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Property Tax Resources

Jan
01

Massachusetts Property Tax Updates

UPDATED march 2020

Devaluation of Real Estate Due to the Covid-19 Virus

As of March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a serious disruption in many businesses. Some businesses have shut their doors, and some will never reopen. It is unknown how long the crisis will continue. This leaves property owners in a poor position to pay mortgages, employees, and other bills. In Massachusetts the assessing date is January 1. The next tax bill issued will be for Fiscal Year 2021. That tax bill has an assessing date of January 1, 2020. A problem for property owners is that on January 1, 2020 in general the economy was doing well. Notwithstanding the disconnect between the assessing date and the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic it would be prudent for property owners to file for an abatement for Fiscal Year 2021. Many assessors will want to deal with this obviously serious problem sooner rather than later.

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

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Jan
01

Michigan Property Tax Updates

UPDATED march 2020

Michigan Tax Appeal Deadline Looming Amid Corona Virus Shutdown

Generally, those with business property in Michigan should strive to file their Michigan property tax appeals by May 29 this year.  As has occurred elsewhere in the country, COVID-19 has impacted Michigan property tax assessment and appeal proceeding s in multiple ways.  Since Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency due to COVID-19, and her “stay at home” order for non-essential employees, there has been speculation that tax appeal deadlines might be extended this year.  On April 2, the Tax Tribunal issued a notice that tolls and extends the deadlines for existing cases and the filing of new ones.  Without further action, however, it is likely that local government units will seek to dismiss appeals that are filed after the statutory deadline, which at a minimum means that the issue will have to be litigated.  Although some further favorable action is expected, it had not occurred as of April 9, and there is no way to be certain whether the Governor or legislature will do what is needed to ensure that taxpayers have additional time.  While true for all Michigan taxpayers, especially those who have had difficulty obtaining their 2020 assessment notices should work with their property tax counsel as soon as is possible so that any needed appeals are filed before the end of May.


Stewart L. Mandell
Honigman LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Minnesota Property Tax Updates

Updated march 2020

Pay 2020 Property Tax Filing Deadline Extended

In response to the Cornonavirus pandemic, the Minnesota legislature and Governor Tim Walz extended the deadline to file pay 2020 property tax petitions to May 30, 2020.  The extension was necessary as most county offices had closed in response to a statewide order.  Since Minnesota has an archaic, personal service statute, filing a petition was literally impossible.

Minnesota counties have adapted to this crisis, and most that have addressed the issue are now permitting service of tax petitions by email.  This ensures that taxpayers' due process rights are not frustrated by this unprecedented situation.

The Minnesota tax court has been delayed in issuing scheduling orders for existing property tax challenges due to vacancies on the court.,  The pandemic will probably further delay those orders, which means resolution of these outstanding cases will be affected.  


Mark K. 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 march 2020

Coronavirus has closed Las Vegas; will it affect the taxable value of real estate?

Last month, Nevada experienced a dramatic change in the market conditions which affect the value of real property.  At the beginning of March, unemployment in Las Vegas was at 3.9% and housing sales were strong.  In the previous month the median sales price of existing single family homes had hit a record high, finally eclipsing the previous high set in June, 2006.  However, on March 18, in response to the coronavirus epidemic, Governor Sisolak issued an order closing all non-essential businesses.  For the first time in nearly six decades the casinos in Las Vegas went dark and their employees were sent home.  Nevada is seeing record numbers of unemployment insurance claims and the Economics Policy Institute predicts that the unemployment rate in Las Vegas will be 19.7% in Las Vegas by July 2020.  This dramatic shift in market conditions will affect the market value of real property; but the question on the minds of most property owners is whether it will affect the taxable value of their property?

The short answer is “yes” - the change in market conditions caused by the coronavirus will affect the determination of taxable value.  Assessors in Nevada are required to calculate the initial taxable value of property using a modified replacement cost approach and the land value included in this approach should be derived from market transactions negotiated after the Governor’s edict.  More importantly, the initial taxable value calculated using the modified replacement cost approach must be reduced if it exceeds full cash value.  Full cash value is market value.  For commercial properties, full cash value is usually determined using an income approach to value.  In applying this income approach the assessors and boards of equalization typically review the revenue and expenses for the trailing 12-month period, which for many businesses will reflect lost income due to the coronavirus epidemic.  Usually, less income correlates to a lower taxable value.

However, relief in the form of a reduced taxable value and the corresponding reduction in tax, won’t be available until tax year 2021-22, which commences on July 1, 2021.  The taxable values for the tax year which will commence on July 1, 2020 (tax year 2020-21), were issued by the assessors in December of 2019 and the time to appeal those values ran in January of 2020 – before the impact of the coronavirus epidemic was evident.  There is no provision that allows property owners to now challenge the taxable values for tax year 2020-21 based on the intervening impact of the coronavirus epidemic. 

The taxable values for tax year 2021-22 will be issued by the assessors in early December of 2020.  Those values will need to be critically reviewed to ensure they reflect the loss of value resulting from the changed market conditions.  If those values do not adequately account for the affect the coronavirus has had on market value, the values can be challenged by appealing to the county board of equalization.  The deadline for filing an appeal is January 15, 2021.

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

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Jan
01

New Hampshire Property Tax Updates

Updated march 2020

Corona Virus Decreases Real Estate Values

As of March 2020, The Corona Virus also known as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious disruption to the real estate market. In some cases, businesses have closed completely, and some may never open again. Some tenants find it impossible to pay rent. Some landlords cannot make mortgage payments. In New Hampshire the assessing date is April 1, 2020 which is directly in the cross hairs of this horrific pandemic. The filing deadline for Tax Year 2020 is generally March 1, 2021. If your property value has been negatively affected by the pandemic it would be prudent to file an abatement application before March 1, 2021. The application should among other things alleged a reduced market value because of the pandemic. Proving and quantifying the disruption in market value may prove difficult. So often trying to prove and quntify a self-evident reality can prove to be oddly vexing.

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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American Property Tax Counsel

Recent Published Property Tax Articles

Texas' Taxing Times

​How changes to the Texas property tax law may impact you, and how COVID-19 plays a role this season.

Property taxes are big news in Texas. Last year, property taxes were a primary focus of the 86th Legislature, and Gov. Greg Abbott deemed property tax relief so important that he declared...

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The Terrible T’s of Inventory: Timing and Taxes

​States that impose inventory taxes put their constituent businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Inventory taxes pose an additional cost of doing business in more than a dozen states, and despite efforts to mitigate the competitive disadvantage the practice creates for many taxpayers, policymakers have yet to propose an equitable fix.

Virtually all...

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Why Assessor Estimates Create Ambiguity

Kieran Jennings of Siegel Jennings Co. explains how taxpayers and assessors ensure a fair system, with tremendous swings in assessment and taxes.

A fundamental problem plaguing the property tax system is its reliance on the government's opinion of a property's taxable value. Taxes on income or retail sales reflect hard numbers;...

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