Question: Are taxes up and home values down? Online information conflicts with what residents are saying.

utah-home-valuesWest End Tom, a long time reader and commenter of the blog, sent in the following question regarding home values and taxes in Long Beach.

Dear Seabythecity:

I read the comments on your blog, and based on what I read taxes are up and home values are down. But when I check recently sold (6 months) properties on Zillow  [an online Real Estate website] – the tax history and value fluctuations are just not there, the way people comment.

Why is there a discrepancy between the comments and the Zillow posts?  Is there something I don’t understand (obviously, there’s tons)?

I would love to know this myself. Are taxes up and home values down? Online information conflicts with what residents are saying.

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14 thoughts on “Question: Are taxes up and home values down? Online information conflicts with what residents are saying.”

  1. Politics. The taxes were actually cut this year and real estate values are skyrocketing across the city. Pay no mind to the 10 malcontents who live on Facebook. They are believing their own shit and hoping to make themselves feel important by creating more facebook groups that attack the city. Long Beach is booming and the people finding anything and everything wrong to complain about are disingenuous.

  2. As the owner of several Long Beach properties, I am very interested in values, price trends and taxes. It’s my livelihood. It feeds my family. I’m an engineer who majored in Urban Studies.

    My opinions are a little tainted because I grew up in a great area that turned bad and I’m getting on in years and inflation trips me up at times.

    For recent sales, go to MLSLI.com. You can search for comparable sales on that site and narrow your search by date.

    Long Beach homes are “apples and oranges”. A sale in the Canals doesn’t determine a property value on Beech Street. Likewise, a bungalow sale doesn’t determine the value of a co-op. So “trends” illustrated on sites like Zillow and Trulia might be of value in an area like Levittown, but they are meaningless in Long Beach.

    Likewise, the tax data and comparable date on those sites are horribly erroneous. Long Beach property owners pay three property taxes: City School and “County & State”. Web sites usually just pick up one of them.

    Values are definitely increasing in Long Beach. The demand for property is increasing. Sandy slowed the growth, but the Sandy effect is coming to an end. I see values that have gone up about 10 – 15% this season.

    High taxes, I feel have stunted growth. City taxes have increased 32% in the past two years. An average home in the middle of town pays total taxes of about $12,000. A smaller home in the West End pays perhaps $8,000. Buyers fear tax increases. They shun areas with trends of increasing taxes. The 32% Long Beach increase was the largest on Long Island in many years. It hurt our values substantially.

    Flood insurance uncertainty is another uncertainty that stymies appreciation. Some Long Beach residents pay $4,000 per year, others pay $400. It’s a complex, changing uncertain federal program that scares prospective buyers.

    Long Beach looks great. The administration was GREAT in rebuilding the boardwalk and cleaning up after Sandy. Their Public Relations effort is excellent.

    I’m very bullish on Long Beach real estate. I believe it’s greatly undervalued when compared with Point Lookout or the Jersey Shore. There’s room for growth. My fear is with over development — 20 story apartments making property less desirable, and municipal debt and spending taxing out the prospective buyer.

    Otherwise, values are going up. Until higher interest rates or high-rise shadows cast gloom on the market, they’ll keep going up.

  3. While City real estate taxes were raised 32% in the past two years, this year they were lowered 1%. A portion of this increase was called a mandatory “deficit reduction fee” by the City Council and they claimed it “wasn’t a tax”. This year’s 1% decrease was more than offset by a $100 or $200/year increase in the City’s sanitation fee which is billed on the tax bill and a sizable water and sewer tax increase.

    School taxes are up about 7% in the same period. County/State taxes have not increases since Mangano has been in office.

    For most, this amounts to about a $500 to $1100 increase in taxes over the past three years.

    The Long Beach City Tax increases were the highest on Long Island and possibly in New York State during this two-year period.

    The City tax alone on my home is about $5,000, up from $1800 a decade ago. A similar home in Farmingdale or Cedarhurst Village pays a Village tax of $400.

  4. Ron “Eddie” Paganini, that 32% is just completely false. I’ve owned my home for several years and the city taxes have not gone up anywhere close to that. You’re a republican committeeman and your son was hired by the city for summer jobs when the republicans were in. You are biased and constantly write as if everything the democrats do is bad. Enough is enough. Taxes are down. Real estate values are up. This is very much a product of the job the city has done in the aftermath of sandy. All the promotion everyone is suddenly attacking is making lb an even hotter destination and more attractive to homebuyers.

  5. No, I’m not Ron and I’m no fan of either party.

    I get more than one tax bill and my tax bills don’t lie although the City’s press releases as well as you, do. My City tax as well as your city tax went up 32% in the past two years on each property, if one includes the “deficit fee” charged on the same statement.

