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Property Tax Resources

Jan
01

Maine Property Tax Updates

Updated December 2014

Ignoring The Assessor's Inquiries Can Be Fatal To Your Appeal

In Maine the assessor may require the taxpayer to answer in writing all proper inquires as to the nature, situation, and value of the taxpayer's property liable to be taxed. This request can include income, expenses, manufacturing or generational efficiencies, manufactured or generated sale price trends, or other related information. A taxpayer has thirty days to respond to the inquiring. Upon written request a taxpayer has an automatic thirty day extension to respond to the inquiring. The failure to supply the information will bar the taxpayer the right of appeal. Please be aware that some assessors use this provision of the law to inundate the taxpayer with inquires. The property of some of these inquires is questionable and some inquires appear to be patently improper. These inquires can be a cynical attempt to have the taxpayer's appeal dismissed for failing to comply with an inquiry.

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

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Jan
01

Maryland Property Tax Updates

UPDATED September 2019

Upcoming 2020 Reassessment and Mid-Cycle Appeal Deadline

Major markets in Maryland set to be reassessed as of 1/1/2020 are Bethesda & Chevy Chase (Montgomery County), Laurel & Bowie (Prince George’s County), Hanover & the BWI Airport area (Anne Arundel County), Mount Vernon & Midtown (Baltimore City) and Towson (Baltimore County).  Even if your property is not set to be reassessed, a mid-cycle appeal can be filed.  It must be noted by January 2, 2020.  Please contact Wilkes Artis to review your property to determine if a mid-cycle appeal is warranted.   

Kevin E. Kozlowski, Esq.
Wilkes Artis, Chartered
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Massachusetts Property Tax Updates

UPDATED JUNE 2019

In Massachusetts Be Prepared for Expensive Access to Justice

The deadline for filing most petitions to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board is approaching. The filing fees required to enter your petition are the highest in the nation. The filing fees generally started at $100 for property assessed at up to $1,000,000. For assessed values over $1,000,000 the filing fee is .10 cents per thousand in addition to the $100. This incremental increase in filing fees increases to a maximum of $5,000. A $5,000 filing fee would apply to $50,000,000 assessment, a $4,000 filing fee would apply to a $40,000,000 and so on. These filng fees apply to every fiscal year assessment is appealed, e.g. if there are two years pending at the Appellate Tax Board two separate filing fees must be paid. The filing fees are a significant expense. If you are not aware, these filing fees can be an unpleasant surprise.


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

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Jan
01

Michigan Property Tax Updates

UPDATED september 2019

Michigan Property Taxation Traps Another Taxpayer

Since the enactment of Michigan’s Proposal A over two decades ago, many a property taxpayer has unexpectedly suffered a tax increase that might have been avoided with better tax planning, and/or more effective advocacy in a tax appeal. Michigan property transfers can be especially painful. Property taxes are based on a property’s taxable value, and generally, taxable values are capped to the lesser of inflation or 5%, except in the year following a transfer of ownership. In that year, the taxable value is uncapped to equal 50% of the true cash (market) value.

On September 12, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its most recent transfer of ownership decision in the case of Puppy’s Cubby v City of Farmington Hills. This case involved a transfer from a husband and wife as joint tenants, to a limited liability company of which the husband was the sole member.   The taxpayer claimed the transaction was not a transfer of ownership because it was between commonly controlled entities. The Court ruled in favor of the City, finding that under the joint tenancy the husband did not have control, rather the husband and wife had equal control. Consequently, the Court concluded that the joint tenancy and the limited liability company were not entities under common control.  

The outcome in this case is very troublesome. The taxpayer’s objective was to transfer property that was jointly owned by spouses, into an LLC owned by one of the spouses, without having the taxable value uncap. The Legislature has unambiguously provided that a “transfer of ownership” does not include a transfer between spouses. Yet, the subject transfer resulted in the uncapping.

Taxpayers have options in how they structure their transactions, and in how their tax appeals are pursued. The unfortunate outcome in this case confirms the importance of taxpayers working with experienced property tax legal counsel in planning property transactions, and in having property tax appeals pursued.  

Mark Hilpert and Stewart Mandell
Honigman LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

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Jan
01

Minnesota Property Tax Updates

Updated December 2017

Minnesota Property Tax Update

Many Minnesota property taxpayers with pending appeals before the Minnesota Tax Court have seen their petitions resolved recently. The court expedited the trial calendar by compressing scheduling orders, eliminating a large backlog of filed, unresolved appeals.  It is expected that the pay 2017 appeals, filed last spring, will soon receive scheduling orders from the court.

Minnesota assessing jurisdictions are busy posting values for the 2018 pay 2019 assessment. Assessors are evaluating the active sale transaction market for both commercial and multifamily properties, and deciding what sectors will see increases.   Overall value increases in most jurisdictions over the last few years have led to significant drops in the effective tax rates, which have helped temper the tax impact from valuation increases.  Apartment owners in particular are bracing for increases, as the sale market for this property type has continued be very active, and jurisdictions continue to follow that activity up.

