budget Increases

One of the principal reserves on which cities and counties draw to fund their budgets is the property tax. If budgetary needs increase, the residents’ taxes may need to be increased to help pay for it.

According to the Office of the NY State Comptroller, with some exceptions, the State’s Property Tax Cap limits the amount local governments, and most school districts can increase property taxes to the lower of two percent or the rate of inflation. In order to override the Tax Cap, local government boards must pass a local law or resolution by at least a 60 percent vote.

What should I do if I Think my Long Island Property Taxes are Too High?

So how can homeowners push back and lower their property tax rates? For starters, make sure your property records reflect your property accurately. Mistakes do happen. Some assessments list more bedrooms or bathrooms than you have in your home. If you do find mistakes, make sure to contact the tax assessor and have them corrected.

If you believe your property taxes are too high, you can file a tax grievance. A tax grievance professional can give you a good estimation of whether pursuing a tax grievance is a good idea or not, and that’s because they have a great sense of the tendencies in the local boards when evaluating various kinds of petitions. Hiring a respected tax grievance firm costs you nothing unless your property taxes are reduced.

Founded on the simple principle of helping our clients pay the lowest possible property taxes, Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance have saved Suffolk and Nassau residents over $35 MILLION, a figure that continues to increase daily.  Last year alone we saved our Nassau clients over $1.5M in property taxes…  Suffolk homeowners over $1.4M.

The Ins and Outs of Property Tax Deduction

The Ins and Outs of Property Tax Deduction

Curious How the Property Tax Deduction Works? Here’s a Guide to Help You Out.

The property tax deduction is one of many benefits of being a homeowner, although surprisingly, you don’t even need to own a home qualify for this tax break. Read on to find out more about the property tax deduction and how you can claim it on your tax return.

What’s deductible

Property tax deductions are available for property and real estate taxes you pay on your:

  • Primary home
  • Co-op apartment
  • Vacation homes
  • Land
  • Property outside the United States
  • Cars, RVs and other vehicles
  • Boat(s)

In 2018, the IRS announced a new limit on property tax deductions, allowing for of up to $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) to be deducted on a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes, or sales taxes.

What’s not deductible

The IRS doesn’t allow property tax deductions for:

  • Property taxes on property you don’t own
  • Property taxes you haven’t paid yet
  • Assessments for building streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems in your neighborhood. (Assessments or taxes for maintenance or repair of those things are deductible, though.)
  • The portion of your tax bill that’s actually for services — water or trash, for example
  • Transfer taxes on the sale of a house
  • Homeowners association assessments
  • Payments on loans that finance energy-saving home improvements. (The interest portion of your payment might be deductible as home mortgage interest, however.)
  • More than $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) for a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes or sales taxes.

How to take the property tax deduction

Start by finding your tax records – your local taxing authority should be able to give you a copy of the tax bill for your home. Meanwhile, scrutinize the registration paperwork on your car, RV, boat or other movable assets, as might be paying property taxes on those as well.

Exclude any taxes that the IRS won’t count. For example, you can deduct a property tax only if it’s assessed at a similar rate as other like properties in the community. The proceeds have to help the community, not pay for a special privilege or service for you.

Use Schedule A when you file your return – that’s where you’ll figure your deduction. Note: This means you’ll need to itemize your taxes instead of taking the standard deduction. It’ll probably take more time to do your taxes if you itemize, but you will likely leave you with a lower tax bill.

Deduct your property taxes in the year you pay them. Sounds simple, but it can be tricky, as there are two ways people typically pay property taxes on a house. Either you’ll write a check once or twice a year when the bill comes – simple and straightforward; or, you may set aside money each month in an escrow account when they pay the mortgage. If you’re paying your property taxes using the second method, you’ll need to stay organized, so you’re only deducting the actual tax paid that year, not all the money in escrow.

Special Circumstances

If you bought or sold your house this year: If you owned a taxable property for part of the year before selling it, you can usually deduct the taxes attributable to the time you owned the property. So, if you sold your house in July, you would deduct the first half of the year’s property taxes on the house, and the buyer would deduct the second half.

Renters: Renters might qualify for a property tax deduction on their state taxes.

How to get a bigger property tax deduction

  1. Prepay your property taxes. If your semiannual tax bill is due next April but you pay it early — say, this December — you can deduct it this year instead of next year.
  2. Save your registration statements. When it’s time to renew your registration on a vehicle, check if any part of the fee is actually property tax. There could be a tax deduction hiding in there.
  3. Scrutinize your closing paperwork. If you bought or sold a house, go back and look at what you paid at closing for property taxes. After the tax assessor has a chance to revalue the property, you might get a second tax bill.

Nassau County 2020-21 Reassessment Tax Impact Notice

Nassau County 2020-21 Reassessment Tax Impact Notice

These are confusing times to be a Nassau County taxpayer. Recently you may have received a 2020-21 “Tax Impact Letter” regarding your homes new assessed value and corresponding tax liability.

The Tax Impact Notices are designed to illustrate how your property taxes will change once the new assessment is in place. In actuality, the notice is based on the 2017/18 tax rates making the estimate suspect at best, completely misleading at best.

I believe the notices should have have been based instead on the school and county budgets taking into account the massive tax rate increase that will be necessary to accommodate the new ratio of .10. Part of the County Executive’s plan is to bypass New York State’s longstanding law of increasing your assessment by no more than 6% per year. This will have disastrous consequences for many Nassau homeowners. My hope is that Ms. Curran will rethink think this proposal.

