Author Topic: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!  (Read 2794 times)

cooking

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Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« on: June 25, 2019, 05:13:14 PM »
I appealed my property taxes, and before the hearing date that they had scheduled, I took the assessor through the property, pointing out all the flaws.  He offered me a stipulation (at about 2/3 the former assessment)  to settle before the hearing.  I felt like the stipulation was still a little higher than it should have been, but he was insisting that if I wanted it lower than the stipulation, we'd have to proceed with the hearing.  Rather than go through with the hearing, I signed the stipulation.  Result:  I'll be saving over $2000 a year on taxes for the forseeable future.  Woo woo!

SwordGuy

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 10:30:43 AM »
Good job!    Not bad for a few hours work!

cooking

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 12:31:02 PM »
Yeah, especially considering that my town hadn't had a revaluation for 19 years.

So if that holds true in the future, and unless I do improvements that require permits, the assessment probably won't increase for another generation-like time period.  Of course, the rates could (and probably will) increase across the entire municipality, but the only way to attack that is through some kind of mass political changes.  The assessment appeal is something each individual can attack and possibly win, as I did.

kato

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 01:50:53 PM »
what state?

cooking

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 03:59:01 PM »
NJ, which distinguishes itself by having the highest property taxes in the nation.  So it makes the stakes high enough to be worth fighting over.  And I didn't want to lose a once-in-a-generation chance to get a shot at it.

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 08:50:12 PM »
So awesome! My wife appealed that we should get 2x the veterans rate since we're both veterans. They were very confused since this had not happened before. Thankfully, my wife stuck to her guns and pointed out that by denying us this, they would be discriminating against a female military retiree by saying that only her husband's service is worth the reduction.

Naturally, they don't want to do that, because that would be gross.

The result: We pay 25% of the full tax in a HCOL, and the total savings on the mortgage is about $750/month, allowing us to have a 15-year loan.

cooking

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2019, 03:23:50 PM »
A Fella from Stella,

It's great for you that your wife won the argument, saving you so much.  I'm just wondering if they would have to extend that same savings to a same-sex vet couple even though, it couldn't really be argued that they were discriminating against one partner due to gender?  Just a thought exercise.

FireHiker

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2019, 04:30:39 PM »
Wow, congrats to both of you!

Money Badger

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 05:28:07 AM »
@cooking, Awesome job.   This is a hot topic at our house as well.   In atlanta, the Fulton County govt has been all over the local news for blatant property  tax increases due to dispute with the state on so called “fair value”.   we just appealed a 2018 property tax bill for home that we sold back in January...  We’d gotten  hit with another 40% increase in ONE year after 4 prior years of annual increases over 30% since the Great Recession years!     So I had to take a morning off work and schlep it downtown to the marble and ivory tower (literally) of county stealerment.  The appeal board were adamant “your valuation is fair”.  So I slapped the property’s sales contract on the table that was 30% lower than their not so fair valuation!   They quickly quit blistering and dropped the bill to sales price.   Further, Georgia has a high income tax at 6% PLUS moderately high local sales tax near or over 8%.   Spread the word, atlanta is no longer a relatively cheap place to relocate to live or do business!

cooking

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 02:04:49 PM »
Money Badger, I've never considered moving to the south, especially now in the 'time of trump', but I won't go there on this thread.  However, I will spread the word if anyone I know mentions a move to Atlanta.

Sales price should be definitive on value IMHO, unless sold to a family member, etc.  But in NJ, property taxes cannot be appealed for past valuations.  We can appeal once a yr., but must demonstrate an over valuation of more than 15% in order to prevail, giving the towns an advantage almost too large to overcome in many cases.  The one exception is in the year of a reval, where they are supposed to be pegged at true market value (100%).  As I mentioned in a previous post, this opportunity only came up in my town once in the last 19 yrs.  I wonder if many people in NJ, where complaining about property taxes is a like a sport, are aware of this.  Average property taxes on a 55/60 yr old bilevel on a 1/4-1/3 acre lot in my middling town in the northern part of the state are $7500 - $8900.

Money Badger

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 09:06:19 PM »
cooking,   It's just sad that a citizen has to work to create $700-$800 a month after tax just to put the next dollar towards actually living.   And guess it explains why a LOT of people from NJ have moved down to Atlanta historically.   But now the game us up as that's less than what we were paying (~$9K) down here for a $670K home as a comparison.   And did I mention the traffic?

