High property taxes are not just a pain, they are a potential threat to many areas of our lives. How can we each do our part to keep them in check, and even reduce them?
Pricey property taxes bring all types of problems. They hurt the wallet. They also make it harder to buy and sell homes. They can also make housing unaffordable, make more expensive locations less desirable for businesses and the best workers and educators. In turn this can have a substantially negative impact not only on our individual lifestyles, and what legacy we can leave, but the safety of the environment and opportunities available to the next generation. So while some argue that property taxes are necessary, how can we at least keep them down to a palatable minimum?
One of the best benefits of living in America is the right to vote. This doesn’t just apply to the presidential election, but at every level of government. If you want your opinion to actually count for something; show up and make sure those in power represent your priorities.
2. Positive Peer Pressure for Paying Taxes
One of the reasons that our property taxes are so high is because of all those not paying their bills. When big banks don’t pay taxes on the thousands of properties they’ve seized and don’t maintain, everyone else has to pick up the tab. Now, it may not be nice to shame our neighbors if they can’t afford their big bills, but we can each lead with a positive example.
3. Fix the Foreclosure Mess
While some analyst claim the US is heading towards a new real estate bubble, Inman News and Realty Trac report NYC foreclosures have still been rising in 2016. In fact, they jumped up 104% in May alone. In July 2016 Gov. Cuomo signed new legislation into law to put more pressure on banks with zombie foreclosures. That could be a great step in curing the issues. Each foreclosure home means hurting surrounding home values, the quality of life in neighborhoods, and unpaid property taxes. The banks may never voluntarily step up. Yet, we can all make a difference in which institutions we give our business too, which charities we support, and where we invest our dollars.
4. Cut the Waste
Property taxes help pay for public services. We need a lot of those. Yet, it is no secret that inefficiencies mean wasting millions of dollars per year. Those are dollars we get billed for, pay, and then get thrown away. Changing the system is hard, but we can each perhaps do a little something to set new trends in cutting waste, and in turn reducing the need for such high taxes.
5. Appeal Your Property Taxes
You also have the right to appeal your annual property taxes in NY. Many bills are incorrect. The system may have your home information marked incorrectly, or they may not have revised your tax assessed value since storm damage or neighboring foreclosures have decreased your home’s value. Make sure you aren’t paying more than you should with the help of Property Tax Adjusters, Ltd. Then let your friends and family know so that they can save too.