David B. Wolfe, Esq., co-managing partner of Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C, was featured in the December issue of the Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal (MAREJ). The Journal’s audience of over 105,000 decision makers turns to the publication for the most comprehensive coverage of the commercial real estate industry encompassing the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. In the publication’s December “Year in Review” issue, Mr. Wolfe contributed his perspectives on commercial real estate law, particularly with regard to preparing for COVID-era commercial property tax appeals in 2021.
The awful effects of COVID-19 have rippled throughout society and the economy, and the damage has been no less impactful when it comes to commercial property values. According to Mr. Wolfe, many jurisdictions have ignored the pandemic’s impact because 2020 assessments were established before COVID. In the coming year, however, municipal taxing authorities will be pressured to take into account the impact of the virus on commercial property values, particularly in the retail, hospitality and office sectors.
Expect Active Year Ahead for Commercial Property Tax Appeals
Heading into 2021 is no time for commercial property ownership and management to leave its guard down and expect benevolence from local taxing jurisdictions, particularly if properties under ownership are in municipalities that are aggressively pursuing “increase cases.”
Mr. Wolfe stressed the critical importance of having experienced legal representation in these matters fully prepared with the quantitative analysis to argue your case from either perspective, whether seeking relief from COVID injury or safeguarding prior assessments. Planning ahead by assembling a team of professionals that can analyze your portfolios and identify appeal opportunities and pathways to prospective or emergent relief is important to mitigate commercial property tax burdens.
“Despite the pandemic, increase cases remain a major concern for commercial property taxpayers,” Mr. Skoloff said. “S&W is helping our clients defend increase appeals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Furthermore, we are litigating the constitutionality of these matters by seeking a judicial declaration that these municipal actions violate the Uniformity Clause of state constitutions, as well as the Equal Protection guarantees of the United States Constitution.”
Achieving Commercial Property Tax Savings Based on Facts and Analysis
Skoloff & Wolfe has helped its clients turn back increase cases for both commercial and residential clients, and has obtained significant assessment reductions adding up to the billions of dollars on behalf of many commercial owners.
During challenging times in particular, properly addressing property tax issues becomes even more essential, whether you are attempting to reduce your tax burden or planning to invest in commercial property. “Failing to properly project or account for property taxes can single-handedly destabilize an investment thesis or destroy a business plan,” Mr. Wolfe said. “Skoloff & Wolfe is proud that our clients entrust us with this great responsibility and accept the challenge to deliver positive results.”
How are commercial property taxes impacting your real estate portfolio? Ask Skoloff & Wolfe.
Assessing the impact that local taxes have on your properties begins with a comprehensive, market-based analysis of your portfolio. Whether you want to analyze appeals opportunities for current properties under ownership, or require more certainty to support your research on a planned purchase, the property tax appeals attorneys at Skoloff & Wolfe have the experience, local market knowledge, and litigation expertise to deliver on your behalf. To learn more, call (973) 992-0900.