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butterflywings

Just got our Escrow Analysis. Never been so pissed off. Our property taxes were just doubled! WTF

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They exactly doubled. It isn't the school taxes that went up, it's the town's taxes. We got a letter maybe 2 weeks ago or so that said our assessment went up by $5k. No big deal, we thought. We're in NY, south of Buffalo. Is this even legal? How can they just double your taxes like that? This feels like highway robbery! We live in a rural area of Western NY, who do I even call about this? Do I call our Rep Tom Reed? Mod note: I am NOT trying to bring up politics at all. And i won't. I'm only trying to figure out who to make a telephone call to. I'm freaking out.  :(

 

We had just signed the contract with the orthodontist on Friday to pay him $6k to pay for our daughter's braces. We made a huge down payment and the balance will be paid off after 9 additional payments.   Uuugh, this tax increase couldn't come at a worse time.

 

Thanks for listening to my rant. We've lived here almost 16 years, and tbh we've never had an increase like this, in fact, we've barely had an increase at all. We almost always get a check after our analysis. So this increase is shocking af. I'm sure a lot of you who regularly get tax increases are now thinking welcome to our world.  lol 

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most tax authorities have a process to dispute the assessment. relax.

 

Have there been any recent improvements to the property?

 

Be sure to do a lot of research to identify comparable properties with lower assessments. Many jurisdictions use third party computer software to set assessments so be sure you find out the exact process yours uses.

 

 

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also, did you notice this when you were sent the annual assessment or only when your mortgage servicer conducted the escrow analysis? I ask because there is usually a deadline after the assessment notification to file a review/appeal.

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How bad is it? If its escrow at least you don't have to come up with a large chunk all at once. If your in a rural area with cheap property taxes and they doubled it after 16 years how bad can it be?

 

I feel like my taxes are ridiculous $200/month on a house I paid 42k for, its more than PI on the mortgage. They asses the house at like 80k and its one of the lowest on my street so afraid to ask to get it lowered and they turn around and see the improvements I've made and jack it up. I'm in the city, I was just looking at a house in a rural area a little over an hour away taxes are $350 for the year on 10 acres.  $2000 should more than pay for the fuel and I'd love to be out in the country, the extra drive time would kill me though.

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This is why people need to be paying attention to ALL local elections.  Tax increases are something that generally comes after a local special election or, occasionally, on a regular election cycle ballot.  Same thing with bond elections.  The masses tend to ignore these sorts of elections and so their fate rests upon the four percent of the registered voters who bothered to show up and vote.  Even when I leased, I ALWAYS voted in those cycles precisely because local tax issues were going to have the potential to impact how much I was paying each month. 

 

Specific property appraisals can usually be protested.  This does not impact the tax rate itself, which is generally fixed in a given year as some nominal amount per hundred in valuation after any exemptions have been applied to the property.  I know far too many people that don't take the time to look at their annual appraisals much less take the time to learn how to protest an appraised valuation of their property.   

 

In the example that OldBlue gives, it would not surprise me to see a hefty agricultural use exemption that applies to the acreage. 

 

A few hundred per month is nothing.  My next door neighbor in Austin (well, unincorporated Travis County) tore down the existing structure and built new.  Their tax bill was roughly $18K annually at the time of the initial valuation on the property.  And this was without having a city tax element to the appraisal.  Mom is paying a little over $3 per $100 on her home just outside of the Houston area...she uses a protest service that charges 10% of any reduction in valuation, with nothing being due and owing if the Appraisal District does not reduce the property valuation.  Even with exemptions, she is still looking at ~$1K per month on property taxes...no mortgage though since they had paid cash on the house.   

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Hi.

 

I'm so sorry I didn't come back on here and respond til now. I wanted to make some calls today and find out more information.. I called our local county tax authority and she saw NO evidence of a tax increase whatsoever. In fact, she told me to call my mortgage company and ask them on what information are the doubling my escrow for the town taxes. 

 

I called the mortgage and because the mortgage is in my dh's name they wouldn't talk to me. That's never bothered them before, and I'm the one that set up removing the PMI from the mortgage, but apparently the escrow department is hallowed ground and they wouldn't take my call. So, I tweeted them.  lol And to their credit whoever is running their twitter tweeted back right away and told me to DM them and tell her everything, which I did, and she wrote back and said yeah, i see what you're talking about. Im handing this over to our tax department to hopefully fix this issue for you by tomorrow. 

 

So, we'll see. I mean if the taxes for the town went up then taxes for the school should've gone up too...

