- School budgets continue to increase, higher than the 2% NYS cap;
- There are precious few properties being built, therefore, virtually no new assessments are being added to the tax roll; and
- If there are assessment reductions in the district and no new assessments added, then it’s simple math that tax rates have to increase.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
If you own commercial property, your new October school tax bill probably has a lower tax then last year because the Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF) reduced the taxes payable. Everybody thought the DAF was to be an additional tax to build up a refund bucket. However, the Disputed Assessment Fund charge was a reduction on the tax bills. The Assessment Department has not explained why a charge resulted in reducing the tax payable. What will happen on the January 2017 general tax bill is anybody’s guess. As a Tax Certiorari lawyer who files for commercial clients, I am mindful of real estate taxes. This unexpected decrease in school taxes might be welcome in the short run but I am concerned that there will be a large increase in commercial property taxes in the coming year. I will continue to reach out for information on the DAF taxes. Of course, the school taxes increased for Nassau residential properties.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
According to the new Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF) Program, any taxpayer who filed a complaint/grievance/protest on a commercial property to the Assessor in January 2016 will receive two bills on the January 2017 general tax statement. Depending on the amount of the assessment the taxpayer claims is too high that disputed amount will be put into the DAF account. The rest of the assessment will be paid to the school and other taxing districts. So far, so good – now the kicker. If a commercial taxpayer claims a 20% over assessment, the DAF will get 20% of the taxes and the taxing districts will only get 80% of the taxes. Clearly, the tax rate for every commercial taxpayer, whether they claim an over assessment or not, will have to be substantially increased to make the school and other taxing districts whole. The assessor will have to make a decision for each protesting taxpayer how much to put in the DAF, depending on what percentage the taxpayer is disputing. If the taxpayer does not ultimately reduce the assessment by at least that amount that is in dispute, the extra money reverts to the taxing municipalities. There are no rules and regulations available yet as to how much the January 2017 tax rate will increase and what the bill will look like. Rest assured the commercial taxes will be increased to create a fund - a Disputed Assessment Fund - so that there will be money available for the inevitable refunds.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Why is this year different from all other years? That is the commercial taxpayer’s question. The answer is not simple and it might even change. This year, the real estate tax rate will increase for every commercial taxpayer. Each taxpayer that files a protest/complaint/grievance against Nassau commercial real estate tax assessments will pay on two different assessments. The portion of the assessment that the taxpayer is disputing and wants to have reduced, will go into a separate fund called the Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF). Since the school and general tax districts will receive tax payments only on the portion of the assessment not in dispute, the tax rate will have to increase. The plan is for the school and general tax districts to receive full payment albeit on a lower assessment. Therefore, the tax rate on Nassau County commercial, Class 4 properties will increase for every commercial taxpayer whether the taxpayer complains or not. The schools will not suffer, only the commercial taxpayers will suffer. The details of how the January 2017 tax bill will look are still “in dispute”. More to come as the details are worked out.
Monday, April 11, 2016
There is a patchwork quilt of tax rates and tax assessment ratios in the 10 towns and 30 or so villages in Suffolk County. Babylon, Huntington, Islip, Brookhaven, Smithtown, Riverhead, Southampton, East Hampton, Shelter Island and Southold will all have new assessments on May 2, 2016. Protests to most of the villages are filed in February. Since the tax assessments are not made at full market value, to correctly protest you must have knowledge of the New York State assessed ratio of assessment to market value. A one million dollar commercial property in Babylon is assessed at about $12,000, in Huntington at approximately $9,000 and in Riverhead at about $145,000 - quite differing ratios and only a three week protest period to complain! Residential properties have similar wide-ranging ratios.