When choosing a location to live, you must also consider how paying your annual taxes will fit into your budget. If you decide to go with a mortgage to finance your home purchase, your taxes can be figured into the monthly amount of payment and put into escrow, so they can be easily paid on time. Depending on the city/town, taxes can be paid on bi-yearly or quarterly intervals,
Taxes are broken down into 3 Categories: School, City/Town and Westchester County- you are paying for services in all areas.
When looking at a school district and the amount of school taxes that are paid, you need to decide if the money is well spent. For example: How much is the ‘per pupil spending’? Are there adequate bussing services? Are there enough sport fields? After school programs? A community pool? Adequate recreation programs? Are there limited enrichment programs for a select few or does everyone receive the same enrichment? Are the honors programs limited in size? Special Education needs- can they service the needs of your child or will you have to seek outside resources?
These are all factors to consider when weighing how much you will be paying in taxes.
Absolutely! You need to check with your Tax Assessor’s office to see when the grievance period is, to submit your application. If you feel your home, is assessed higher then the sale value, then speak with a lawyer who specializes in tax grievances.Compare your home with similar homes in your neighborhood and see what they are paying in yearly taxes. This information is sometimes readily available on line.
If the combined income of the homeowners is less than $500,000, then you are eligible for a STAR Tax refund on your school tax bill This isn’t limited to Senior Citizens, as any age is eligible. For Seniors- if one owner is 65 or older, and the combined income is $84,550 or less, they are eligible for a STAR Enhanced refund. Check with your town/city for details and forms.
Written by Laura Caligor, a licensed realtor with Houlihan Lawrence- Scarsdale Office. She serves the Lower Westchester area.