As always, commercial and apartment property owners are advised to have their assessments reviewed annually by a professional, to ensure that their properties stay competitive and are not overassessed. In Minnesota, the deadline for filing a petition to challenge the pay 2018 taxes is April 30th, 2018.

Mark Maher.
Smith, Gendler, Shiell, Sheff, Ford & Maher
 American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Missouri Property Tax Updates

Updated June 2016

Personal Property Statute

On August 28, 2015 the Missouri Legislature enacted Section 137.122.1 which requires county assessors to apply the “standardized schedule of depreciation” to determine assessed value of personal property which will be “presumed to be correct.”

Owners may challenge the assessment by presenting substantial and persuasive evidence of value.

It appears many county assessors are resisting using the depreciation concept in setting assessed value. Only time will tell how this plays out.

Jerome Wallach
The Wallach Law Firm
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Nevada Property Tax Updates

Updated september 2019

Tax bills have been issued, but it’s not too late to challenge the assessment.

In Nevada, the annual property tax bills were mailed in July. Since then I’ve received calls from anxious property owners saying “this isn’t what I expected; is there anything I can do about it?” At this point some remedies are no longer available, but it is worthwhile to critically review the assessment because there are still some avenues for relief that can be pursued.

In reviewing an assessment it is important to understand that the actual tax assessed on a parcel is the result of two separate calculations. First, a gross property tax is calculated by multiplying the taxable value of a parcel by the assessment rate (35%), which is set by statute, and the tax rate for the district in which the parcel is located.

Of the three components used to calculate the gross property tax, only the taxable value can be challenged by a property owner appeal. However, for most parcels, the time to appeal the taxable value has expired. The only exceptions are situations where the secured roll published by the assessor in December of 2018 did not include the parcel at issue or the particular value that the assessment is based on. This usually occurs where a parcel has been divided to create new parcels or where there has been new construction. The taxable value of parcels that fit these exceptions can still be challenged. The petition can be filed with the county board of equalization until January 15, 2020.

Second, the gross property tax can potentially be limited by the tax cap. In Nevada, the amount taxes can increase from year to year is limited by a tax cap that applies to the tax liability, not the taxable value. The tax cap is calculated by (a) increasing the taxes paid in the preceding tax year by an applicable tax cap factor (in Clark County, the tax cap factor for the current tax year is 3% for owner occupied residential property and certain low income residential rental properties and 4.8% for all other property) and (b) adding the tax attributable to “any improvement to or change in the actual or authorized use of the property” that was not included in the assessment for the prior year. Most properties have not experienced an improvement to or change in use, so a property owner can simply compare the current year assessment to the assessment made in the preceding tax year; if the taxes have increased by more than the applicable percentage an appeal should be considered.

The tax cap also limits the taxes assessed on some new parcels; parcels that did not exist in the preceding tax year. These new parcels are identified as either new parcels for development, which do not receive any benefit from the tax cap, or remainder parcels, which do benefit from the tax cap. New parcels for development are either (a) vacant parcels which were created by a subdivision map creating individual lots for residential, commercial or industrial development or on which there has been new construction sufficient to identify the use of the property or (b) improved parcels whose primary use has changed. If neither of these conditions apply, the new parcel should be treated as a remainder parcel and, as such, it might be entitled to a tax cap abatement.

If the assessment of a parcel does not reduce the gross property tax by a tax cap abatement and the property owner believes it should, a petition can be filed with the county assessor on or before June 30, 2020.

In summary, property tax bills should be critically reviewed because some avenues for relief are still available. Reductions in the taxes assessed can be achieved by challenging the valuation of new parcels and new construction or by questioning the manner in which the tax cap abatement has been applied.  

 
Paul D. Bancroft
McDonald Carano
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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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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American Property Tax Counsel

Recent Published Property Tax Articles

Achieving Fair Taxation Of Big Box Retrofits

Issues to address to ensure a big box retrofit doesn't sustain an excessive tax assessment.

As more and more large retail spaces return to the market for sale or lease, creative investors are looking for ways to breathe new life into the big box. These retrofits saddle local tax appraisal districts...

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Beware of New Property Tax Legislation

​Many states are attempting to change established law, causing commercial property taxes to skyrocket.

No one wants to be blindsided with additional tax liability. This is why many businesses belong to industry groups that closely monitor liability for income taxes. Unfortunately, these same companies rarely stay on top of legislation that...

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How to Reduce Multifamily Property Taxes

Take advantage of the following opportunities for tax savings in the booming multifamily market.

With healthy multifamily market fundamentals and increasing demand from investors, apartment property values are on the rise. For owners concerned about property tax liability, however, there are still opportunities to mitigate assessments and ensure multifamily assets are...

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