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We were recently notified by NYC Prop Tax that we were issued a refund of total $6400 for tax assessments 2002-2010.
We contacted the Tax Department to request the refund and were told in writing that they could send us a check or apply the credited amount to our account for taxes due. We requested the credit.
Fast forward 2 months, no credit was applied.We contact them and they say they sent a check in May for the full amount but cannot tell us to whom they sent the check.
We dig and find out that they sent the check to the law firm that made the appeal for our building. So we then call the law firm, who tells us that they took "their cut" and then forwarded the remaining amount to the building and that the "management office will divy the funds up and send them net funds to owners"
Now, we were assessed $850 in January (which we paid) for the appeal of the Prop Tax. My question is 1. We have already paid for lawyer fee's with the assessment, why should management be giving us anything less than 100% of the money that WE overpaid to the City. 2.Does the building have any legal standing to take some of the funds we are due? 3. The checks were mailed on May 17th 2012. How long is appropriate for them to take to give us the money? Because we were told directly by Tax dept they would apply the credit to our account, we did not pay the April Quarter Tax bill because the credit would have covered that amount + . And now we are being charged interest.
Just to get the basics straight -- this is a condo unit? And your condo association hired an attorney on behalf of all individual units to appeal the past city assessments?
I don't see anything about your contacts with the building management (either the management company or the building board) -- how far has that gotten you?
We contacted the building management office twice. Only when we informed them that the lawyer had directly told us that he had received the check, taken his fee and then sent the rest to them did they finally give us
their idea of an answer "We will be discussing with the board what to do with the funds from the appeal". So we just do not understand why there is any question here. We paid our taxes, the city says we overpaid, city refunds us, we get our money back. Where in all of this does the building deserve to get a refund for money they never paid out on our behalf?
get another lawyer! this is a condo right? you have your own tax lot, right? it's your money, not the building's.
Somewhere in the condo's governing docs there'll be an explanation of how far the condo can go in acting on your behalf with the city. That's why you signed a Power of Attorney.
I am confused. The total tax was $6400 with $850 assessment per unit owners?
A lot of times, the building will use the funds toward the reserve. The Board members will decide and let the unit owners know.
Yes condo and yes, our own tax lot. This sounds ridiculous right! Once we paid the assessment for the lawyers fee's, the check for the refund should have been sent directly to us right? I want to get a lawyer and do something but wanted to hear from others to see if this was even considered normal or typical.
ba294, the tax refund would have gone to the building -- and the board deciding whether to refund each shareholder -- if it were a co-op.
In the case of a condo, the attorney should have cut a check to each tenant, leaving the building out of the loop completely.
NYCMatt are you positive about this? Because that's what we thought too. This sounds totally unkosher for a Condo right?
I'm *guessing* here. But it seems that since condo people pay their own taxes, there would have been no reason for the refund to go through the building's board -- other than strictly as a middleman in disbursing a lump sum from the attorney.
The condo building has absolutely no right or claim to these funds.
Your building attorney can cut the check to the building and ask them to reimburse directly.
Your board members can keep them for other uses, but indirectly applied for legal reasons. They can assess $6400 for reserve and building expenses and wash out the reimbursement you were owed.
Just ask the board members what their plans are regarding these refunds. They may give $5000 and keep $1400 on their reserve. If you are worried about the board members stealing from the pot, I'd just go over the financials carefully.
NYCMatt is right about taxes being individually handled. But the attorney took the entire group for an appeal and got the lump sum check instead. It just needs to be distributed back to the unit owners.
sorry for the multiple post, but it's odd that the city didn't directly issued those checks to the unit owners...confusing indeed.
Ba294- I'm confused can you clarify what you are saying.
We were issued an assessment at the beginning of the year. 7k for building improvements and 850.00 for the attorney fee to appeal the Property Tax assessments. We paid all in full in January.
In May, NYC issued us a refund of 6,400 for taxes that we overpaid.
That 6,400 was sent to the Attorney hired by the building.
The attorney hired by the bldg then sent the money on to the Management of our bldg.
