property tax revolt - Google News

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is Your Property Assessment DECREASING but property taxes increasing? TIME TO APPEAL!

"How to Avoid Unfair Property Taxes; Top 15 Highest Property Tax Counties" 

- from ABC News - see the full story at:

By SUSANNA KIM (@skimm)
March 14, 2012

The battered real estate market has another side effect that often goes overlooked, consumer finance and tax experts say: Millions of homeowners are unknowingly paying too much property tax.

According to the National Taxpayers Union, about 30 percent of properties in the U.S. are assessed at higher values than they are really worth. That means their owners pay inflated property tax bills while other taxpayers in their towns reap the benefits.

Cities, counties and school districts are collecting 20 percent more in property taxes than they did in 2006, before the housing bubble burst and when home values were one-third higher than they are today, USA Today reported.

Though some of the assessments may have adjusted, the total amount of local state and property tax collection has only taken a small dip very recently, said Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union. Sepp said that may mean the assessments have been decreasing but property tax rates may be increasing.

"Homeowners probably haven't been getting the relief they expected when values dropped," he said....

...Meanwhile, only 2 percent of homeowners appeal their property taxes, according to the National Taxpayers Union.

Property Tax Deferral Programs in Connecticut - A Summary

Get Yours! Consult with your Local Tax Assessor to Learn if you are Eligible for any Property Tax Deferral Programs for Homeowners who are Veterans, Elderly, Low Income, Disabled or ??? 


Report Title: "Property Tax Relief for Older Adults: A Profile of Connecticut’s Local Programs"

-Prepared by the Connecticut Commission on Aging in 2008 (some programs and laws may have changed a bit since then but deferral programs still exist for many!)

   "Connecticut’s property tax system is the primary source of funding for local services, including
education and emergency services. While in 38 other states municipalities have a variety of options
for raising revenue, Connecticut state statutes generally prohibit cities and towns from instituting
local income or sales taxes. As a result, while municipalities across the country generate 73% of
local taxes from the property tax, Connecticut municipalities generate 98.2% of all local taxes from
this source. In large part, as a result, Connecticut taxpayers bear the third highest per capita
property tax burden in the nation. (Property tax rates are attached in Appendix B.)
Over the past several years, Connecticut’s property taxes have risen by about 6% annually, placing
an even higher burden on homeowners, especially those with fixed incomes. This increase in
property taxes has corresponded with a lower rate of increase in state aid, the other primary source
of revenue for municipalities. For example, state reimbursement to cities and towns through the
PILOT program has remained relatively flat over the past six years2. Additionally, since 1989, the
residential portion of Connecticut’s property tax base increased from 58% to 67%, while property
taxes on businesses and commercial interests declined.

   Older adults on fixed incomes face a high burden of financial stress due to the increased costs of
living, burgeoning medical bills and difficulty in improving their financial situation. When faced with
high property taxes, some choose to downsize or sell their homes and enter institutions, where they
are separated from friends and family and sacrifice an important sense of independence. Providing
property tax relief to older adults can be a critical component to keeping them in their homes, where
they continue to contribute to their communities.

   Options for persons needing assistance paying their taxes are available on state and local levels. In
addition to an available property tax credit on the state income tax (to a maximum of $500, incomedependent), exemption programs exist for veterans, those who are blind, persons with disabilities
and older adults. Overlaps exist: persons may be eligible for more than one state program, as well
as several local options."  -For MORE INFO: click the link above or better yet, call your local Town/City Assessor to learn more about property tax programs you may be eligible for!