Blog :: 05-2018

Not So Simple: New York State Agricultural Tax Assessments

Facing high taxes, New York State buyers often ask if they can qualify for an agricultural “exemption” to reduce their property taxes.  The so-called “Ag Exemption” is the difference between the property’s market value and the lower agricultural assessment. These laws were passed to protect farming activity and maintain open spaces.

The NY parcel must have at least 7 acres devoted to agriculture, producing at least $10,000 in revenues. The revenue requirement can be met by leasing land to a farmer – usually for minimal rent. Exemption values, determined by GIS maps of the Soil and Water Conservation District, are based on the quality of the soil. This information must be provided to local assessors with revenue proof every year. The law also requires that for exempted land converted to non-agricultural use within eight years, the owner will pay a penalty of five times the taxes saved in the most recent year, plus a 6% interest charge.

Your accountant can best answer any questions you might have.

    Comments

    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

    Selling Your Home? Clean Your Windows!

    The moment a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, they will notice the windows first—and first impressions matter.

    My advice: focus on issues that give the “most bang for your buck.” And the experts agree that clean windows are one of those.

    Here are the top 5 reasons:

        1) According to 2000 real estate agents surveyed, the number one improvement that generates the best return on investment (ROI) is window cleaning, and the ROI on window cleaning alone was determined by Money Magazine to be 768%.

        2) According to the National Association of Appraisers, a good first appearance of a home can add 5-10% to the value of the home.

        3) According to the National Association of Realtors, curb appeal sells 49% of all houses.

        4) More than 75% of people who first view property on the internet will drive by before contacting an agent.

        5) Large, clean windows  allow pure, bright light to flood the living areas in the home, creating a warm atmosphere.

     

      Comments

      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

      My Homes Is "Inventory"??!

      I cringe when I see this term applied to residential real estate. It strips sentiment from a situation that is often emotional and personal.

      We use this to describe real estate market conditions; if you’re looking for a home and there aren’t many available in your price range, then “inventory” is low; prices tend to rise. If you’re selling your home, and so are many others in the area, then “inventory” is high; prices tend to fall. It’s simple economics, but it’s harsh to hear the word applied to your endeavor, no matter what side of the equation you’re on.

      It’s like comparing a home to a can of corn on the grocer’s shelf, but it’s wise to under-stand the local market and respond accordingly. Prices can only rise to a point; many will go elsewhere to find value.  They can only fall so far before the stream of buyers dries up.

      To speak with agents who understand and care, please call us at Best & Cavallaro!

        Comments

        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

        Is Solar Energy Affordable Yet?

        The monthly electric bill is a big part of monthly expenses, particularly in the winter. There are several ways to reduce your electricity use, from not overcharging your devices overnight to changing your lightbulbs to energy efficient versions to using the energy efficient options on your washer/dryer, for example. But, the one change that makes the largest impact could be converting to solar panels.

        According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar panel installation has grown 59% in the last 10 years.

        Although the cost of solar panels has dropped in recent years, installation can cost up to $30,000. To help, there is a 30% federal residential renewable energy tax credit available (visit energy.gov for more information).  For families with limited or fixed incomes, there are programs for no-cost solar panel installation.   

        If installation prices continue to drop, solar energy may soon be an affordable option for all. Or perhaps a community-based solar project will be possible. Connecticut passed legislation in June, 2015 authorizing a shared renewable pilot program.

          Comments

          1. No comments. Be the first to comment.