 

We've been appraised at this number before, a few times actually, over the 16 years, and our taxes barely bumped up at all, so why it doubled now at this same number i have no idea.

 

I get what you're saying Centex. Your points are well taken, but have a heart, lol, no one wants their taxes doubled out of the clear blue, with no rhyme or reason attached to it.

 

I'll update as soon as I know anything. Thanks for all the responses! I appreciate them. Oh, Hege, we did put up a 3ft wooden picket fence last summer, in our backyard. It looks great actually, so that may have caused the $5k increase in the assessment, but again we've been assessed at this number before with barely a  noticeable tax increase.

 

HRS1980, I don't know what exemptions we have or don't have. I do know we get a check every year from Coumo (again no politics intended) around August or so, for property tax relief.

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The woman from the mortgage company on Twitter just tweeted me back! When she DM'd me I wrote her back and said I know you've handed this off to your tax department, but when you briefly looked at it did you see anything awry? I told her it was my last question. So this is her writing back.

 

She said "I do see the school tax and Town tax line have been listed twice in the escrow account. I wanted to confirm with the county that we have the correct amounts.^Kalie 

 

 

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1 hour ago, butterflywings said:

So, we'll see. I mean if the taxes for the town went up then taxes for the school should've gone up too...

 

This is NOT an accurate statement.

 

For example, I have a city taxing entity, plus one for the county, one for EMS, water/utility district and the school district. 

 

Mom gets a lot of other entities, including the port, a community college, two different EMS districts, flood control...total of ten different entities with their hands out for a fractional share.  Some of them are less than a penny per hundred in valuation.  But just because one goes up does not mean they ALL go up...

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5 hours ago, centex said:

My next door neighbor in Austin (well, unincorporated Travis County) tore down the existing structure and built new.  Their tax bill was roughly $18K annually at the time of the initial valuation on the property.

HOLY SCHMOLY!! $18,000 per year in property taxes? I've been all over Texas and I don't see what's so special about Austin that makes the property taxes so high...

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18 hours ago, IndyPoolPlayer said:

HOLY SCHMOLY!! $18,000 per year in property taxes? I've been all over Texas and I don't see what's so special about Austin that makes the property taxes so high...

The area where we were was outside of the City of Austin and completely ringed by the City of Westlake, so they actually saved some.  We only had assessments in the neighborhood that came in around two dollars per hundred of valuation.  They had bought a mold house and torn it down, rebuilding from foundation up and the initial valuation, after exemptions, put it just under $900K.

 

When they built, it was only about 3200 square feet.  All of the houses in the area sit on about a third of an acre, with the valuation of the land itself being north of $300K.   

 

The two biggest chunks come from the school district, which has actually decreased to $1.20 per hundred, and Travis County (35 cents per hundred).  Hospital and EMS plus a water control district comprise the balance.  So it isn't that they are 'that high,' but rather that it is simply a good size house with a chunk of land in an area that doesn't have as many large lots close to downtown...

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7 hours ago, centex said:

The area where we were was outside of the City of Austin and completely ringed by the City of Westlake, so they actually saved some.  We only had assessments in the neighborhood that came in around two dollars per hundred of valuation.  They had bought a mold house and torn it down, rebuilding from foundation up and the initial valuation, after exemptions, put it just under $900K.

 

When they built, it was only about 3200 square feet.  All of the houses in the area sit on about a third of an acre, with the valuation of the land itself being north of $300K.   

 

The two biggest chunks come from the school district, which has actually decreased to $1.20 per hundred, and Travis County (35 cents per hundred).  Hospital and EMS plus a water control district comprise the balance.  So it isn't that they are 'that high,' but rather that it is simply a good size house with a chunk of land in an area that doesn't have as many large lots close to downtown...

We have state constitution tax caps here - 1% of total assessed value of the home and property plus anything passed via referendum. Being you're referring to a "million dollar" home then $18K doesn't sound so bad, here it would be capped at $10,000 per year plus referendum taxes.

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Update!!!!

 

I have great news! I just heard from Kalie, from my mortgage companie's twitter, a couple minutes ago, and she told me everything's been fixed! They had accidentally listed our school taxes and county taxes twice on our escrow payments to be paid..

 

She said we actually have an escrow surplus of $49, lol,  but because it's less than $50 they're keeping it in the escrow account.  I wrote her back and thanked her, and asked her if there was an email or phone number where i could reach her boss to tell them how much i appreciated her help.  She gave me an email address, and said i could also post on their twitter too, which i will. They get a lot of complaints, so a note of gratitude might be well received.

 

Thanks again for all of your responses.

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