Several months ago, a few of us at Alfano Law Office noticed the frequency with which our office fights municipalities to protect property rights. Property rights are more than just things in your home or office. They include the right to use and develop land, the right to be paid full market value should the government take your property through eminent domain, and the right to due process before a town can change the legal status of your street.
You also have the right to decide where your property goes upon your death. If you do not make that decision, the legislature has made it for you, and their decision may surprise you.
And then, of course, there are taxes. You have the Constitutional right to pay only your proportional share of the taxes in your town or city, based on the relative value of everyone’s real estate. If the assessed value of your real estate is too high, your local government not only takes more of your property (money) than it should, but the excess tax also decreases the value of your real estate. Why? Because a bank will include your real estate taxes in deciding how much of a loan to give a prospective buyer. The higher the taxes, the smaller the loan, and the less someone will be able to pay for your real estate, thus reducing its value.
For commercial real estate, the higher the taxes, the lower the net operating income, thus making the property less attractive to a buyer. A buyer will compensate by offering a lower price.
Seeing a pattern in our work, the lawyers and staff gathered off-site to consider whether we already had a mission, but just never stopped to consider what it was. We talked it through, kicked it around at our weekly meetings, and our mission became clear:
unfailing commitment to legal excellence, creativity, and justice.
Our affiliated companies, Allobar Strategies and RETaxRefund.com, handle the real estate tax work. The law firm handles everything else.
You will hear more about our mission in the coming months. Many sacrificed life and liberty to make sure you and I have the right to own property, and Alfano Law Office is proud to carry the torch forward to protect that right.