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Property Tax Resources

Jan
01

New Hampshire Property Tax Updates

Updated March 2019

New Hampshire Inventory Blanks are Due April 15

In New Hampshire every taxpayer must file an Inventory Blank with the local assessors by April 15 in order to preserve their right of a future property tax appeal. The requirement of filing an Inventory Blank can be waived by a city or town. Many cities and towns, by way of local election have waived the requirement of filing Inventory Blanks. In cities and towns that require the Inventory Blank on or before March 25 of each year the Inventory Blank form is sent to each taxpayer. The Inventory Blank requires that the taxpayer provide under oath a description of the real estate taxable, other information needed by the assessing officials to assess the property at its true value, and a census of all persons occupying the premises among other things. If you receive an Inventory Blank from the assessors do not ignore it otherwise you will be at the doom of the assessors.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

New Jersey Property Tax Updates

Updated MARCH 2019

New Jersey Tax Court Analyzes Freeze Act Invocation and Waiver

A recent New Jersey Tax Court opinion analyzed whether a tax payer waived N.J.S.A. § 54:51A-8 (“Freeze Act”) protections pursuant to a settlement agreement that expressly invoked Freeze Act application only for the freeze year immediately following the appealed tax year. In 160 Chubb Properties, LLC v. Township of Lyndhurst, the Tax Court held that the taxpayer did not waive Freeze Act application to the second freeze year because Freeze Act protections must be deliberately and intentionally waived. Although the settlement agreement invoked Freeze Act protections for the first freeze year, the agreement did not expressly mention the waiver of application to the second freeze year. Importantly, the Freeze Act is self-executing, thus, invocation is not necessary for its application. Without any indication that the taxpayer requested or agreed to waive Freeze Act protection rights, application to both freeze years was enforceable. 160 Chubb Properties, LLC v. Township of Lyndhurst, 30 N.J. Tax 613, 624-25 (N.J. Tax Ct. 2018).

Gregory S. Schaffer, Esq.
Garippa, Lotz & Giannuario P.C.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

New York City Property Tax Updates

Updated September 2018

Expanding the Workforce in Construction: Inclusive Initiatives for Women and Minorities Proves Critical for Ever‐Evolving NYC Construction Industry

New York City represents the best of real estate development on a global spectrum. From the record-breaking economic sales, to record-breaking building heights, the complexity and success of this industry rests on the shoulders of its committed, dynamic, knowledgeable, and diverse workforce.

This workforce is made up of many roles – developers, architects, legal counsel, and construction personnel. Take a stroll through any New York City street and you will undoubtedly witness a construction site underway. The hammering, demolition, concrete mixing, safety signaling, and drilling make up the musical medleys that fill the every-day tunes this magical City is best known for.

For that reason, it’s imperative that the construction workforce advance and grow. One initiative that has gained momentum and added a dynamic impact to the construction world is the growing rate of women-owned construction firms and women construction workers on-site. The construction world has been predominately male-oriented, but the inclusion of women in the workforce has only strengthened the industry and given it a greater edge.

Marcus & Pollack LLP, a leading real estate tax firm in New York City, has recognized this trend. Recently, Marcus & Pollack created a new department specifically tailored to assist women and minority owned business in the bidding and contract award process on major construction projects throughout New York City.  Marcus & Pollack LLP works hand-in-hand with leading developers to include women owned business on their job-sites at every level – from general contractors and construction managers to all lower-tiered trades.

Marcus & Pollack LLP can be the catalyst in bringing significant numbers of women and minority owned businesses and construction labor into the bidding and contract award process. Marcus& Pollack LLP’s involvement and representation of many of the owners and developers involved in new construction projects enables the initiative to be established and pursued at the very early stages of planning and project development.

As advisors in property tax aspects and tax incentive programs, Marcus & Pollack LLP advocates the inclusion of minority and women owned firms on construction sites by counseling clients to include at least three minority and/or women owned companies in every request for proposal or construction labor throughout the project. The initiative has been widely accepted and implemented.   

