Georgia’s HB 954 Improves Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Valuation

Written on June 30, 2014 at 06:05 AM

By Darryl Bucher, Senior Managing Consultant, Atlanta

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Categories: Georgia, Real Property, Apartments, Paradigm Info, Multi Family

California's Prop 13 "Loophole" Compromise Unravels

Written on June 27, 2014 at 10:47 AM

A few weeks ago during a hearing of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, two lobbyists (Rex Hime, president of the California Business Properties Association, and Lenny Goldberg, who represents the California Tax Reform Association) had finally come to an agreement over a commercial property tax policy that they've been battling each other over for decades. Under current law, adopted after Proposition 13, any property is reassessed to market value when a single buyer acquires at least 50 percent ownership in a single transaction. Critics say that’s a loophole that allows businesses to avoid reassessment by clever structuring of sales. The compromise, written into Assembly Bill 2372, would trigger reassessment when at least 90 percent of a property’s ownership changes in any three-year period.

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Categories: Personal Property, Real Property, California

In the Spotlight: Extended-Stay Hotels

Written on June 26, 2014 at 08:16 AM

By Ivy L. Irwin, Consultant, Atlanta

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Categories: Personal Property, Construction, Real Property, Hospitality, Paradigm Info, Hotels

Industrial CRE Moving to Secondary Markets

Written on June 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

As the U.S. economy continues to improve and commercial real estate fundamentals strengthen, industrial investors are looking for opportunities for big returns that can come from increased risk and alternative investments. Secondary markets are piquing the interest of such investors this year, as these cities seem to provide the slightly elevated risk and more attractive returns along with many of the demand drivers that attract investments in primary markets. The push to secondary cities is taking place largely because the nation's top-tier industrial cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New Jersey, can no longer meet the demands for large, modern warehouse space because there simply isn't any left. In fact, the overall vacancy rate in Los Angeles was a meager 4.5 percent in the first quarter, down 70 basis points from a year earlier.

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Categories: Distribution Centers, Personal Property, Arizona, New Jersey, Industrial, Washington, Real Property, Industrial & Manufacturing, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, California, Florida, Warehouse

Pittsburgh City Council Approves 5-Year Financial Plan, Urges Property Tax Increase

Written on June 24, 2014 at 08:22 AM

Today the Pittsburgh City Council approved a five-year financial plan, recommending the city increase the property tax rate to offset financial problems and borrow $100 million for road, bridges and neglected infrastructure improvements. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Council approved the plan designed by its state-appointed financial overseers, also known as the Act 47 financial recovery coordinators, with a 7-2 vote. While several council members and Mayor Bill Peduto have voiced their opposition of a tax increase in the 2015 budget in the fall, city officials agree they need to develop a plan to recover the loss of about $7 million in tax revenue from last year's real estate tax rate decrease from 10.8 mills to 7.56 mills through cost-cutting and new revenue. The reduction was the result of Allegheny County's property reassessment. The Act 47 plan calls for the city to increase payments to city employee pensions and recommends borrowing $100 million to put toward capital improvements. It also includes the real estate tax increase in 2015.

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Categories: Personal Property, Pennsylvania, Real Property, Economy

NYC, Calif. Lawmakers Pass Solar Panel Tax Deals

Written on June 23, 2014 at 08:10 AM

When lawmakers passed California's $108 billion general fund budget, they slipped in a property tax break for the solar industry. According to Manteca Bulletin, SB871, which extends a property tax for solar credits through 2024, was never heard by a regular policy committee and the public had little chance to provide input before the Democratic Legislature rammed it through last weekend. The current tax benefit is not even set to expire, or “sunset,” until 2017. Critics of the bill disagree with the expedited process and believe it's too early to make any decisions, and have called called for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the extension when he signs the rest of the budget in coming days. Despite their opposition, it passed and was sent to the Democratic governor with wide bipartisan support. Leno, chairman of the Senate budget committee, said the existing exemption has created tens of thousands of jobs, helped the state with its goal of having a million solar rooftops, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and limited increases on property taxes for residential property owners.

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Categories: Real Property, Environment, New York, Green Initiatives, California

Audit Finds Florida Property Tax Appeal Process to be Flawed

Written on June 20, 2014 at 06:42 AM

A recent audit of the states property tax appeal process has found Boards across the state of Florida to lack independence and be stacked against property owners. According to the Miami Herald, a state performance audit of County Boards that hear property tax appeals by unhappy homeowners and businesses says appeals appear to have been rigged by local government officials who are more interested in safeguarding tax revenues than fairly valuing real estate.

