Schneck Law Group LLC

Over $150,000,000.00 of property taxes have been refunded by the property tax attorneys associated with Schneck Law Group LLC.

Schneck Law Group LLC exclusively represents property owners in property tax appeals and focuses on reducing real estate taxes on commercial, industrial and multi-tenant real estate. Schneck Law Group LLC has 3 property tax attorneys and a staff of trained paralegals. The firm's founder and managing member, Michael Schneck, may be reached via email at

For a free consultation about a potential property tax appeal, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Direct Dial: (973) 533-9300, ext. 1

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Working Off Your Property Taxes

Charles Gibson with ABC World News reported an interesting alternative way to paying for your property tax bill: allowing seniors to work off a portion of their property taxes. For example, a retired lawyer could do legal work for the town. A former accountant could help town administrators with finance management.

Given that many seniors are on fixed incomes and have difficulty paying their ever-increasing property tax bills, these programs provide a great avenue of relief for many seniors. A typical program, such as the one in Greenburgh, New York, allows senior citizens who are over the age of 60 to earn a property tax credit up to $1,000 per year by working for the town.

As noted by one Greenburgh Senior Citizen: "There's a lot of good talent going to waste . . . You know, we're not dead. We're just retired."

This full article may be found here:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rising Taxes, Declining Property Value

As noted by the New York Times last Saturday on page one, rising tax values are not usually a popular thing, but homeowners tend to accept it, even begrudgingly, when they know the market value of their home is on the rise. However, the minute you think that your local government assessment practices are out of whack with what is happening in the market, you will not accept it.

Citizens know the market is slow if not declining, and they are informed and feel comfortable in challenging their county values. People can’t sell their homes, they have less money, and they don’t understand why the government is asking for more money in a declining housing market.

Although there are a few municipalities in New Jersey that are currently undergoing a revaluation, the clear majority of municipalities are not. This is especially troublesome given the recent turmoil in the real estate market. The municipality’s valuation of your commercial property from several years ago is very likely to be out of line with your property’s October 1, 2007 true value, the day an assessor is supposed to value your property in order to determine your 2008 property tax bill. If you find that your 2008 property tax bill and the assessment that your bill is based upon are not in touch with reality, please remember that in order to appeal your assessment in New Jersey, you must file a tax appeal by April 1st.

The full New York Times article can be found here:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

$2.2 Million Real Estate Tax Reduced to $0

Schneck Holtzman was successful in completely removing $2.2 million in property taxes from property managed by United Communities LLC.

United Communities, a private company, entered into a fifty-year lease with McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix last summer in order to maintain and operate base housing units located on each respective entity’s property. The township’s assessor, after learning of this lease, levied a $2,215,013 added assessment on United Communities leasehold interest in the housing units. Schneck Holtzman was successful in reducing this entire $2.2 million tax bill to $0.

Under federal law, a state or its instrumentalities may not impose a tax on real or personal property located on lands over which the federal government has properly obtained, and continues to maintain, exclusive jurisdiction in full compliance with the Enclave Clause. The base housing on McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix continue to be under exclusive federal jurisdiction. Any taxation of the subject premises is therefore a direct violation of federal law. The sole purpose of the lease entered into in this instance is “for demolition, design, construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of a rental housing development . . . for use by military personal and their dependents authorized to live on McGuire AFB and Fort Dix.” If at anytime, the rental housing unit is “not actively and continuously used for a Government Accepted Use at any time during the Lease Term . . . [the leased property] shall revert to the Government.” Moreover, the lease, after fifty-years will revert back to the government, irrespective of any use of the subject property. The U.S. Government has retained exclusive federal jurisdiction over the subject premises and any taxation of the leased premises directly violates the Federal Enclave Clause.

On December 17th the County Board of Taxation agreed with Schneck Holtzman and removed the entire $2.2 million added assessment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Recent Notable Decisions

Casino Property Tax
Philadelphia, PA: (Dec-04-07) The city brought charges against Foxwoods, the proposed river front casino in South Philadelphia, over its property taxes. Records show that Foxwoods appealed first to the city's Board of Revision of Taxes this year and then to the Court of Common Pleas after the property taxes on its 18.5 acre site increased from $277,670 in 2005 to $1,377,641 in 2006. The $64.7 million paid by Foxwoods investors for the site in 2005 caused the increase. As per documents at the City Department of Revenue, Foxwoods owes $2.8 million for 2006 and 2007 in back taxes, interest, penalties and legal fees. In a recent development in the case, the city agreed to lop off $1 million off the back taxes and allow Foxwoods to pay half now and half when it opens. Under the deal, Foxwoods will pay $1,750,000 for 2006 and 2007, with $875,000 due within 10 days and another $875,000 to be paid when Foxwoods opens. [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: CASINO PROPERTY TAX]

PG&E Property Tax
Los Angeles, CA: (Nov-29-07) Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) brought a lawsuit against several counties, stating that they owed the company refunds on property taxes paid. PG&E sought refunds of nearly $2 million from Yuba County alone and $5.3 million from seven other counties. Sources claimed that in addition to Yuba County, Placer, Nevada, El Dorado, Mariposa, Butte, Plumas and Sierra counties were also named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit had challenged a California State Board of Equalization ruling that PG&E had a possessory interest in hydroelectric facilities in the eight counties where it buys power. Possessory interest is the ability to tax a private entity that occupies publicly owned land. As part of a settlement reached, rather than pay lump-sum refunds to PG&E, the defendants agreed to decrease the overall property tax bill by $10 million over the next 10 years. Sources close to the case stated that it was hard to predict the kind of impact the deal will have. Officials stated that PG&E won’t know if the property-tax settlement will result in rate reductions for customers until the state Public Utility Commission conducts a review. [APPEAL DEMOCRAT: PROPERTY TAX]

Satellite Property Tax
Oxford, CT: (Nov-21-07) The town of Oxford brought charges against Champion Teleport, a 13-acre business property, over unpaid taxes owed to the town. The suit stated that the money was owed from the personal property taxes for three satellite dishes at the former AlphaStar Broadcasting and Broadband property on Hawley Road. As part of a settlement reached, sources stated that the owner of Champion Teleport will pay the town $903,000 as part of the settlement the Board of Selectmen unanimously accepted. Under the deal, Champion Teleport will pay $50,000 to cover the personal property taxes for three satellite dishes, as well as pay the town more than $60,000 a month over 14 months to cover back real estate and sewer line taxes. Tax Collector Karen Guillet said Champion Teleport had owed the town more than $1.7 million, but agreed to settle at just under $1 million in a mediated discussion. [CONNECTICUT POST: PROPERTY TAX]