Further, women and minority owned firms and construction workers are also given access to Marcus & Pollack’s database of on-going, active construction sites looking to hire. By matching these minority and women owned firms or construction labor to projects currently underway throughout New York City, the overall construction schedule is helped to steadily progress because construction needs are being met by an able, capable, and dynamic workforce.

For more information, please contact Joel Marcus or Kristine Loffredo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (212) 490-2900.

Joel R. Marcus
Marcus & Pollack LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

New York State Property Tax Updates

Updated December 2002

Hijacking the Assessment Review Process 

New York consistently ranks as one of the highest taxed states in the nation, and local property taxes are 79 percent higher than the national average. Boards of Assessment Review face high rates of complaints and increased pressure by the local governing body to control refund liability.

The evidentiary demands of many Boards have escalated sharply and many initiatives have been criticized as mere attempts by the local governing body to deliberately discourage taxpayers from exercising their right to seek a fair assessment, in conflict with the spirit of New York's Real Property Tax Law.

Perhaps the most flagrant attempt to hijack the review process as a tool to curtail the property owner's right to a fair assessment is found in a recently proposed local law by the new Nassau County Executive. The controversial proposed law requires only commercial property owners who file appeals of their property's assessments to submit a certified appraisal as a condition precedent to reducing an assessment. In the alternative, owners may submit a "bona fide" counteroffer - defined as no less then 85 percent of the County's assessment, or withdraw the appeal altogether. Owners who fail to exercise one of the above options forfeit their right to judicial review and are subject to a $5,000 fine.

Nassau County spends approximately $150 million annually to pay down a $1.1 billion debt from past tax refunds even as taxpayers file more than 100,000 protests annually. More than 80 percent of the annual refund liability goes to commercial property owners. The proposed law by the new County Executive seeks to punish commercial property owners for exercising their constitutional right to a fair assessment and equitable tax burden.

The controversial law must be codified by the Nassau County Legislature as well as the New York State Legislature, which must issue a "home rule" message to authorize the change. However, State Senator Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) has rejected the County Executive's request to introduce the state legislation, citing concerns that the legislation would be unfair to commercial property owners and was unconstitutional on its face. Of the many concerns with the proposed law, it was rejected by Sen. Johnson because it is punitive and bullies commercial property owners to settle within a 15 percent margin that deprives the owner of the right to a fair assessment and an opportunity to be heard.

Michael Martone
Koeppel Martone & Leistman, L.L.P.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

North Carolina Property Tax Updates

Updated September 2015

North Carolina

The North Carolina General Assembly has enacted legislation which exempts from property tax the increase in the value of real property held for sale by a builder. Effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2016, and applicable to improvements made after July 1, 2015, improvements to single family or duplex residential real property held for sale by builders and commercial real property held for sale by builders are excluded from taxation as long as the property is held for sale. Applications for exclusion must be filed annually.

Charles B. Neely, Jr.
Nancy S. Rendleman
Williams Mullen
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Ohio Property Tax Updates

UPDATED JUNE 2019

Use of purchase of entity interests to set real property value

While a recent arm’s length sale of the unencumbered fee simple interest is the best evidence of real property value for tax purposes in Ohio, the sale of interests in the ownership entity have not been adopted as readily as indicators of value. Eg. Salem Medical Arts & Dev. Corp. v. Columbiana Cty. Bd. of Revision[1]; Gahanna-Jefferson Pub. Schs. Bd. of Edn. v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Revision[2] (company’s stock price did not equal real property value because of the ownership of other assets and of the going concern; no evidence in record of transfer of real estate for consideration, the sale of partnership interests in dissolution of one entity or from subsidiary to parent ownership entity was personal not real property).

More recently, tribunals and courts have adopted the sale of ownership interests as reflective of value of the real estate more eagerly[3].  Recent examples are the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) decisions in Columbus City Schools Bd. of Edn. v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Revision[4] (“Palmer House”) and Orange City Schools Bd. of Edn. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision (“Corporate Circles”)[5].

