Thursday, July 7, 2016

Melting Fran's Tax Freeze

Fran Millar has successfully and on multiple occasions pushed thru a property assessment freeze. It kinda works like this: your home's assessment cannot be raised whilst the freeze is effect unless it is sold or renovated. The freeze has a limited term but has been extended for five more years.

When you sell your house, mark-to-market is relatively painless. First, you always knew the market value was significantly higher than assessed value. Furthermore, you're not going to pay the higher taxes on the new assessment--the buyer is.

Where it gets fun is the "renovation" escape clause. How does anyone know you've done a renovation? Well if you do it yourself, it may just be your secret, but if you use licensed pros they will pull a permit. At that point you are up for re-assessment. And it won't be the $5,000 you spent on maintenance--say replacing those 1970's windows with new energy-efficient vinyl or putting on a new roof--you will get a mark-to-market assessment.

Now ask yourself: since this City started operation are there less or more things requiring permits? Do you really believe it's because they want to make sure your roofer installs a drip edge?