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Re: tax increases
#12
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actually, it may be the contrary, my recollection of the HPNA/Councilman Fulop forum introduction on a tax reval earlier this year is that an appeal could be successful if the assement was flawed, but not if the only reasoning was nearby comps had differing assesment values....



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Xerxes wrote:
Quote:
The taxes are significantly higher than comparable places in teh same neighborhood. I'm just wondering whether it's worth it to try and fight it.


That is ABSOLUTELY the best kind of eveidence you can present in battling an unfair tax. YEs, it is definitely worth doing.
Don't go in with generalities though; make sure you have as much data on the assessments and taxes of your neighbors that you can amass.

Jersey City needs a new REVAL since valuations have become quite skewed in the 2 decades since the last reval.

Taxes are hard enough to live with without their being unfairly distributed...and a corollary to fairness is the need to STOP ABATEMENTS for areas that are already the wealthiest. But as long as developers hand out bribes, abatements will continue and the single family homeowner will continue being screwed.

Posted on: 2007/10/26 20:25
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Re: tax increases
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I hear jewish lawyers are good.

Posted on: 2007/10/26 1:38
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Re: tax increases
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Thanks for all the input...anybody have recommendations for lawyers?

Posted on: 2007/10/26 1:28
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Re: tax increases
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This happened to me 2 years ago and the best advice i can give you is to call a few lawyers to see if they will take your case. A lawyer will not take your case if they feel that you cannot win.

Posted on: 2007/10/25 13:25
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Re: tax increases
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Quote:
The taxes are significantly higher than comparable places in teh same neighborhood. I'm just wondering whether it's worth it to try and fight it.


That is ABSOLUTELY the best kind of eveidence you can present in battling an unfair tax. YEs, it is definitely worth doing.
Don't go in with generalities though; make sure you have as much data on the assessments and taxes of your neighbors that you can amass.

Jersey City needs a new REVAL since valuations have become quite skewed in the 2 decades since the last reval.

Taxes are hard enough to live with without their being unfairly distributed...and a corollary to fairness is the need to STOP ABATEMENTS for areas that are already the wealthiest. But as long as developers hand out bribes, abatements will continue and the single family homeowner will continue being screwed.

Posted on: 2007/10/25 13:16
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Re: tax increases
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The chickens are coming home to roost on all these abated properties from last reval, '87, who when they expire often find tax increases of 3x + prior taxes.

It's only just begun...

http://njrereport.com/index.php/category/property-taxes/

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May 3, 1989
Jersey City's Revaluation Raising Anger and Despair
By JOSEPH F. SULLIVAN


LEAD: Few communities approaching a property-tax revaluation have faced a more daunting task than this city across the Hudson River from Manhattan. And few have seen the job, once done, create so much anger, despair and bitterness.

Few communities approaching a property-tax revaluation have faced a more daunting task than this city across the Hudson River from Manhattan. And few have seen the job, once done, create so much anger, despair and bitterness.

Much had changed since 1972, when property was last appraised in this city of 218,500. Some neighborhoods had come back to life; others had decayed. Parts of the industrial waterfront had remained decrepit; others had become crowded with offices and apartments.

When the appraisers were done, the value of all real property in Jersey City - homes, businesses, factories and vacant lots - had soared to $5.6 billion from $800 million 17 years before. But the resulting tax assessments varied widely.

Real-estate speculation had artificially forced up values and taxes for recovering neighborhoods in the city's center, while on the waterfront, abatements granted to developers held down taxes on luxury condominiums. Some people found their taxes reduced; others complained they were being forced out of their homes. A Challenge From Taxpayers

The result, when Mayor Anthony R. Cucci accepted the revaluation last year, was a coalition of taxpayers taking the city's officials into Tax Court.

The coalition, the Jersey City Coalition for Fair Taxation, has collected more than $100,000 to argue that the revaluation was badly flawed. Its evidence, said a co-chairman, John Mercer, includes affidavits from more than 850 people whose homes were listed as having been inspected by appraisers, but who say no appraiser visited. Others claim that inspections amounted to someone appearing at their doors and asking how many bathrooms they had.

''Brick homes were listed as wood frame, homes without garages were described as having them, others with 100-year-old plumbing and plaster falling from the walls were assessed the same as those recently renovated,'' Mr. Mercer said. The appraiser hired by the city, Real Property Appraisers, a division of Cole-Layer Trumble of Dayton, Ohio, one of the largest mass appraisal companies in the country, has acknowledged that workers inspected fewer than half the city's 27,000 homes. Harder to Find Someone Home

Bruce F. Nagel, senior vice president of marketing and systems, said workers had made repeated visits to homes. But, he said, ''it's becoming increasingly difficult, in an age of working couples, to find someone at home.''

The anger generated by the tax shift has created a complicated issue for candidates for mayor and council in the May 9 election. While downtown residents and some on the West Side and in the Heights section north of Journal Square have received sharp tax increases, a larger number elsewhere have seen their taxes drop.

City officials said that an influx of newcomers, particularly in the brownstone neighborhoods around Van Vorst and Hamilton Parks downtown, drove up housing prices in some areas and thus assessments.

''I can empathize with anyone who experiences such a dramatic tax increase, but not necessarily sympathize,'' said Jerry Lazarus, the deputy mayor. ''It's simply justice. Many of these properties were underassessed for years.''

But those who have seen their annual tax bills grow to $9,000 and $11,000 from $2,000 and $3,000 scoff at the idea that all properties were assessed at true market value, as required by law.

