The Swartz Report: Will property taxes be higher or lower in 2021?

By Donald Swartz, President and Principal of Swartz + Associates, Inc.

It was just over a year ago I wrote to everyone about an incident that changed my perspective about many things. As you may recall, on July 9th, while heading to my Las Vegas office on a bright Tuesday morning, an individual ran through a red light, hitting the Uber I was riding. Eight broken ribs, a separated shoulder, a broken clavicle and four fractured vertebrae later, I am feeling pretty good and amazed how much has changed these past 12 months.

Now it’s my turn to help be supportive and be the cheerleader, as so many were for me.

Being supportiveLast Tuesday, my father had quintuple bypass surgery. Yes, no typo, five bypasses! The surgery went as well as anyone could have expected for a man turning 89 in November. What to do, what to do… In this Coronavirus environment, all one can do is offer emotional support for the family. There is no visitation at the hospital. No hugs, no holding hands, no “just being there”. Only phone calls, Zoom setups during the week and words of encouragement. The true providers are the nursing staff, who serve both the medical needs of the patient and the emotional needs during this pandemic. Truly unbelievable.

And yet, my father remains optimistic that he will be heading home soon. And why not? He has always been optimistic and pragmatic about everything – family, friends, and his working professional career. Never, did he display negativity. While I try to emulate that in my life, it can be very challenging, especially in today’s world. Talk about role models, he’s top of the list.

Now on to the working front.

TaxesLast month, I mentioned one our employees, Mark Phillips, discovered an error by a state for the valuation of railcars. His uncovering generated millions of dollars of tax savings for all owners of railcars who had situs in that state. We submitted an article to our clients in the industry. Here is a link to that PDF. Please take a look if this is of interest.

Slowly but surely, our cases appealed in 2019 and earlier that have been delayed, postponed and/or pushed back are getting their “day in court”. The results have been very positive as various county assessor’s are working with us to resolve outstanding appeals from 2018 and 2019. This is a very good idea, as the system will again be backlogged due to the current appeals and the projection of 2021 appeals looming on the horizon.

There is no question in my mind, property tax valuations (both real and business personal property) are going to decrease in 2021 – the big question is whether the counties will recognize the downward swing caused by COVID-19.

As always, if you have any questions or comments please reach out to me directly – dswartz@swartzaai.com.

Stay healthy, stay safe and for everyone’s sake, please wear a mask in public settings!

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