The management now says they have to meet to decide what is happening with the money.
Where in there exactly were we ever informed or should be alright with them keeping the money we were refunded by NYC? These were Property Tax payments we made directly to the City of NY, with no involvement of the board. We paid a separate fee already to the attorney who filed the appeal. What standing does the board have to take possession of any of that money?
1. Refund should have been issued to you directly from the city.
2. When the attorney filed an appeal, it looks like they received a group check which was then forwarded to your condo.
3. By law, your condo have to issue you $6400 for overpayment.
4. "IF" the condo board decides to place additional assessment, it will wash out the overpayment owed to you. They can simply issue you a check for $6400 and ask for it back for building reserve and improvement.
It's just human nature. Once the building has the money, they have the will to spend. When they didn't have the money, day just went by without any issues.
You should figure out the terms upon which you gave a power of attorney to the building and attorneys to pursue the appeal, and get a better idea of what actually occurred. We just went through this, the city settled the certiorari proceeding for 2008-12 by providing an abatement for 2013-17, so at least in our case no checks were written, other than to the lawyers. But, because the whole building needed to do this and there was no downside to the unit owners, the authorization to undertake the appeal process gave the board discretion in prosecuting, settling and distributing any recovery. So, in our case, if there was a cash recovery, the unit holders did not necessarily get the money.
We did not sign any Power of Attorney documents with the building. Looking on Acris, it seems that some others did in March/April, but we did not. And there is no abatement. This was a clear over assessment by the city that we paid as tax payers and were refunded by check. Whether others authorized the board to act, we personally did not sign any POA docs establishing that any over-payments that we paid to the city could be distributed at the boards will.
Search by your block-and-lot and you'll see a Power of Attorney from you to the condo. It would've been in the stack of stuff you signed at closing.
If there is no Power of Attorney, then somebody slipped up at closing.
Sorry, we did sign POA doc in 1987 when we purchased. I guess that entitles them to do what they want apparently.
so that explains why the checks went to the condo. Now, if the building recently had assessment ($7k), there is no reason why the condo should not return 100% of the tax owed. I think the reason why the management is waiting on the board members final say is because there may be few dollars here and there that needs to be funded. So instead of placing another assessment, they can issue you a tax check minus the assessment.
Pretty common way for a condo building to handle a certoriari proceeding. The monies not soaked up by the attorney generally get passed on to the board.
So now you need to 1) pay your April taxes directly to the city and 2) go to the board and discuss with them what they plan to do with the refund.
DG Neary Realty
please keep batting around the table am following this thread..
angel, not sure how big ur building is but did the refund go to all tenants of building regardless of whether they use as primary res or rental, doubt lawyer would delve that far.
are you the only one who brough this up or are other neighbors posing the same q? most of my building keep to themselves other than an anon howdy in the lobby.
The attorney literally would not tell us anything other than "The City sent us the checks. We then sent the checks to the Board".
Then the Management office said "We are having a meeting this week to discuss and will let you know what will happen".
Don't have any idea what others in the bldg are doing. We received one of the larger refunds and carry one of the higher taxes in the bldg so we may be invested in this slightly more than some others. Moreover, the thing annoying us most is that we received no updates or information about the fact that we could potentially not receive the recovered funds and find it kind of absurd that we basically paid the BLDS attorneys fee's for an attorney to give the bldg money back and no one to even let us know they received our funds. Add to that that the City itself, via numerous telephone and email conversations told us that they would apply the credit DIRECTLY to our account (we have emails clearly stating this)which either means that they 1. Lied 2. Just really have no idea what they are telling people and then for that to not be the case, it's just enough to really aggravate the **** out of someone.
Top that off with the biggest increase in YOY Prop Tax increase we've ever had in over 20 years of ownership and it's just.......... In the grand scheme of life these are not big problems, but I'm just getting sick of this kind of stuff, ya know :(
so what happens to those that sold say a year ago who presumably overpaid their taxes in prior years? still at the mercy of the board? if so, no way is the board paying this out. it'll go to the lobby flower fund.