''Some officials have said they want to make the 'yuppies' pay,'' said Mia Scanga, an executive recruiter in Manhattan who bought her downtown row house on Mercer Street in 1983. ''They expected us to just open our checkbooks, but they didn't expect us to fight. Old-Timers 'Getting Slaughtered'

''They try to picture it as the new residents against the old-timers, but that's hogwash,'' she said. ''The old-timers are getting slaughtered.''

Stanley Miga, a 79-year-old retiree who lives on Montgomery Street across from Van Vorst Park, saw his taxes grow to $9,000 from $2,500. He said he doesn't know whether he will be able to stay in the four-story brownstone he has owned for 36 years. ''It's a day-to-day situation,'' he said. Father Damian Halligan, pastor of St. Peter's Church on Grand Street, four blocks from the river, said the area's many elderly residents were bewildered and dismayed by the sudden jump in taxes.

''They are afraid.'' he said. ''Most didn't even appeal their assessments and they just don't know what to do. They find it hard to change and to consider suggestions that they take in a tenant to help pay the increase.''

Yvonne Balcer, who saw the taxes on her York Street home rise to $11,000 from $3,180, received a tax bill in July at the start of the 1988 tax year for almost $16,000, retroactive to January when the new values took effect. Big Difference in Greenville

''That's more than I make as a kindergarten teacher,'' said Mrs. Balcer. Including the rent from two apartments in their building, she and her husband, Charles, the city's historic preservation officer, have a total income of $63,000.

While Mrs. Balcer was wrestling with her tax bill, however, she learned that her mother's home in the Greenville neighborhood, a stable area of one-family houses that has not seen a lot of newcomers, was assessed at $25,900, even though nearby properties are selling for $100,000. Her mother's taxes dropped to $700 from $2,000.

Middle class residents also say they are subsidizing those who are moving into riverfront property that has received tax abatements.

To attract development, the city has reassessed the value of waterfront land but abated taxes on buildings and improvements for up to 40 years.

Ms. Scanga said that taxes on a $250,000 apartment at the Newport development, for example, are fixed at $3,300, while taxes on a home assessed at the same level elsewhere are $7,500 and subject to annual increases.

The city collects payments in lieu of taxes from the developers(PILOT). Without that $9 million, city officials say, the city tax rate would be $2 to $5 higher than the current $30.52 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The city's total budget, including school and county payments, is about $425 million, with about $173 million raised from property taxes. Homeowners, Landowners Hurt

A survey by the coalition found that the revaluation raised the value of vacant land, by 11 times; residential property by 6 times; commercial property by 5.5 times; industrial property by about 4.5 times, and apartments by 4.8 times.

The analysis shows commercial, industrial and apartment owners getting a tax break at the expense of homeowners and owners of vacant land. Officials of the city and the appraisal company said the business community is paying virtually the same percentage of city taxes after the revaluation as before.

Relations between the city and Real Property Appraisers soured last year and the city is holding onto about $400,000 the company says it is still owed. The matter could end up in court.

The coalition and Peter A. Casamasino, the city tax assessor, say that the revaluation resulted in assessments that were about 70 percent of true value instead of 100 percent.

Mr. Casamasino said that 2,000 properties were still being reinspected and that the effort was reducing the gap between assessments and true market value.

Mr. Nagel of Real Property Appraisers said the company was hired to provide true value figures as of Oct. 1, 1986 and had done so. The city amended the 1986 figures to serve as 1987 figures for the purpose of sending out the 1988 tax bills by studying a number of new property sales between January and June 1987, he said, and this created the gap between the assessments and true market value.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Posted on: 2007/10/23 4:17
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Re: tax increases
#6
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The building is actually on the registrar for historic places...built in the 1850s, if I'm remembering correctly. (Small building on VVP...only 9 units). It was renovated five years ago (but not a gut renovation) and the original owners complained about the taxes so they were given a five year abatement...hence the huge increase. The taxes are significantly higher than comparable places in teh same neighborhood. I'm just wondering whether it's worth it to try and fight it.

Posted on: 2007/10/23 2:11
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Re: tax increases
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When my wife and I first moved into our condo in July 2004 we were thrilled at the extremely low taxes. However, when we received our tax bill in 2005, we were shocked to discover our taxes had doubled.

We live in a condo conversion. The property is assessed in January. When we moved here in July 2004, the taxes were for before it was converted. It was converted in February 2004. Now when the building was assessed again in 2005 it was as a condo and based on property value.

The short of it is we now pay about 3X in taxes what we originally thought we were going to.

Good thing we have the property tax relief every year.

Posted on: 2007/10/23 0:44
- Never argue with an idiot. They bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
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Re: tax increases
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Thanks for posting. I also got a similar letter.

Posted on: 2007/10/22 23:51
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Re: tax increases
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Did you building have a tax abatement on it? What year was the building built?

Posted on: 2007/10/22 23:25
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Re: tax increases
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Was there anything specific that triggered these tax increases? Were there any significant improvements to the buildings recently? This seems very unusual to me.

Which building is this?

Posted on: 2007/10/22 20:43
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tax increases
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All the residents of my building just got certified letters indicating that our taxes will be increasing significantly, almost doubling, this year and that the money is due Nov. 1. The letter also indicates that an appeal can be filed by Dec. 1. Just wondering if anybody has ever filed an appeal (and, if so, if you were successful) and wondering if we need to hire a lawyer.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2007/10/22 18:05
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