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Old 09-08-2009, 08:23 AM
 
476 posts, read 776,372 times
Reputation: 103

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Prop 13 has been in place 30 years and I believe California would still have finance issues even if Prop 13 didn't exist... it's the nature of Government.

My city spends approximately 16k per year per student with Prop 13 in effect... I don't believe lack of funds can be blamed for the mediocre student performance... at least not at the present spending level... yet, not a day goes by that someone isn't saying Prop 13 wreck schools in CA.
That is interesting. California has had excellent public education all the way through graduate school and I'd hate to see anything happen to it. But if your city spends $16K per student then it is hard to blame Prop 13 for any decline.

Here in Santa Fe our public schools are mediocre at best and have been this way for some time. We can't blame Tax Lightning -- it has not been in effect that long and a 3% annual increase adds up. Plus we have a lot of new construction where the property tax is not capped. I blame the parents -- they don't seem to care. 80% of Pojoaque Valley 11th graders are NOT competent in math -- ho hum.

Another question but related -- do you feel that current financial crisis in California is unrelated to Prop 13? Here the city is contemplating layoffs, but it is hard to blame that on Tax Lightning. I suspect that the city has taken on too many "self-supporting" projects and ends up diverting tax revenue to these projects. Then tourism drops off in the recession and the gross receipts tax takes a hit.
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:27 AM
 
476 posts, read 776,372 times
Reputation: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKO View Post
Hey, I just wanted to clarify that I don't work in the property tax business anymore and I'm not, necessarily, trying to defend them. Just make everybody informed what the rules really are.
Thanks TKO for the information.

I hope that I don't get too defensive at times. I just have to disagree when I think that people are minimizing the problem. If you are on a fixed income and your property tax is tripled without warning, then there is a non-trivial loss of income. I realize, however, that the assessors are just following the law, and that real estate agents are now doing a better job of informing people.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:34 AM
TKO
 
Location: Cruces
714 posts, read 1,492,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa Fe View Post
Thanks TKO for the information.

I hope that I don't get too defensive at times. I just have to disagree when I think that people are minimizing the problem. If you are on a fixed income and your property tax is tripled without warning, then there is a non-trivial loss of income. I realize, however, that the assessors are just following the law, and that real estate agents are now doing a better job of informing people.
Oh, I agree and I didn't take offense. Link's are important and I should have put them in to begin with. I'm lazy at times!

I know because I pay taxes to that any unforeseen change is going to present problems. I'm glad the realtor's are doing a better job because if you aren't informed that the value on a property you just bought had been capped (the industry word for Lightening Tax) and was most certainly going to increase to be based on sale price or close to it, you are in for a big surprise.

What I don't get (and please clarify because I'm sure there's an explanation) is how your tax tripled? It should be changed the first time you get a bill. Did they wait an extra year after you bought it to remove the cap?
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:35 PM
 
476 posts, read 776,372 times
Reputation: 103
Default How did it triple?

TKO, you ask a good question. It should have tripled over the previous owner's payment. Instead it tripled over the first year's payment which would seem to violate the law.

The tax assessor for Santa Fe County has said that he has fallen behind and got a bunch of new positions fairly recently to help catch up. Perhaps he was just late getting to me at a time when there were many sales and a lot of new construction of multi-million dollar houses.

To get the positions he had to promise the County Commissioners that he would produce more money. And they promised to meet with him later to see how well he had done. So there is some political pressure on him to produce more revenue.

This is all public record -- it was in the New Mexican -- but I don't have a citation -- it was a while back.

I will have to look into the answer to your question.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:56 PM
 
476 posts, read 776,372 times
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Default A question for TKO or anybody else?

Property tax assessment in Santa Fe County (and I assume NM) seems to be based on sales price -- of your home. It seems like they should check against comparables just to prevent chicanery.

What do they do when do someone buys a lot and builds? Do they then look at comparables? What if the house is unique? Does the law provide for this, or do they just work something out?

I remember an article a while back about a very large house that had been built and frankly the assessor seemed lost.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:31 PM
 
14,203 posts, read 26,359,148 times
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One of the inherent problems with comparable property tax systems is the burden of proof is always on the property owner should the owner not agree with the assessed value...

In my State, it was not uncommon for some owner's to contest each year's assessment prior to Prop 13... Often it would take two years to resolve... the full time allowed by Statute.

Also, com parables is very subjective unless you are dealing with nearly identical track homes in the same street.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:37 AM
TKO
 
Location: Cruces
714 posts, read 1,492,206 times
Reputation: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa Fe View Post
Property tax assessment in Santa Fe County (and I assume NM) seems to be based on sales price -- of your home. It seems like they should check against comparables just to prevent chicanery.

What do they do when do someone buys a lot and builds? Do they then look at comparables? What if the house is unique? Does the law provide for this, or do they just work something out?

I remember an article a while back about a very large house that had been built and frankly the assessor seemed lost.
It's based on market value not sales price. In fact it's against the law to use the sale of the subject alone to value a property. That's not to say it can't be used in combination with other comparables but not alone.

The other common method for residential in New Mexico is the Cost Approach (three approaches to value - market, cost and income). In the cost approach, market lot value (from sales) is added to an estimate (from an estimating service) of the reproduction cost of the house. That's common in new subdivisions where you don't have to deal with physical depreciation which is the hardest thing to quantify in that approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
One of the inherent problems with comparable property tax systems is the burden of proof is always on the property owner should the owner not agree with the assessed value...

In my State, it was not uncommon for some owner's to contest each year's assessment prior to Prop 13... Often it would take two years to resolve... the full time allowed by Statute.

Also, com parables is very subjective unless you are dealing with nearly identical track homes in the same street.
For a unique property the market approach is sometimes not appropriate because adjustments for differences can be hard to quantify. The cost approach is WIDELY used in New Mexico and is basis for most values in the assessment community. The comparables are often only used to defend that value in a protest setting because it's easier to explain.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,553 posts, read 9,552,952 times
Reputation: 2462
Default Residents Must Sue for Tax Refund

ABQjournal.com: Albuquerque Journal
You'll have to watch an ad to read the whole article
or just subscribe.

Update for those who care. Others please ignore.

NM judges have now said "tax lightning" is unconstitutional. ...
Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya said ...
... will get a tax bill based on the higher value next month.

But once residents pay their bills, Montoya said,
they can file a "refund suit" in state court to get some
of their money back — ...

Anyone in the state can file a refund suit, ...

State Sen. Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque, said he hopes
to have a reform measure before the Legislature's
tax-policy committee next month.

... growing momentum in support of much needed property
tax reform," ... system is unfair and terribly inequitable."

Montoya said she will work ... for a solution, too.

The county treasurer mails tax bills Nov. 1.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 16,497,023 times
Reputation: 6483
I have no skin in this game but allow me to play devil's advocate here. Home buyers are rational actors and factor property taxes into their purchasing decisions. A higher property tax is offset by a lower home price. If property taxes were lower, home prices would be just that much higher. Since most buyers will also be sellers someday, they will also factor in the lower amount they'll be able to sell their homes for because of the tax. Existing homeowners will lose the amount of their "savings" from their locked in tax rates when they go to sell their homes and have to accept a lower price for them. Finally, since property taxes are tax deductible as is mortgage interest, there's no negative income tax impact. In fact, cash buyers will benefit from the deductibility of the higher taxes. Bottom line - property tax rates and how they're assessed really don't matter much to the financial well-being of existing or prospective homeowners.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:14 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,761 times
Reputation: 10
You are so right about the fact that we are dealing with incompetency!
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