Chicago aldermanic candidates recently received a survey from superPAC "Chicago Forward," created to re-elect Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his City Council allies, asking if they support a post-election property tax hike, two possible mayoral challengers warned Thursday. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the mayor’s plan to sock it to Chicago taxpayers is made crystal-clear by question No. 1 on the six-question litmus test, which asked candidates if they would be willing to support “tough but necessary steps, such as increases in property taxes or additional efficiencies throughout city government” to further reduce the city’s structural deficit and “preserve critical services."
By Brendan Baker, Associate, Atlanta & Ivy L. Irwin, Consultant, Atlanta
Brunswick County, North Carolina began the 2015 property revaluation process on Monday, holding a public hearing on the schedule of values the tax department will use to rate properties. However, attorney Elaine Jordan for The Coastal Companies voiced concerns to the county commissioners that the document is biased against property owners who may want to appeal their values and an executive with Ocean Ridge Plantation warned the board not to allow the revaluation to assess golf courses unfairly, according to the State Port Pilot.
By Dale Armstrong, Senior Managing Consultant / Principal, Phoenix
After suffering from crippling vacancy rates from 2008-2011, the Central Florida industrial market (comprised of Seminole, Orange and Lake counties) is finally beginning to recover. While Central Florida has rebounded solidly, the area is still in the early stages of recovery, so there is still time to capitalize on the opportunities.
A study released this month by the Council on State Taxation and Ernst & Young found that taxes on real, personal, and utility property owned by businesses accounted for the largest share of state and local business tax receipts by a wide margin. The study provides estimates of the state and local taxes paid by businesses from July 2012 to June 2013, including business property, sales and excise, corporate income, and business and corporate license taxes.
By Jodi A. Bain, Senior Managing Consultant, Tucson
As the clock ticks, Pennsylvania legislators are devising a plan to revive a property tax elimination bill that has been stuck in the Senate’s Finance Committee for nearly a year and a half. Senate Bill 76 has yet to receive a full floor vote, but advocates remain confident that they will claim victory this year, even if the bill is never voted out of committee. Their strategy? Amend the legislation into another bill that’s already ready for a floor vote.
A lot has changed in Houston's retail market over the past few years, but 2014 has seen historically strong real estate fundamentals to date. The thriving sector is due in large part to the area's economic strength, in which per capita personal income reached a new peak in 2013, even while Houston experienced the largest population increase across U.S. metro areas. Houston's employment growth is among the strongest in the country, as well, leading to rising household incomes and strong retail sales.
Investors know that Atlanta has a tendency to overdevelop, thus, concerns about the thousands of apartment units in the development pipeline — especially in places such as Midtown--are likely. However, that may not be happening this time, Ron Witten of Dallas-based Witten Advisors LLC said while giving a presentation before the Atlanta Apartment Association.
Global commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc. recently published a report about the major impact the booming high-tech industry has had on the U.S. office market recovery.
Changing Oregon’s 2-decade-old property tax limits topped the list for the League of Oregon Cities' 2015 legislative priorities. According to the Portland Tribune, the league sponsored a detailed proposal for property tax changes during the 2013 session, but it failed to advance beyond hearings of House and Senate committees. The proposal, which would have to go to voters statewide because it amends the Oregon Constitution, calls for two changes:
Tulsa, Oklahoma's strong energy and manufacturing economy is spurring a hotel building boom, and 27 hotels with 3,003 rooms are currently under contract in the local market. According to Hotel News Now, four of the hotels are under construction, and if all the hotels in the pipeline open, the market will see a nearly 20% increase in the number of rooms available. While Tulsa's economy and hotel industry didn't suffer as much as other areas in the country during the recent recession, a lot of projects were still put on hold. The recent upswing in development is also due in part to a cyclical response to the economy, in which nearly 30% more hotels are added to the market every 10 years.
By Rebecca Helm, Consultant, Denver
Last week, Fulton County commissioners voted 4-3 to approve a 17 percent property tax hike, which would be the first increase since 1991. However, six Fulton County lawmakers and one former legislator filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court to block the property tax hike just hours after county commissioners approved the proposal. The General Assembly enacted a law in the 2013 legislative session that prevented any tax hike through the end of this year and, after that, only with the support of at least five of the seven county commissioners.
Much to Atlantic City residents' dismay, the City Council approved a 29 percent tax increase as part of it's new budget. However, city leaders are trying convince upset locals that their decision was actually in their best interest. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Mayor Don Guardian said the tax hike was necessary or else the resort town would have lost out on $20 million in state aid and would have faced a tax hike approaching 50 percent. The new budget still has to be approved by the state of New Jersey.
By Charles Oeler, Senior Managing Consultant, Houston
& Jonathan Sanders, Senior Managing Consultant / Principal, Houston
Michigan primary voters gave final approval to Proposal 1 yesterday, which will set in forth the plan to phase out personal property taxes that small businesses pay on office equipment and manufacturers, including Detroit automakers, pay on industrial equipment. The Legislature passed initial bills eliminating the tax in 2012, and subsequent legislation to fix the revenue shortfall for communities was passed earlier this year. Supporters of Prop 1 argued that reforming the personal property tax was imperative for business growth and investment, and will make Michigan more competitive with neighboring states that have already eliminated similar taxes. According to MLive, vocal critics were few and far between, but those who did speak out against Proposal 1 questioned the statutory guarantee of replacement revenue — which lawmakers could revisit in the future — and the overall impact on the state budget. The plan is projected to cost state government up to $600 million a year. But manufacturers will pay an assessment expected to generate about $100 million annually, and supporters say expiring tax credits would make up most of the difference.
Billionaire Elon Musk's space exploration company SpaceX chose the nation's poorest city as the world's first private commercial rocket launch site. SpaceX has already applied for several commercial building permits at Boca Chica, a remote beach in South Texas about 20 miles east of Brownsville. Thanks to Gov. Rick Perry's incentive package totaling more than $15 million, the area is expected to receive $85 million in capital investment and 300 new jobs created.
Nine out of the 10 largest commercial properties in Cook County face higher property tax bills in 2013, according to the Cook County Treasurer's Office. The area's biggest landlords also got hit with higher tax bills in 2012, but this year's increases were more modest. According to Crain's Chicago Business, the tax bills for the top 10 properties rose an average of 3.5 percent from 2012 to 2013, compared to a 7.1 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. The total 2013 commercial property tax bill is not yet available. Property taxes usually rise at commercial buildings once they're sold because a new sale price — assuming it's higher — gives assessors a new market valuation. This could explain the big increase at Woodfield Mall, which was valued at more than $1 billion last year when Simon Property Group Inc. acquired a 50 percent stake in the mall for $505 million, then got hit with a 23 percent tax hike, to $23 million this year.
Since North Carolina introduced the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program in 1998, the credits have been renewed every budget season. This year, however, a recent version of the state budget that went before the N.C. General Assembly did not include the tax credits. According to the Triad Business Journal, developers banned together to stress the importance of the historic preservation tax credits has to the state of North Carolina, arguing that the credits are a tool that promote economic development and generate jobs and spur infill development — often in economically depressed areas of the state — where developers would otherwise not consider development. North Carolina’s historic tax credits have generated $1.4 billion in private investment and created 23,000 jobs. In fact, North Carolina is tied for fourth in the nation for the most historic properties renovated in the past 20 years, giving the state a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and workers. Thanks to the development community's efforts, the budget that will go before the North Carolina House will include a new provision with the historic preservation tax credits — which provide a 30 percent credit. It would also need to receive approval from the N.C. Senate.