Spring into Tax Savings

Spring has sprung and so has tax grievance season in Westchester.  That’s when homeowners come out of the woodwork with dreams of reducing their property taxes.  While the filing deadline has passed for the villages, the deadline for the towns and most cities in Westchester is just a few short months away on June 16, 2015.

Westchester Tax Grievance

Yet, the landscape is different this year and commonplace reductions will not be as easily won as in past years.  The reason is that many municipalities undertook market re-assessment projects in recent years:  Mamaroneck in 2013; Scarsdale in 2014; and Ossining this year for the first time in 43 years.  The revaluations have resulted in a seismic shift with lower tax bills for some and shockingly higher assessments for others.  The reality is that other than the rare exception, your property’s assessed value is now closer to the realized market value if your town has just undergone the reassessment process.

The process is easy and costs minimal compared to the savings which are often realized.  To file at the local level costs nothing.  Tax grievance attorneys generally charge a contingency fee, meaning that you pay nothing if your taxes are not reduced.  The only initial expense is the appraisal which must be done, generally less than $600 depending on your location.

Many homeowners try to employ self-help in filing the grievance application, but it’s worth retaining an attorney from the start.  If your application is denied then the tax grievance attorney will file a court appeal on your behalf if he or she is already on board.

It is also important to keep in mind that most municipalities in Westchester base your taxes on the prior year’s assessment, so if your town’s grievance deadline is June 16th for the 2015 tax roll, any reduction will not be realized until your 2016 taxes.  Therefore, don’t delay because prospective savings are still a year away.

Your taxes will not increase simply because you file a grievance application and lower property taxes can be a great asset if trying to sell your house in Westchester or anywhere else in the New York market.

This is attorney advertising.  Please understand that the information contained within this site is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice and it may not reflect the most current legal trends or developments.  Links from this site to third party sites should not be construed as endorsements of the linked entities.  Email to this firm or to Lisa Fantino will not establish an attorney-client relationship and you should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.  Email messages containing time-sensitive or confidential information should not be sent.

In the news . . .

Sorry I’ve been an absentee blogger of late. I’ve been busy selling and promoting my 1st book, “Amalfi Blue, lost & found in the south of Italy,” and I can happily report that this morning it hit Top 20 on Kindle Books on Italy and Top 100 on real books on Italy on Amazon.

Now, I have five minutes to get back to some morning headlines.  So, we have mantears, fake girlfriends and expensive parties in the headlines.  Hmm, what shall we tackle first when they are all bloody ridiculous.

1. Mantears – Has anyone tested those tears from Lance Armstrong for doping? The big dope.  Enough said. Why do we still have him in the spotlight?

2.  Fake Girlfriends – Wake up people. I know we live in a digital age but didn’t this world think there was something wrong with a star football player who need a digitial “girlfriend.”  Footballers get cheerleaders NOT cyber chicks!  And who calls someone they’ve never met the love of their life?  Really, we are in trouble.

3.  Inaugural Shindig – Let me preface this by saying it is NOT an anti-Obama statement.  However, with the mess this economy is STILL in, anyone entering their 2nd term who hasn’t cleaned it up yet should save tax dollars and lobbyist bucks on the big parties. Whatever happened to celebrating with your family and the Cabinet (the new one) in the residence?

My two cents – now continue with your programming day.

The Middle Class needs a doctor stat! Obamacare lives!

I am totally disgusted with today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Obamacare and its burdensome fines as an acceptable tax on the American people.  This is from our lawmakers and judicial branch of government who pay minimal amounts for health insurance.  We foot their bills too since our taxes allow them coverage at greatly reduced rates.  Do you smell something funny there?

Obamacare

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What part of this health care plan is supposed to be affordable?  Is it the part that has seen my coverage as a sole proprietor leap from $350 a month for excellent coverage to $600 for mediocre coverage?  Or is it the part that now costs $300 for emergency hospitalization only?  Maybe it’s the part that has seen many good doctors give up practicing medicine rather than work for the little money they receive as co-pays from insurance companies.  Oh no, I know, it’s the part that is likely to force these rates even higher in the next 18 months as the insurance companies dance on the graves of American small business owners.

Geeze, when did I start sounding like a Republican?  The Middle Class was barely breathing before today’s decision……….now its life support is barely functioning.