Do you think this is an interesting question?… Do you have any idea what the answer is? Personally, I find this to be a very interesting question and I find the answer to be absolutely sobering.
Just in case you did not know property taxes are calculated by applying the property tax rates to your assessment. In most towns in Westchester County the assessments are represented as a percentage of the property’s market value. The point is that the assessments do not change from year to year, unless they go down through a grievance or up through an improvement.
In order to illustrate tax rate changes since 2002 I am going to use as an example a hypothetical property located in the town of Cortlandt, which utilizes the Lakeland School System. I am also going to assume that this house had an assessment of $10,000 in 2002. I am also going to assume that the assessment is still fair in 2013 and is still $10,000. This is completely possible and will allow us to focus on the increase of property tax rates since 2002.
All of the figures I am using for this example have been taken from the Westchester County website www3.westchestergov.com/property-tax-rates. I invite you to take a look at this site and figure out how much rates have increased in your town, when we are finished here.
If you lived in Cortlandt and utilized the Lakeland School system in 2002 your overall tax rate would have been $894.76/thousand dollars of assessed value. This reflects the 3 major Property tax rates, namely, Town, County, and School.
If you lived in Cortlandt and utilized the Lakeland School system in 2013 your overall tax rate would have been $1,642.06/thousand dollars of assessed value. This reflects the 3 major Property tax rates, namely, Town, County, and School.
If you do the math you will see that the tax rate, for this particular town with this particular school district, increased by 83% over that 11 year period. Now, I don’t mean to pick on this particular town. Please be my guest and go to the Westchester County website I referenced earlier and take a look at the change in your own Town and School district. I am confident you will be shocked!
What this means is that assuming the assessment has stayed the same, which is a fair assumption, if it was fair and no improvements were made. What this means is that your taxes would have increased by 83% during that 11 year period, and that is truly sobering. What would you do if your property taxes go up 83% in the next 11 years? Is it possible? If you have any questions regarding whether you are eligible for a property tax reduction please feel free to contact me directly.