As state funding decreases across the United States, local governments look every which way for money. A common trend in the last decade has been the over taxation of property owners, with 53 percent of Nassau County residents seeing an increase in their tax bills in the last year alone. The Covid-19 crisis has made this even worse and tax authorities even hungrier for additional revenues from anywhere they can get them. The abusive enforcement of over taxation has taken on another level. Local governments are still selling tax liens on delinquent properties, allowing investors to charge from 18% interest or much more on the outstanding debts. Many of these delinquent properties only owe amounts that round off to the low hundreds, but the state will sell them for high prices and keep the revenue.
A retiree from Michigan’s Oakland County accidentally underpaid his taxes by $8.41. Despite the measly debt, the county’s treasurer seized the 1,500-square-foot property back in 2014. The county kicked out the 83-year-old owner and kept the $24,500 dollars from the sale, even though this surpassed the $285 to which the bill grew. The case was not revisited until earlier this summer, when the Michigan Supreme Court rebuked the county’s decision.
While Detroit has one of the highest property tax foreclosure rates in the nation, cases like this exist all around the United States. Dozens of states legally allow investors to take possession of properties when the homeowners have failed to pay taxes or municipal bills. An 81-year-old resident from Rhode Island found herself out of a home after falling behind on a sewer bill. The amount had grown to $474, foreclosing the woman from the place where she had resided for over 40 years. The house was taken over for only $836.39 and later resold for $85,000.
This is quite common in NY as well, with homeowners here having lost homes for less than $10 in miscellaneous tax related fees in the past. This is why it should be your priority as a property owner to make sure your taxes are in order. Make sure to pay your scheduled bills and cover any delinquent taxes and all fees before your property is put in jeopardy. Whether you need to file for a reassessment or a grievance, Property Tax Adjusters, Ltd is here to help. Just contact our office today and we can help you file the appropriate claim to reduce your taxes.