Summary of the AVI Meeting on March 14 – Deadlines Are Approaching…

 

Last week’s special community meeting on AVI was extremely well-attended and included a lot of valuable information, and powerful commentary by neighbors.

A full set of minutes for the meeting is up on the NLNA web site at nlna.org.

Here is a summary of some key points and info links:

Links:

(1) Tax Bills Won’t Increase as Much as Assessments.For 2013, the final year of the old system, property owners are paying about 3.13% of their assessed market value in taxes. For 2014, under AVI, the Mayor has proposed a tax rate of 1.32%. So while everyone’s assessments are going up, the reduced tax rate will partially counter-balance the increased assessment. If your new assessment is 2-1/2 times your old one, then your 2014 tax bill will probably be about the same as your current 2013 tax bill.(2) OPA First Level Review Deadline is March 31. Your 2014 assessment includes a form to request a “first level review” with the City Office of Property Assessment (OPA). This is an informal appeal, if you believe your property has been over-assessed because OPA made an error. Send in the form ASAP. Provide whatever supporting documentation you can. But if you don’t have it, file the form anyway. You can always supply the evidence once OPA contacts you to set up your review.(3) BRT Formal Appeal Deadline is October 7. The second, formal appeal goes to the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT), an agency independent of the Mayor and the OPA. This appeal is a legal hearing. We are working to organize briefings about this, and members of City Council also are gearing up their staff, and in some cases attorneys, to help. You can file a BRT appeal starting April 1. General rules for appeals are on the BRT web site – see link above.(4) Appeals are Independent of Each Other. You do not have to file a first-level review in order to file a BRT appeal, and vice versa. You can choose to file one or the other, or both. If an OPA or BRT representative tells you otherwise, ignore them – that’s not true. And please let us know about your experience.(5) Homestead Exemption – File for It. If City Council legalizes a Homestead Exemption, homeowners will be exempt from taxation on part of the assessed value of their homes. This will save homeowners about $200-$400 on their bills. Every homeowner should file for it if they haven’t already done so. A copy of the form is available at the OPA web site – see link above. You also can confirm whether you’ve already got the exemption by going to the AVI Calculator – see link above.

Unfortunately, as a policy tool the Homestead Exemption won’t help many people in our community. To pay for the revenue lost from the Exemption, the City has to raise the overall property tax rate. Owners of properties assessed at about $230,000 or more would actually be better off if there were no Homestead Exemption, and the tax rate could be lower. But since it looks like the City may implement the Exemption, you should file for it.

(6) Gentrification Protection Is the Best Answer for Many. This limits how much the tax bill can increase for homeowners who’ve lived in their houses for 10 years or more. The current proposals would tax protected homeowners on a multiple of their current assessment. Example: Your old assessment was $50,000, while your new assessment is $350,000. Without gentrification protection, this would result in a tax-bill increase of 200% (a tripling of your bill). With gentrification protection set at 3X, you would be taxed only on $150,000 of assessed value – that is, three times (3X) your old $50,000 assessment. This would translate into a tax-bill increase of about 25%, instead of 200%.

Watch upcoming emails for more information, and for meetings and other opportunities for you to take action on this issue…