Long Island Property Taxes: Can You Really Live Like The Great Gatsby on the Cheap?
Friday, May 24, 2013
Is it really possible to scoop up huge discounts on Long Island estates and live the ‘roaring 20s’ lifestyle on the cheap today or will the property tax trap get you?
A recent CNBC News report highlights the current surge in demand for Long Island mansions and a taste of The Great Gatsby lifestyle following the movie release, starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
According to local real estate experts Long Island’s fabled estates are not a hot commodity among international buyers from as far away as China and Russia, and many homes are flying off the market at up to 50% discounts.
The draw is completely understandable. It’s a magical place to own real estate and perhaps considered one of the safest by global investors seeking wealth preservation and bragging rights among their investor friends.
However, once bought property taxes can jump up significantly, changing the dynamics of the math, and eating into anticipated returns or cash reserves.
This happens due to newly assessed values after a property sale and when prior exemptions for previous owners including veterans and seniors are terminated. That’s on top of the recent heated debates over local property tax ‘caps’ being overturned.
Many have long complained about inequality in LI property taxes. However, just because your bill and tax assessment may be inaccurate or you didn’t even receive a bill, that doesn’t mean you are off the hook for the related penalties. Property taxes become a lien on property on December 1st of each year. Then starting January 11th a 1% late penalty is added each month through May. Those that become seriously delinquent can even have their homes seized in foreclosure.
According to the Tax Grievance Information Handbook published by the Brookhaven Town Receiver of Taxes in Suffolk County the burden of proof of unfair or erroneous tax assessments is solely on the property owner. This is why it pays to pull in an experienced specialist to file your grievance on your behalf and ensure your rights and wallet is protected.