Where are America’s property taxes rising and falling now? What’s driving these taxes in different directions? What can we all do to optimize our real estate tax bills?
New Record Tax Hike in New York
Troy, NY is about to see its tax bills rocketed by 28% if the local Mayor has his way. That’s the largest hike so far, exceeding the 21% increase for Troy property owners 20 years ago. This may not only hurt existing property owners, but cut out some of the new home buyer pool, or at least reduce how much home they can purchase.
Property Taxes are Being Lowered Here
While falling property tax rates may seem too good to be true for many American property owners it is happening in MD. Fulton County recently approved a reduction in tax rates that will roll them back to rates lower than in 2015.
Why the Disparity in Taxation Trends?
Why are some counties raising taxes while others are dropping them? There may be a variety of reasons, but it certainly has a lot to do with the budget. Troy, NY is reportedly dealing with a lot of ‘red ink’ and books which aren’t balancing. Fulton County, Maryland on the other hand is experiencing a significant surplus of funds. Cutting the millage rate for this county is still projected to bring in a $20M or greater reserve fund for the year. Instead of finding new things to spend money on or hoarding millions more, city representatives say that money needs to be used efficiently and to be delivering a return. Why press homeowners for even more money when they may be able to use it, and perhaps even more effectively? That’s something perhaps more taxing authorities might keep in mind given how many homeowners are losing their properties at New York tax auctions. All too often homeowners are still losing their homes due to incorrect property tax billing mistakes or for failing to pay over inflated bills.
Property taxes continue to scale in different directions. There are many different philosophies and factors involved. Fortunately we do all have some control. We can vote at all levels of politics and often for specific bills. We can vote by where we live. And we can all challenge our annual property tax bills and assessments. If we don’t use these rights then it is hard to complain about the costs.