    Why do you think I’s so angry with the Democrats? They took thousands of dollars of food from my kids’ mouths.

    If you are referring to this year’s 1% decrease, and you wish to ignore the $100/$200 increase in sanitation tax, then I suppose you can say, just like the City says, “taxes are down”.

    I give credit where credit is due. The Democrats did a wonderful job with the boardwalk. Better yet, they got it back, better than anyone could imagine at no cost to the local taxpayer.

    And, as I did say, the City’s promotions have been great.

    But they also put us into $120 million of new debt. That’s very bad.

    Can you introduce me to Ron Paganini? I think we’d get along.

  6. Making up percentage increases doesn’t make it so. Taxes were not raised for a few years when the so fields were in. City was going bankrupt. Jack raised taxes 16% first year. Next year taxes went up under 2%. This year they went down 1%. I’m a homeowner and can verify his. Your numbers are not based on tax bills but only based on jimmy Hennessy / Kerry Murphy Republican propaganda.

  7. “30 year”, you must be kidding me, did you not read eddies post!!! He laid out the facts and backed it up with a cogent rationale. I for one have lived here for 10 years and remember the 25% tax increase the Tepper administration pushed through and that was only for one year! Taxes have indeed gone up, I pay close attention to my taxes and fees (cause the damn fees matter too)!!!

    I also just checked and there is no Ron Paganini on the GOP committeemens list so you should head back to the drawing board and get your facts straight before you post here. There are too many insiders posting who know the deal.

  8. This is just plain silly.

    Bash the guy because he tells the truth about the Democrats raising taxes and debt? You should be bashing the people who are doing this stuff that you have to lie about!

    Eddie looked at his tax bills which looks exactly like mine. Look at yours. City tax up 16% in 2012, 16% in 2013 and down 1% this year, just like Eddie said. This year my garbage tax went up $200 also.

    Have politics been reduced to lying about the facts? Do so few people own houses here that nobody knows what taxes are?

    Long Beach is a great place. You pick on Eddie’s posts but he speaks the truth and seems to love Long Beach. He gives credit where it is due and says values are up. What’s wrong with you people?

  9. If you want to buy in Long Beach, this would be a great time.

    Mortgage rates are very, very low and there is no doubt that they will rise in the future. Availability of mortgage money is very good and with good credit you can swing a deal with 10% or sometimes less down payment.

    The Sandy debacle has placed lots of property on the market. This excess inventory has kept prices lower than they would have otherwise been. It has also poured millions into home improvements, which raise the values of neighboring property and your neighborhood. A great time to buy “the worse home on the best block”.

    The economy still stinks, so buyers don’t abound. This also increases inventory and hold the line on pricing.

    Congress has offered some relief on the flood insurance “tax”. If you buy a home paying preferred rates, you get to keep the rate. That can be a savings of thousands annually if you buy the right house. Unless laws change, that savings will be passed on to your buyer and increase your home value.

    The Long Beach boardwalk looks better than anytime since the last one was new in 1938. Long Beach is getting lots of great press thanks in part to the City’s partnership with Cablevision, and the City’s excellent Sandy recovery efforts.

    The question a buyer has to ask is what the future holds for home owners in general. Where is our country and home ownership going? Inflation? Where will taxes end? Most of this would depend on future national elections.

  10. Lying about facts would include fabricating an increase in 2013 when that simply didn’t occur. 0% in 2011, 16% in 2012. 2% in 2013. 2% in 2012.

  11. Taxes are up and Long Beach RE values are steady, but certainly not rising. Lido and Atlantic Beach RE values are doing very well, alot of smart money has given up on LB and moved to Lido and Atlantic Beach. Real estate values will never do well in Long Beach – too congested, too much subsidized housing, poor government services, etc – you are never going to see big rises in Long Beach real estate values because of those factors. And remember you have to discount the effects of bugalows that were replaced by raised homes – obviously those property values have gone up, but that’s a false argument because the original homes were leveled.

  12. So let me get this straight, the City was “going bankrupt” during the years when taxes were under control, but the $100M+ of new debt added recently isn’t contributing to a future bankruptcy. Is that it? So as long as the City is raising taxes and is using that to not “go bankrupt”, everything is OK, even if the taxpayers are bankrupted – so long as the City is solvent, that’s OK. Let me guess – you rent an apartment in Long Beach.

  13. Thanks for posting this up, Anthony!

    It’s amazing how hard it is to get a straight answer on this one, haha. Some people say they’re up, others say they’re down. Others say there was no increase in taxes, leaving out the increase in fees.

    It’s not just hard to get this answer here – though you’d think everyone would just be able to look at their bill and say “yep. I paid more this year. I live in the same place.” Even a Google search – it’s tough to get a straight answer. I’ll just assuming their up. Why would anyone make that up?

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