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  #21  
Old 08 August 2017, 08:44 PM
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I'm thinking the fact that it was owned collectively by the HOA rather than any individual led to a "someone else's problem" line of thinking that led to this whole NFBSK up. No individual homeowner would have any reason to expect a tax bill for the street, that's the HOA's problem. The HOA's treasurer or whoever is supposed to deal with that sort of thing might not have been aware that someone 30 years ago failed to provide the city with their current accountant's address and just assumed that paying the tax bill was the accountant's problem, and so forth.
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  #22  
Old 09 August 2017, 02:38 AM
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Poor business process. It can be very costly.
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  #23  
Old 09 August 2017, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
It is not like the people that own those multi-million dollar houses have never earned money from someone else. I have a hard time worrying about the financial impact on the home owners.
It's clearly not about fininacial hardship with this group, but I do think it's about having laws that are fair to everyone, even the highly successful (a echelon I have not reached, but do not singularly condemn). If this can happen to a bunch of people who have the resources to fight it, it can easily happen to people who don't.
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  #24  
Old 09 August 2017, 04:18 AM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post

For those snopesters who live in an HOA community, have you confirmed that the tax, water, power, sewer, etc bills are all being paid correctly?
I lived in one and that property is still owned by me and is in lease status, but I have no clue what the HOA does, in terms of paying those items for HOA property.


I pay the taxes and insurance on my property and pay the HOA fees, as due.

I have had no reason to think the HOA is not current on any of their legal responsibilties.
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  #25  
Old 09 August 2017, 04:28 AM
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Errata Errata is offline
 
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I'm the president of my HOA, and this story made me go digging through financial statements, because I don't remember property tax being in our budget. We own our street, though it's not gated or restricted access, plus a lot of landscape.

After looking into it, I think the property tax on shared common areas is divided up among our individual property tax bills that we all pay. Which just makes this story weirder that the street is a separate lot that is taxed seperately and sold off this way. I wonder what the legal distinction is.

ETA: Actually looking through the check ledger, they're paying out a tiny nominal fee to the franchise tax board, which seems like something other than property tax.

Last edited by Errata; 09 August 2017 at 04:33 AM.
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  #26  
Old 09 August 2017, 02:52 PM
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I'm just not sure what other measures the city or county could have taken. I suppose they could use address verification tools when a notification is returned. Depending on how much returned mail they get, that could require additional resources, which would raise budget issues (and we all know how happy people are to fund additional government employees).

Even assuming all that worked out, there will be still be some returned pieces for which the address verification tool doesn't generate a hit. What then? Posting notifications on the property would require more resources, too.
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  #27  
Old 09 August 2017, 03:44 PM
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It's unclear to me whether the notifications were returned. If the people at the wrong address tossed them instead of returning them, how would the city know?

It does seem to me that there should be some process for confirming addresses when bills go unpaid for that long; if only, as the residents are saying, putting up a poster (while there's no building to post in this case, it sounds like one could have been put on the gate).

And it strikes me as odd that the municipality apparently let this go for thirty years without doing anything about it. Thirty years later, there might easily be nobody any longer associated with the HOA who remembers that they used to have that bill to pay; and probably many of the members aren't even the same people. Around here, you get two years, then it's published in the newspaper (though I agree that these days a publication in the newspaper might also easily be missed.)

-- Errata, you might want to call up your local tax authorities and make sure they agree with your understanding of what's going on. (I can easily imagine such authorities fielding a lot of such calls, as other HOA's notice this story in the news.)
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  #28  
Old 09 August 2017, 05:56 PM
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When my husband and I changed tax accountants, the new accountant asked us to fill out a form to inform the Swiss government that we had changed accountants and that the new accountant should receive all notices and bills. What kind of accountant wouldn't do that?

The original developer of our complex decided they no longer wanted to own the private road. The "super HOA" (we have 5 HOAs, each containing 24 properties, and then each HOA has a delegate to the super HOA) created a legal entity which bought the road and each of us pay 1.50 CHF per year for upkeep, etc. We (the collective we) got first refusal, and probably the developer would have had problems to sell the road since it is already linked to each property's deed.

HOA = may be slightly different here, but basically takes care of the shared areas in the buildings (8 condos per building), shared land and funds for maintenance and improvements (such as a new water heater for the building or removal and planing of new trees). The "super HOA" also includes a nursing home which makes things interesting in regards to shared usage cost as the nursing home has far more traffic that the residences.
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  #29  
Old 09 August 2017, 09:34 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Wait, you only pay a buck fifty a year for road upkeep? (OK, approximately US $1.56 but still.)
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  #30  
Old 09 August 2017, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
Wait, you only pay a buck fifty a year for road upkeep? (OK, approximately US $1.56 but still.)
Seems odd. It costs us an average of around $250 a year per household. This year we had cracks filled and surface sealed for around $800 per household. A couple of years ago there was a pothole that we had to excavate looking for leaks and then fill with concrete and repave, which cost some money. Most years it doesn't require anything and is closer to $0. Municipalities budget millions of dollars for this stuff.
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  #31  
Old 10 August 2017, 03:10 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
It's clearly not about fininacial hardship with this group, but I do think it's about having laws that are fair to everyone, even the highly successful (a echelon I have not reached, but do not singularly condemn). If this can happen to a bunch of people who have the resources to fight it, it can easily happen to people who don't.
I believe the laws are fair. Pretty few low and middle income properties have a privately owned street. I live on a privately owned street and the yearly maintenance fees are about $250 (considerably more than the property taxes for the street). Furthermore, those fees are a part of the property and are registered with the county as such. So, anyone buying a property on this street is notified that they are liable for both the taxes and maintenance fees.