In Palmer House, the buyer purchased the membership interests of the LLC that owned a 264 unit apartment building.  The buyer entity was created solely for the purpose of owning the subject property.  Evidence in the record included a settlement statement, recorded mortgage, financing appraisal, and purchase agreement.  The BTA concluded based on these factors that the transaction was, fundamentally, the transfer of real property. This case has been appealed and is pending at the Ohio Supreme Court.

The facts are similar in the Corporate Circles decision.  The record included the closing statement, purchase agreement, and financing appraisal.  The taxpayer argued that the transfer was the sale of member interests in the ownership LLC and therefore, was the exchange of personal, not real property.  The BTA determined this transfer did represent real property value. The only purpose of the ownership entity was to own the subject real property, and the entity had no other assets or other going concern business value.  It also had no other liabilities other than the note and mortgage connected to the ownership of the real estate.  The Eighth District Court of Appeals affirmed the BTA’s decision agreeing that the documents and testimony demonstrated that the sale was of real property and not a truly a membership transfer.  This case is also pending at the Ohio Supreme Court with proceedings stayed until the Court rules in Palmer House. 

Potential legislation

About a year ago, there was a potential change to the current property transfer tax law circulating among county auditors.  The legislation has not been formally introduced, but the Ohio Legislative Service Commission analysis can be found here.  In short, the law would remove the current exemption to paying the property transfer tax when the transfer of ownership is effectuated through the transfer of the interest in the ownership entity (eg, LLC, partnership, corporation) instead of a direct conveyance of title.

[1] 82 Ohio St.3d 193, 1998-Ohio-248.

[2] 89 Ohio St.3d 450, 2000-Ohio-216.

[3] Parkland Assoc. v. Mayfield Hts School Dist. Bd. of Edn. (June 25,2014), BTA No. 2011-3893, 4060 (function of owner partnership was solely to own subject property with no other going concern value).

[4] (July 25, 2018), BTA No. 2016-2365.

[5] (April 23, 2018), BTA No. 2017-127.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Siegel Jennings Co., L.P.A.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Oklahoma Property Tax Updates

UPDATED March 2018

Avoid Deadline Disaster

Under the Oklahoma Ad Valorem Tax Code a taxpayer has thirty (30) calendar days from the date of mailing of a notice of increase in value to file an informal appeal with the county assessor.  If no notice of increase in value has been issued, a taxpayer can still file an informal appeal by the first Monday in May.  The taxpayer has ten (10) working days from the date of the assessor’s informal hearing decision to file a formal appeal with the county board of equalization.  A taxpayer has ten (10) calendar days from the board’s final adjournment date to continue the appeal by filing a petition in district court. By statute, boards are to adjourn by May 31st, but they have the authority to extend their sessions so it is critical to confirm each board’s final adjournment date.  The lack of consistency in the computation of filing deadlines under Oklahoma law can create confusion, but it is essential that deadlines be met because failure to comply will bar an appeal.

William K. Elias
Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, P.C.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Oregon Property Tax Updates

UPDATED JUNE 2019

Government Restrictions on Property Impact Real Market Value

Often overlooked by the assessor is the impact of conditions of approval for a development that impact the use of the property. A developer that is required to set aside a portion of its property for non-development uses is not utilizing the property to the highest and best use of the current zoning, and should not be paying full taxes or in some instances any taxes on that property. An example is a developer required to put aside several parcels of property for park use as a condition of a multi-family planned development. These parcels cannot be used for commercial use because of the government restriction on the property's use and the value to the owner is zero. Similarly, a city or county that places a conservation easement over a portion of property is placing a government restriction on that property that must be taken into account when considering the real market value of the property. The impacts of these restrictions need to be pointed out to the assessor who may not be aware of the government restriction and instead place a real market value per square foot over the property without any adjustments.

Cynthia M. Fraser
cfrasThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Garvey Schubert Barer,
P.C.

American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Pennsylvania Property Tax Updates

UPDATED JUNE 2019

PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT ISSUES ANOTHER DECISION IN A SERIES OF UNIFORMITY RULINGS PROTECTING TAXPAYERS

In an April 2019 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued yet another ruling in a series of decisions over the last decade consistently upholding the constitutional requirement of uniformity in taxation in favor of taxpayers.  In Sands Bethwork Gaming, LLC v. Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, 216 MM 2017 (Pa. Apr. 26, 2019), the Supreme Court ruled that a statute that taxed gaming revenue at different thresholds and then re-distributed the proceeds violated the Uniformity Clause.

