By now most experienced NY property owners have become numb to all of the property tax issues that threaten their finances and housing each year. Though newer home and business owners can be shocked by the constant barrage of threats and costs, and the broken system which often seems created just to try and sweep their properties from under their feet.
Here are five common property tax issues that you must be aware of…
1. Property Tax Inflation
Many buyers carefully run the numbers before buying a home or business to ensure they can afford it. Most end up settling for a little more than they are comfortable with to get the property they really want. Then in the next few months they find out that property is going to cost them far, far more than even that extra stretching.
Newer construction properties typically see huge leaps in tax bills after being bought. That is because they were protected with tax breaks, or previously billed based on the vacant land. This can happen after significant renovations on existing homes as well. In fact, any property purchase can trigger much higher taxes, based on new values. That’s true, even if it is your neighbors selling in the neighborhood where you’ve kept the same property for 40 years.
This often causes a waterfall effect. Higher property tax assessments can turn into bigger HOA dues, and insurance. It’s not uncommon for this to total tens of thousands of dollars.
2. Escrow Issues
Property owners with mortgages on their properties face even more risks. Lenders and servicers often collect property tax and insurance payments along with principal and interest mortgage payments each month.
In some cases owners have only found out years later that those amounts were never applied to their property taxes. They find out they are about to lose their homes and are many thousands of dollars behind.
Attempts to catch up and pay them frequently lead to lenders seizing that money and applying it to their mortgage balances, instead of the taxes.
Whether paperwork mistakes, glitches using satellite images, or rezoning changes, some property owners can find that their properties are reclassified. Whether by residential category or commercial, this can lead to huge jumps in tax values, and no caps on inflation.
4. No Real Tax Caps
There are no real tax caps.
There is a lot of talk about them by politicians and in the media. Yet, they are typically voluntary for school districts, which frequently break through them. There are so many line items in tax assessments and bills that there are always several which can go up uncapped.
Don’t believe the hype. Brace for bigger annual tax bills.
5. Either Tax Rates Or Assessments Will Drive Up Your Tax Bill Each Year
Your annual property tax bill is the total of your property tax rates multiplied by your property tax assessment. Even when your assessed value should go down, tax rates can be raised to still increase the actual amount you are billed. Or when it is promised that tax rates won’t go up, re-assessments of your value will lead to bigger bills.
Whether you are already in the middle of these issues and could lose your home, are frustrated trying to find help, or you want to stay ahead by challenging and lowering your bill, get in touch with Property Tax Adjusters, Ltd. today…