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Categories: Real Property, Florida

Cook County Property Tax Bills to Have TIF Information

Written on June 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Today, County Clerk David Orr announced that for the first time Cook County property tax bills will provide information on how much each property owners is being billed for in controversial special taxing districts that can be found all over the city and suburbs. According to the Chicago Tribune, about 12 percent of county taxpayers own property that is in a tax increment financing district. Those districts are set up by the city and suburbs to divert money into funds to spend on economic development. Critics contend many municipalities, including Chicago, have turned them into slush funds to pay for pet projects. Information on how much money is going into the TIF fund will be included in the second installment of property tax bills that are due Aug. 1, and will be in the mail soon. Property owners can expect higher bills, which is due primarily to increases from Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Chicago property owners will pay nearly $4.3 billion in taxes this year, and the city expects about $375.9 million to flow into 151 TIF districts across the city.

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Categories: Real Property, Illinois

Fulton County, GA Taking Steps to Raise Property Tax Rate

Written on June 18, 2014 at 09:32 AM

When Atlanta's Fulton County Commission votes on their annual budget today, it may include raising its countywide property tax rate by 17 percent, the first increase since 1991. This is stirring up a controversy, as a law should prohibit such an increase. According to PolitiFact, leaders in Georgia’s largest county say the state constitution was on their side when they voted last year to repeal a property tax cap that affects only Fulton. That set the stage for this year’s proposed increase. But state lawmakers point to House Bill 604, which bars Fulton from raising taxes until 2015. Any tax increase above the rollback rate – the millage that would raise the same money as last year – violates that law. However, Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves argues that the law created by HB 604 violates the state constitution by singling out the county and removing the job of its leadership to set taxes.

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Categories: Georgia, Real Property

New Way to Appeal Property Valuations in Kansas

Written on June 17, 2014 at 07:07 AM

Senate Bill 231, effective July 1, will give commercial property owners in Kansas a new way to appeal their property values. According to Wichita Business Journal, SB 231, signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback, gives property owners the right to appeal their values to district court. No longer does the final word lie with the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals. The bill renames the tax appeals group as a board rather than a court, lowers the interest rate on delinquent property taxes and allows retroactive appeals of the tax court back to May 2, 2012. Appeals past the tax board can be filed in any district court or the Kansas Court of Appeals, with the district court cases a de novo trial, or a complete re-litigation of the tax case. The impact of the bill will be more significant to commercial property owners, as they are more likely to be over-assessed, and they will now have a better chance of a successful appeal process.

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Categories: Personal Property, Real Property, Kansas

N.J. Lawmakers Poised to Renew Key Property Tax Law

Written on June 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and Gov. Chris Christie have finally reached “common ground” on restoring a crucial law that has helped curb property tax growth in New Jersey. The Assembly is voting on a bill today (A3424) that would renew a 2 percent annual limit on the amount that third-party arbitrators can award police and firefighters in raises and other forms of compensation. The cap would last until December 2017 and would apply retroactively to April. The compromise was reached in an effort to protect taxpayers from skyrocketing property taxes, while also helping local governments control costs.

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Categories: New Jersey, Real Property

UPDATE: Colorado's House Bill 1279 Relieves Personal Property Taxes

Written on June 13, 2014 at 08:26 AM

Efforts to eliminate business personal property taxes in the state of Colorado have repeatedly failed in the General Assembly over the years due to fears of compensating for the shortfall in revenue. However, according to the Boulder County Business Review, while the tax has not been eliminated, House Bill 1279 has passed both the House and Senate, providing a tax credit of the full amount of personal property tax paid for businesses owning from $7,001 to $14,000 in equipment.

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Categories: Personal Property, Colorado, Economy

New York City Finance Commissioner Eyes Property Tax Reform

Written on June 12, 2014 at 08:04 AM

Recently appointed New York City Finance Commissioner, Jacques Jiha, is making property tax reform a high priority, aiming to ensure they are assessed efficiently and equitably. According to Bloomberg, of the $32 billion the city generates in revenue each year, more than $20 billion comes from property taxes, and the city administers more than $6 billion in property tax exemption and abatement programs.

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Categories: Real Property, New York, Economy

Are Development Rights Taxable in Colorado?

Written on June 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

By Rebecca Helm, Managing Consultant, Denver

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Categories: Construction, Real Property, Paradigm Info, Colorado, Multi Family

New Tax Incentives for New York State Manufacturers

Written on June 10, 2014 at 08:10 AM

New York State manufacturers have a few things to look forward to in the 2014-2015 state budget: corporate income tax relief, property tax credits and reform to the estate tax threshold. The real property tax credit and a reduction in the corporate tax rate were aimed specifically at manufacturer owners in an effort to create a more business-friendly environment. Better yet, qualifying manufactures can take advantage of the incentives under the program without going through an applications and approval process.