One thing is clear, the tax rate for many neighborhoods is going to increase substantially if Nassau moves forward with its current plan. This will be especially true without the proposed 5-year phase-in, should the NYS Legislature decide not to pass the proposed law to make the phase-in possible. In fact, this bill has yet to be even introduced to the NYS Legislature.

I strongly advise all Nassau homeowners to file a tax grievance application for the 2020-21 tax year before this years April 30, 2019 filing deadline.

Bottom line, Nassau Homeowner’s will not know the full extent of the countywide reassessment until October 1, 2020 far after April 30, 2019, legal filing deadline has passed.

If you would like to submit an application for us to grieve your 2020-21 tax year, legal filing deadline April 30, 2019, simply click the orange “Apply Today” button below.

As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (516) 342-4849.

Regards,

Adam B Heller
President & CEO
Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance LLC

 

Grieve your 2020-21 property taxes now before April 30, 2019, legal Deadline

Remember NO REDUCTION=NO FEE

Nassau County 2020-21 Re-assessment & How It Affects You

Nassau County 2020-21 Re-assessment & How It Affects You

These are confusing times to be a Nassau County taxpayer.  Recently you may have received a 2020-21 “Assessment Disclosure Notice” regarding the county’s recent reassessment from Nassau County Department of Assessment.

The letter you received pertains to the 2020-21 tax year, these tax bills are not released until October 1, 2020 (School)/January 2, 2021 (General).  It is impossible to project the actual effect the reassessment will have on you or any homeowner in Nassau County in these early stages, we won’t really have all the pieces to the puzzle until the 2020-21 tax rates are released.  One thing is clear, the tax rate for many neighborhoods is going to increase substantially if Nassau moves forward with its current plan.  This will be especially true without the proposed 5-year phase-in, should the NYS Legislature decide not to pass the proposed law to make the phase-in possible.

We strongly advise all Nassau homeowners to file a tax grievance application for the 2020-21 tax year before the April 30, 2019 filing deadline.

Bottom line, Nassau Homeowner’s will not know the full extent of the countywide reassessment until October 1, 2020 far after April 30, 2019, legal filing deadline has passed.

(To print this article, Click HERE.)

 

Grieve your 2020-21 property taxes now before April 30, 2019, legal Deadline

Remember NO REDUCTION=NO FEE

Save Money By Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Save Money By Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Many homeowners are not aware that it is possible to reduce the property taxes that they pay. Each year, they nonchalantly look or wince at the escrow notice on their mortgage and pay up without giving it a second thought. Just 2% percent of all homeowners appeal their property tax assessments (the first step when it comes to reducing taxes) in spite of the huge potential in money savings.

To make things even worse, the National Taxpayers Union reports that assessors overvalue 60% of all properties.  Generally, it is surprisingly easy to get some relief on property taxes. The local assessor in your area can help you out on this. Below are five measures you can take:

Examine the description of your property

Your assessor may have stated that your property has four bedrooms instead of three, which is the correct number. This mistake can be rectified by submitting building drawings or having them visit your home. Naturally, a reduced amount of living space translates to a decrease in the tax bill. The description of your property must be spot-on in regards to rooms, amenities and total square footage.

Are you eligible for any exemptions?

If you are living in your home and have not rented it out, you automatically get a “homestead” exemption.

Veterans, seniors and the disabled can also get exemptions. To know whether you qualify, contact your assessor or check their website.

Have you been over-assessed?

The best indicator that you need to appeal is if the assessor’s market estimate of your property exceeds what you believe you can get if you sold it. This estimate may be unclear, but you should always appeal if you feel that you are being over-assessed.

To learn how much your property might be worth, talk to your local real estate agent or visit Zillow .com. But remember that market values are usually estimated. The actual value of your home is the amount of money a buyer ready to pay for it at the close of the selling transaction.

The assessors will give you a 30-day window to appeal the assessment notice. You will be forced to wait until the following year if you do not begin the appeal process during this period.

In addition, you will be required to know the equalization factor (a number used when multiplying the assessed value of your property) of your county. Among other things, the equalization factor is an indicator of the prevailing market conditions.

Sadly, it is not possible to contest the final tax bill straight away even though you may definitely complain (failing to pay your tax bill can make you lose your house). To compute your annual property tax bill, the total equalized assessed value of your property is multiplied by the local tax rate.

Generally, you can use three properties of similar square footage and characteristics with a lower assessment to support your assessment appeal case. While you need to have like-for-like comparisons, you will probably be required to follow the tax appeal process in your county.

Your home has unique problems

Let us assume there was a natural catastrophe in your locality and a tree fell on your home or there are additional damages that you have not yet repaired. Or there was flooding in your area. You may note down these problems and make a request for a lower assessment.

You conducted a sale recently and you have an up-to-date appraisal

In case a qualified appraiser says your home is overvalued, that is normally sufficiently strong evidence. Furthermore, you can get a new appraisal even though it could cost you a few hundred dollars. But it could be worthwhile if it supports your case for a lower tax assessment.

Remember, you are not appealing your property tax bill directly. This is because it is not much you can do by the time you receive it. Tax rates are fixed by local organizations such as school districts, villages, and various other agencies. There is not a lot that you can do unless they reduce their rates or levies.

At any rate, it is always useful to appeal. It might not be possible to reduce your tax bill but it is advisable to try it. The assessment procedure is generally unclear and it is not always standardized. You should challenge it if it is unjust.


Need Help Reducing Your Property Taxes? We can Help – Suffolk Nassau

 

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