December 19, 2012 | 1 comment | 733 views
Community Association urges tax relief
Residents living in Valley Stream’s high-risk flood zone should challenge their property assessments, leaders of the Valley Stream Community Association and a property tax expert said on Dec. 10.
About 25 residents attended the Community Association’s meeting at Central High School, which focused on property tax relief. Joseph Margolin, a Community Association board member and a resident of the high-risk flood zone in Gibson, said he challenged his assessment last year and received about $2,300 in annual tax relief.
Margolin said that residents in Valley Stream’s flood zone should add a note to their appeal, explaining that the designation de-values their homes. He explained that since the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new flood maps went into effect in 2009, which included most of Gibson, homes in the neighborhood are now hard to sell. “Once in a blue moon you’ll see something from Gibson even listed,” he said.
Ann-Margaret Bonventure, of RSB Property Tax Consultants in Valley Stream, agreed that flood zone homes are worth less. She said it is unlikely someone would buy a home in the flood zone when they could purchase a home elsewhere in Valley Stream and still get the same services without being forced to pay for flood insurance.
She said that the number of residential assessment appeals has steadily risen in the past few years as homeowners are seeking any way possible to get some tax relief. A majority of appeals are successful at the county level, she said, meaning residents can see a break on their county, town, school and special district taxes.
Residents of the village, she said, must also file a separate appeal to seek relief on their village taxes, however those challenges are less successful.
Bonventure explained that government needs the same amount of money to operate so when one person’s taxes are reduced, everyone else pays more to make up the difference.