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Categories: Industrial, Real Property, Industrial & Manufacturing, New York

Hotels Outperform National CRE Market in Price Gains

Written on June 09, 2014 at 08:05 AM

The apartment sector has dominated the national commercial real estate market for the past three years. With steadily improving occupancies and modest improvements in rents, the sector has consistently been the strongest performer. However, the hotel market seems to be taking over the top stop in the national commercial real estate market. Hotels led all other major commercial property types in terms of sales price gains both in the first quarter of 2014 and in 2013, according to data released by Real Capital Analytics, and hotel sales volume surged 27 percent in April compared to the previous year. Because hotels benefit the most from an improving economy, the sector's strength indicate that investors are trying to get in front of a good economy going forward.

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Categories: Real Property, Apartments, National, Hospitality, Hotels, Multi Family, Financial Services, Economy

D.C. Moves to Replace Outdated Tax Processing System

Written on June 06, 2014 at 07:24 AM

The District's 14-year-old tax processing system has been a source of frustration for quite some time now. Critics of the maligned, outdated tax processing system complain of lax monitoring, unauthorized changes to critical data and programs, big risks and weaknesses. Last year, the D.C. Inspector General reviewed the system and found the tax office was at risk of “unnecessary or wasteful” spending, “insufficient application support,” and “unauthorized changes to critical data and programs.” Finally, D.C. is making moves to replace the system.

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Categories: District of Columbia

D.C. Moves to Replace Outdated Tax Processing System

Written on June 06, 2014 at 07:24 AM

The District's 14-year-old tax processing system has been a source of frustration for quite some time now. Critics of the maligned, outdated tax processing system complain of lax monitoring, unauthorized changes to critical data and programs, big risks and weaknesses. Last year, the D.C. Inspector General reviewed the system and found the tax office was at risk of “unnecessary or wasteful” spending, “insufficient application support,” and “unauthorized changes to critical data and programs.” Finally, D.C. is making moves to replace the system.

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Categories: District of Columbia

Multifamily Boom May Skew Mass Appraisal Systems

Written on June 05, 2014 at 07:26 AM

Homeownership in the United States has continued to decrease since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. As homeownership continues to lose its luster, many people across the country are choosing to rent, shifting the housing demand and sparking a construction boom in the multifamily sector. In fact, the multifamily industry may experience the largest construction period in 15 years, as developers are in line to deliver 160,000 new units just this year. While this may seem like good news for the multifamily sector, owners must keep in mind the major impact this construction boom will have on their property taxes. Tax jurisdictions that use computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) systems to simplify the assessment process, in an effort to have more uniform assessments across a property type, are more likely to have skewed results.

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Categories: Construction, Real Property, Apartments, Multi Family

Paradigm Tax Group Acquires Property Tax Adjusters

Written on June 04, 2014 at 07:38 AM

Miami, Florida - Paradigm Tax Group is proud to announce the recent acquisition of Property Tax Adjusters, Inc. (PTA), a leading property tax advisory firm based in Miami, Florida. Founded by Gary A. Appel, Esq., PTA serves commercial and residential property owners throughout Florida, advising on real and personal property taxes, Federal tax credits and local tax abatements associated with the rehabilitation of historic buildings.

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Categories: Paradigm Info, Florida

Travis County, Austin City Council May Challenge Entire 2014 Commercial Property Tax Roll

Written on June 03, 2014 at 08:42 AM

A group of frustrated homeowners protested outside the Travis County commissioners courtroom yesterday to protest what they believe is inequitable property tax valuation in Austin, Texas. They say that commercial properties are appraised below market value, leaving the tax burden on the shoulders of homeowners. Travis County commissioners are now considering filing a challenge to the entire 2014 commercial property tax roll, and Austin City Council Member Kathie Tovo is asking her colleagues to consider a similar challenge. Travis County has until June 17 to decide whether it will file a challenge. Harris County officials already filed such a petition in question of the appraised value of part of their commercial tax base. According to their own hired appraiser, vacant commercial lots there were appraised at just 62 percent of market value.

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Categories: Office, Industrial, Real Property, Hospitality, Retail, Multi Family, Texas, Data Centers

Miami-Dade's Property Tax Base Rose 6.5 Percent

Written on June 02, 2014 at 07:02 AM

Miami-Dade's recovering real estate market has boosted the property tax base 6.5 percent from last year, the biggest gain since the historic real estate crash that crippled the region’s economy and caused local governments to struggle to make ends meet. While coastal cities and affluent suburbs saw large increases, some western and southern areas are still struggling.

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Categories: Personal Property, Real Property, Florida, Economy

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