So the glory days of relocating to "cheap Atlanta" are clearly over given the level of infrastructure and political greed increase along with state income taxes and sales taxes that continue at unsustainable rates for nicer homes.    Also it seems the county and cities are anticipating a recession is coming so boosting the valuations up now so they can keep their bond ratings when the next big recession hits home values (as they had to sell a LOT of fresh debt to float the city during the last recession).    Meanwhile as we pay through the nose, most of the states surrounding Georgia are competing hard for corporate relocations such as TN, FL, SC with lower taxes on 2 of these 3 categories plus FAR better value for money on housing on top of the tax benefits which is a major boost to long term wealth.  Go there instead...  cause "We Full".

cooking

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2019, 05:46:28 PM »
It's funny how often I've thought of NJ property taxes in the way you mentioned.  In Montclair, a much cooler town than mine farther east (i.e., closer to NYC), property taxes are described as "low taxes" in the MLS if they're somewhere around $10k.  The ones in the best part of Montclair are around $20k.  When I hear that last figure, I think to myself, "wow, that's only about $5k less than MMM allots for his total yearly budget for a (formerly) family of 3!

Lady Stash

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2019, 02:59:22 PM »
wow, those are high property taxes! 

I'm in a HCOL city but our property taxes are pegged to purchase price plus a modest yearly increase.  I bought my home 20 years ago.  If I bought now my property taxes would be would double. 



« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 07:18:16 PM by Lady Stash »

JLee

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2019, 03:01:09 PM »
I appealed my property taxes, and before the hearing date that they had scheduled, I took the assessor through the property, pointing out all the flaws.  He offered me a stipulation (at about 2/3 the former assessment)  to settle before the hearing.  I felt like the stipulation was still a little higher than it should have been, but he was insisting that if I wanted it lower than the stipulation, we'd have to proceed with the hearing.  Rather than go through with the hearing, I signed the stipulation.  Result:  I'll be saving over $2000 a year on taxes for the forseeable future.  Woo woo!

What did you dispute? I just bought a house in NJ and my taxes are also insane...and they have my lot listed as .4 acres but my survey shows it as .31, so I have at least one thing to argue about.

socaso

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2019, 03:09:33 PM »
So awesome! My wife appealed that we should get 2x the veterans rate since we're both veterans. They were very confused since this had not happened before. Thankfully, my wife stuck to her guns and pointed out that by denying us this, they would be discriminating against a female military retiree by saying that only her husband's service is worth the reduction.

Naturally, they don't want to do that, because that would be gross.

The result: We pay 25% of the full tax in a HCOL, and the total savings on the mortgage is about $750/month, allowing us to have a 15-year loan.

Your wife is my hero.

cooking

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2019, 04:21:52 PM »
JLee - Here's the big dilemma of appealing property taxes in our fair state: In any year with the exception of the year of a reval, your taxes must be more than 15% off in order to prevail on appeal.  This gives the assessor a huge advantage, and you an huge hurdle.  That's why I waited till the reval to do it.
 
The State of NJ mandates that the towns must do revals at least once every 10 yrs., but a lot of towns drag their feet on it b/c of the big expense.  The State of NJ finally ordered our town to do it after many years, but then some other issues that cost the town a lot of $ came up, and they managed to get waivers from the state until it amounted to 19 yrs. before my town undertook it.  On the other hand, the tiny town next to ours revals 1/3 of their properties every year on a rolling basis, so property owners there get (what I'd personally call) the only fair shot at it every 3 yrs.

Point being, it's important to know when your town will hold its next reval if you want to appeal in NJ, b/c you'll have a much greater chance of success that year.  As for a factual error on your property record card like in your case, you can go point it out to the assessor at any time, and he's supposed to work with you to correct and adjust if you can prove it's incorrect.  It might not make a huge difference in your taxes for .09 acres, but it should be worth a try.

As for what I disputed, I argued that the house was an eventual teardown on which we had been doing only the absolute minimal maintenance.  And I took him through the house and he agreed that that was the house's eventual fate.

 Lady Stash, are you by any chance in CA?

JLee

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Re: Just saved over $2k per yr on property taxes!!
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2019, 04:37:14 PM »
I see. Thanks for the education!