Columbia’s Tax Day Tea Party
2009/04/16, 1:57 pm
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Top 10 most heavily taxed states
2009/04/01, 7:05 pm
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Daily Real Estate News  |  April 1, 2009  |   Share

Top 10 Most Heavily Taxed States
It’s April, so people’s thoughts are turning to taxes, and where they live makes a big difference in how much they pay.

Here are the 10 states with the highest taxes, including property, individual income, sales, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, motor vehicles, hunting and fishing, motor fuels, death and gift taxes, as well as insurance premiums. The per capita tax was derived by adding up all the taxes and dividing the total by the number of citizens.

1. Vermont, $3,861
2. Hawaii, $3,856
3. Connecticut, $3,596
4. Minnesota, $3,203
5. New Jersey, $3,024
6. New York, $3,019
7. Massachusetts, $2,953
8. Washington, $2,553
9. Wyoming, $2,357
10. Pennsylvania, $2,223

Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (03/30/2009)

Jersey Shore Properties can file tax appeals from home
2009/03/18, 1:15 pm
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                        Rubenstein Communications, Inc.

                        Public Relations

                        Contact: Rick Matthews/212-843-8267

                Cristina Allen/212-843-8050





Owners of Jersey Shore Properties Can File

Property Tax Appeals from Home 


March 18, 2009 – Surprise! If you own a second home at the Jersey Shore, you may be paying too much in property taxes. 


A property tax analytics expert looking at New Jersey tax records recently found that as many as 29 percent of New Jersey homes — an estimated 722,000 residential properties — appear to be assessed above the state’s 15 percent over-assessment margin. And those Garden State property owners will miss out on an average savings of $1,919 if they fail to file their tax appeals by

April 1 (May 1 in those towns that have just been reassessed).


Researcher Adam Berkson of has found that Ocean County has the highest percentage of residential properties that are over-assessed, at 45 percent.  Cape May and Atlantic County also have high over-assessment incidence, at 40 and 35 percent, respectively. 


According to Berkson’s research, municipalities with a sizable percentage of properties over-assessed by more than the state’s error margin include Ocean City (38 percent), Brigantine (44 percent), Avalon (47 percent) and Seaside Heights (44 percent).  Over-assessments in the Wildwood municipalities range from 32 to 63 percent.


New Jersey property owners can determine whether their property is eligible for tax savings on Users of the site can quickly determine for free whether their property is over-assessed by simply entering their address.  The site instantly compares the property’s market value to its tax assessed value.  The information provided can be used as the basis for an appeal.  If interested, for a nominal $49 fee, the homeowner can download completed appeal forms and detailed instructions on how to submit the appeal with local and county tax offices. is the only place on the World Wide Web where New Jersey property owners can download a completed property tax appeal application.


Berkson warned, “A lot of vacation property owners suspect that their property taxes are higher than they should be.  And, in this market, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re right.  With the tax appeal deadline looming, they need to move quickly.  By using, they can save hours of research and avoid multiple long trips to local municipal and county tax offices.” 


ABOUT EASYTAXFIX.COM was started in 2008 to assist homeowners with property tax appeals.  The user-friendly, web-based service uses an automated valuation methodology for analyzing individual home values versus their tax assessed values.  If an individual homeowner is found to be over-assessed, the site offers a wizard to assist homeowners in completing their property tax appeal application. is currently available in San Diego and Fresno, California and statewide in New Jersey.






Washington report on loan limit laws and more
2009/02/18, 5:26 pm
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These limits were equal to the greater of 125% of the 2008 local area median home price or $271,050 for FHA and $417,000 for Fannie and Freddie, with an overall maximum cap of $729,750. For the few areas where the 2009 limits were higher, the higher limits will apply. In addition, the bill includes language providing the HUD Secretary with the discretion, if warranted, to increase the loan limit for any “sub-area”, area smaller than a county. The Secretary’s discretion is again limited by the $729,750 cap. These 2009 limits will expire December 31, 2009.

The inclusion of these loan limit provisions in the final bill is a victory for homeowners, buyers and REALTORS(R). While these new limits were included in version of the original stimulus bill approved by the House, the bill first approved by the Senate did not. NAR’s Call for Action to both the House and the Senate prior to the final vote advocated strongly for the provisions which were then included in the final bill approved by both Chambers. NAR has estimated the new 2009 Loan Limits by county.

Neighborhood Stabilization — Division A, Title XII of the bill provides $2,000,000,000 in additional funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP was created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-289) to provide grants through the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) to states and localities to address the problems that can be created when whole neighborhoods are decimated by foreclosures. The funds can be used to purchase, manage, repair and resell foreclosed and abandoned properties. In addition, the funds can also be used by states and localities to establish financing methods for the purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed properties. After purchase the homes must be used to assist individuals and families with incomes at or below 120% of area median income. Twenty-five percent of funds must be used for households with incomes at or below 50% of area median income. By leveraging their expertise in partnership with others from both the public and private sector, REALTORS(R) in many communities have been making important contributions to their local communities’

Commercial Real Estate — Commercial real estate is impacted primarily through those provisions of the bill focused on green building and energy efficiency as well as business tax incentives. H.R. 1 provides significant funds for state energy programs, which could be used to support commercial property owners’ investment in energy efficiency upgrades while commercial property owners seeking to invest in alternative energy systems for onsite power generation would benefit from the Department of Energy Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees Program. Of particular benefit to small businesses would be certain provisions of the bill that provide tax relief in the area of bonus depreciation and capital expenditures, as well as the 5-Year carryback of net operating losses for small businesses.

Rural Housing Service — The bill provides an additional $500 million to existing USDA Rural Housing programs. The RHS provides both a guaranteed loan program and a direct housing loan program for those meeting the program’s eligibility criteria. The direct loan program will receive $270 million while $230 million will be allocated for unsubsidized guaranteed loans. It has been reported that this level of funding would provide for an additional 192,000 homeowners.

Low Income Housing Grants — Allow states to trade in a portion of their 2009 low-income housing tax credits for Treasury grants to finance the construction or acquisition and rehabilitation of low-income housing, including those with or without tax credit allocations.

Tax Exempt Housing Bonds — Tax-exempt interest earned on specified state and local bonds issued during 2009 and 2010 will not be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). In addition, financial institutions will have greater capacity to purchase tax-exempt state and local bonds.

Energy Efficient Housing Tax Credits & Grants — To promote green jobs and energy independence, ARRA invests significantly in efforts to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. The bill provides state and local governments with $6 billion in energy efficiency and conservation grants for energy audits, retrofits and financial incentives. Through 2010, homeowners will be able to claim a 30% tax credit (up from 10%) for purchases of new furnaces, windows and insulation. Another $5 billion will be available to modernize the nation’s electricity grid and install smart meters on homes that help to save consumers money. There is also $5 billion for weatherization assistance for low income households and $2 billion for federally assisted housing (section 8) efficiency efforts.
neighborhood stabilization programs.