I wonder who has been paying for the maintenance in this particular case? The city certainly wont maintain a privately owned street.
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  #32  
Old 10 August 2017, 06:52 PM
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The estimated total cost was 6000 CHF per year, with our (husband and me) part to be 30 CHF per year.

Last year's cost was 8 CHF (63 for the building / 8 homes = 7.85 CHF).

Before the street was handed over, the cracks were sealed. Snow removal is provided by the town and is already included in our taxes. Every time the utilities dig up the street (they have currently marked it for digging again), they fix what they did and do not pass the costs to us. At least, not directly.

And the road itself is built according to Swiss standard. We have lived here for 17 years and the crack repair (just put some tar down) was the first necessary maintenance during that time. And that probably would have been delayed, but it was a requirement of the ownership transfer. We actually didn't have to buy the road, it was simply transferred.

And the street is only 1 km long, basically single lane with one parallel parking on one side on parts of it.

Last edited by Die Capacitrix; 10 August 2017 at 07:01 PM.
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  #33  
Old 11 August 2017, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Snow removal is provided by the town and is already included in our taxes.
That's interesting. Around here the town doesn't do snow removal, or anything else, on a private road. If the town takes it over and does snow removal, the town also becomes responsible for road repairs, and anything else that would be done on any other town road. And the HOA, or whatever, wouldn't be able to control access.

-- we have some old private roads leading down to the lake. People who live or vacation on them often want the town to take them over, so they won't have to maintain them, or either plow them themselves or hire it done privately. But the roads weren't built to town standards, and (in addition to some of them being implausibly steep) the right of way for the road isn't wide enough; and the people living on them are unwilling to cede enough land from their lots to make the road wide enough (to be fair, some of those lots are quite small.) So they come in to the town board, every couple of years, asking the town to take their road over anyway -- which they don't seem able to understand that the town can't do, even if it wanted to, because state law says that a town road must have a minimum right of way width.

Current zoning law won't let any more situations like that be created; but can't do anything about the old ones, which predate zoning.
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  #34  
Old 11 August 2017, 05:14 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Lets see, a $90K investment, figure they need a 5% yearly return, 35 residents on the street ... $128.57/home/year. I wonder, are the street owners legally required to actually maintain the street?

And this bit of absurd indignation:
Quote:
I was shocked to learn this could happen, and am deeply troubled that anyone would choose to take advantage of the situation and buy our street and sidewalks, said one homeowner, who asked not to be named because of pending litigation.
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  #35  
Old 11 August 2017, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
That's interesting. Around here the town doesn't do snow removal, or anything else, on a private road. If the town takes it over and does snow removal, the town also becomes responsible for road repairs, and anything else that would be done on any other town road. And the HOA, or whatever, wouldn't be able to control access.
The road is legally private because it is not a thru road. The only people who should be there are the resident and their visitors. As there is a store and a nursing home, that means almost anybody can park there for a few hours. But not many people.

And the presence of the nursing home, which is the official town nursing home, means the road will be cleared very well between the entrance and the nursing home. We live on the other part of the Y, and the end is not always cleared to the same standard, but it is cleared.

Interesting article about one of the home which was for sale for 14.5 million. I shudder to think how much that would cost here.

Last edited by Die Capacitrix; 11 August 2017 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Can't cross the t if I forget to include it. :(
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  #36  
Old 11 August 2017, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Interesting article about one of the home which was for sale for 14.5 million. I shudder to think how much that would cost here.
That's got to be one of the least appealing $15 million real estate listings I've seen. The rooms all look so ordinary, in the decor and dimensions. Some of the furniture looks really cheap. It's supposed to be 9500 square feet, which is immense, but even knowing there are 7 bedrooms, given the size of some of the bedrooms they showed it's hard to see how that adds up and where the space all went. A lot of older homes have that problem to some extent. Lots of space on paper, but carved up into too many rooms that are too small (especially when it comes to bathrooms, closets, and kichens), and mostly low ceilings. But usually ones ones as large as 9500 square feet were built to be more impressive than that, no matter how old.

Last edited by Errata; 11 August 2017 at 07:53 PM.
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  #37  
Old 11 August 2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
The road is legally private because it is not a thru road.
That's different here too. I live on a dead-end road that's a public / town road. And there are occasional private roads that do go through -- you can get onto a public road from either end. So in this state, at least, that's not a distinction that has anything to do with the public/private distinction.

Different places, different rules.
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  #38  
Old 11 August 2017, 09:50 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
That's got to be one of the least appealing $15 million real estate listings I've seen.
The lot all by itself might be worth a big chunk that $15 million.
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  #39  
Old 11 August 2017, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
That's got to be one of the least appealing $15 million real estate listings I've seen.
Location, location, location.
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  #40  
Old 11 August 2017, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
The lot all by itself might be worth a big chunk that $15 million.
True. I've seen listings worth around that where it was a tiny little cottage on a few acres of beachfront property. The cottage was an obvious tear down, and the listing was essentially for the lot rather than the house, mostly focused on pictures of the land, barely acknowledging the house. But this listing has a ton of pictures of the interior of the house.

It's not a huge lot, so you're not really going to be able to build bigger, and the house there now is perfectly adequate. Not very exciting, but you'd probably fix it by remodeling rather than rebuilding. It would probably be a challenge getting permits in a place like that to do major construction. So regardless of how valuable the land may be, more than likely the buyer would be expecting to live in some version of that house as it is now, which is not the most exciting use of $15 million I've seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Location, location, location.
You can buy a pretty awesome loft in the most desirable parts of Manhattan for $15 million. It will be smaller, but a better use of the space, and nicer. Possibly not smaller on a volume basis, since the ceilings would be more spacious.

Last edited by Errata; 11 August 2017 at 10:10 PM.
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