The Pennsylvania Constitution provides “All taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax. . . .”  In Sands, all seven Justices agreed in the result, declaring the statutory section to be unconstitutional; five Justices made up the majority and two Justices concurred.  The concurrence, authored by Justice Wecht (who was the author of the Court’s 2016 Mount Airy decision) is particularly strong.  Justice Wecht begins with a refresher that Pennsylvania’s Uniformity Clause was adopted in the late 1800’s in a “populist backlash against the preferential tax treatment that the legislature often had extended to favored industries and individuals.”  He noted that as a result of those preferential laws “[t]he burden of maintaining the state had been, in repeated instances, lifted from the shoulders of favored classes, and thrown upon the remainder of the community.”  The  Uniformity Clause was the specific remedy fashioned by the delegates to the constitutional convention to prevent “certain groups from having to shoulder the benefits of progress from which all would benefit.”

Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, most local school districts, some local assessors and some trial courts seem to have lost sight of the requirement of constitutional uniformity in taxation.  Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, refreshingly, has not.

The Sands decision follows the Court’s recent decisions in:

  • 2017, Nextel v. Commonwealth, 171 A.3d 682 (Pa. 2017)(declaring that a corporate income tax statute that required corporations that met an income threshold to pay an income tax, whereas corporations that did not meet the threshold wholly escaped taxation, violates the Uniformity Clause);
  • 2017, Valley Forge Towers v. Upper Merion School District, 124 A.3d 962 (Pa. 2017)(declaring that a school district policy targeting only commercial property owners for increase assessment appeals violates the Uniformity Clause);
  • 2016, Mount Airy #1 v. Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, 154 A.3d 268 (Pa. 2016)(declaring that a gaming statute setting a graduated-rate income tax violates the Uniformity Clause)
  • 2012, Tech One v. Allegheny County, 53 A.3d 685 (Pa. 2012) (acknowledging the “logic and force” of the trial court’s finding that treating some real estate as exempt from taxation solely because it is owned as a leasehold interest rather than in fee simple would violate the Uniformity Clause, but deferring a ruling on those grounds because it had already ruled that real estate cannot be classified differently for purposes of taxation based on the manner in which it is owned)
  • 2009, Clifton v. Allegheny County (Pa. 600 Pa. 662 (Pa. 2009)(ruling that “base year” system of assessment was unconstitutional as applied in Allegheny County because it did not consider real estate valuation changes; and ordering county to re-assess);
  • 2006, Downingtown Area School District v. Chester County Board of Assessment, 913 A.2d 194 (Pa. 2006)(ruling that a taxpayer may bring evidence of assessment-to-value ratio of similar shopping centers in challenging uniformity of taxpayer’s assessment);

We have called the Uniformity Clause the “fourth approach to value”.  The Uniformity Clause is the underpinning of all taxation and should inform the strategy of every assessment appeal.

To discuss the specifics of your property, please contact Siegel Jennings at:

Sharon F. DiPaolo, Esquire
Siegel Jennings, Co., L.P.A.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Rhode Island Property Tax Updates

Updated december 2018

File an Account to Protect your Right of Appeal

Now is the time for Rhode Island taxpayers to preserve their right of appeal for Tax Year 2019 by filing an Account with the local assessor. In most jurisdictions the Tax Year 2019 tax bill will be sent out during the summer of 2019. The Tax Year 2019 tax bill has an assessing date of December 31, 2018. In most cases the filing of a Valid Account by January 31, 2019 is a prerequisite to a valid appeal. The Account must describe the property, both personal and real, claim a value of the property, and be signed under oath and notarized. Occasionally the assessors do not send out Account Forms. It is incumbent upon the taxpayer to seek out a form and properly complete and file it. It is possible for a taxpayer to construct his own Account form, but it must include all the required information and be signed under oath, notarized and filed timely.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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