Getting a tax question answered

6 Replies

Hi all,

I'm under contract for a home in Brooklyn, NY. There have been some changes since we went into contract, and we have now worked out that we would be getting a change to the C/O soon after closing.

Here in NY, a change to the C/O generally results in a change in taxes. The problem I'm facing is that I am finding it extremely hard to estimate where these taxes will fall. Our broker, an architect and an accountant have given us numbers that are extremely different... To the point that it could mean the difference between a good deal and a bad deal.

The tax code in NY seems to be extremely arcane, so I don't particularly expect a BP member to be able to calculate the number. But rather, I thought you could help point me to WHO on my team (or otherwise) I might turn to for a concrete answer.

My broker is an agent with a big name national company, so I was thinking his office might have the resources. Is that something I might push for? Or other than that any ideas on who else I might try to contact to get this worked out?

Why don't you contact the assessors office or whatever dept sets the tax rates for your town/county? 

Thanks for the thought Rob.

I have to admit, when I first read your response, I thought "that was said like someone who never had to deal with NYC bureaucracy." However, I figured it was worth a shot and gave a ring. The NYC finance number robo-routed me to 311 (NYCs general info number), and I was truly assuming that it was a lost cause. But I lucked out and ended up with someone who was a former employee in the NYC dept. of finance! She answered questions more clearly than anyone else has been able to.

My situation is to specific (and probably boring) to detail here. But in case anyone ever ends up with a similar question on NYC property taxes, feel free to hit me up. And thanks, Rob, for the inspiration to make the call.

Point taken. I sometimes forget not everywhere is like where I live and invest where I can walk into City Hall and say hi to the Mayor and talk to the chief assessor and the board of health and go see the building inspector all within about 15 minutes and Im on my way. Good luck @Jacob Pritchard .

Hey @Jacob Pritchard

Glad to hear you got everything figured out. Not sure if you've been using a real estate lawyer, but they'd be able to push back on the seller's attorney that the expectation is that tax conditions are as originally presented, and if they are not, you have the opportunity to receive concessions to make up for any unanticipated difference.

Which part of Brooklyn are you buying in?

Hey @Bernard Klein , we are in Bed-Stuy.

In the end we estimated what taxes could possibly go to based on the conversation with the dept. of finance, and based our decision to move forward on that. I can definitely see how all-else-being-equal you could ask for a concession for something like this, and it's a great piece of advice. But there have been a lot of other changing variables and we weren't in a position to ask for concessions.

Even if we did want to ask for a concession, I think it would be a hard argument. The sellers architect was one of many parties who weighed in on our question... he said that taxes basically wouldn't rise at all with the C/O... It's hard to try to negotiate based of a figure that no one can agree on! 

@Jacob Pritchard

Bed-Stuy is definitely a happening area. Glad you were able to figure things out. 

Did you buy a fixer-upper or has everything already been taken care of?

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