Earlier this year Long Island was described as America’s hottest housing market. The Island may boast some of the country’s most spectacular real estate, but for many the glorious ego boost of living on Long Island is overshadowed by even grander property tax bills.
Should all LI’ers expect 29% higher property tax bills this year? Who is really responsible for skyrocketing tax rates? How can local property owners get fair treatment?
In February, a RealtyTimes article proclaimed ‘Long Island Is The Nation’s Hottest Real Estate Market’. Much of the reasoning behind the headlines was based on the island boasting an almost non-existent foreclosure rate. Of course, since then New York has seen some of the highest foreclosure rates, with some areas seeing a 1,000% increase in foreclosure activity this year.
We may still have prime properties, and some of the highest incomes in the U.S., but it comes with a big price tag.
On June 11th, 2014 it was revealed Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee’s home was to see a 29% rise in property taxes. The re-assessment of value was also hit with the findings of a Journal News investigation which found that Sandra Lee had not obtained building permits for dramatic remodeling which was featured across high profile publications including Vogue, USA Today, and Elle Décor Magazine. The tax assessor states he is prohibited by law from collecting the higher tax retroactively.
Last month the New York Times alerted the public to the lawsuit Jersey City was leveraging against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over $315 million in unpaid taxes. Reportedly the authority tried to bargain with millions to settle out of court an offer which was rejected.
All the while local grandmothers and widows are losing the Long Island homes that have been in their families for generations, often for just pennies on the dollar in past due property taxes.
It may be an unlikely to pass bill, but NY Senator Charles Schumer has proposed unpaid taxes be outsourced to private collection agencies. That could mean a nightmare in harassment for those struggling to keep up, even in the face of admission the local property tax system is broken.
There may be little most regular homeowners can do to truly create equality in property tax assessments or collections. They can however, enroll the help of Property Tax Adjusters, Ltd. to ensure they are not being overcharged.