A Tax to Grind | A Blog to Enlighten and Entertain Those Afflicted with Property Tax

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind, Seasonal

Thursday, 18 December 2014 by Advantax

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As we wrap up the celebration of our 20th year our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. We simply and sincerely say Thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your office next door!

Merry Christmas from Advantax

Shelter Island – A Property Tax Bargain?

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Thursday, 11 December 2014 by David H. LeVan

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Here’s an interesting property tax case. It’s a typical real estate property tax appeal. Typical, except that the subject property is an estate built on a private island in Montana. And the values range from $9.8 million to $41.8 million to $59.5 million, depending on who you are talking to.

The property is a 24,000 square foot home with 10,000 square feet of heated porticos situated on a private 24 acre island. The island, called Shelter Island, is on Flathead Lake in Montana, and overlooks Glacier National Park. It’s owned by Don Abbey, founder of The Abbey Company, a commercial real estate group he started in 1990. The property has been written about in Forbes and The Montana Standard.

The State of Montana has valued the property at $41.8 million. According to Fox News, Don has appealed, asking the State to reduce the property to a value of $9.8 million because the house was “overbuilt”, and in Montana. Arguments are being submitted and a two-member board will decide on the value within the next couple of months.

It’s interesting to note that the property is also currently listed on “Private Islands Online” for $59,500,000. It looks beautiful and the descriptions sound amazing! Check out the link if you’re interested in a possible purchase. Who knows? You might get a bargain. Additional good news is the property tax rates are pretty low in Montana, less than 1% in this case, so your property tax liability is only $367,000 even at the assessor’s value of $41.8 million.

Private Islands For Sale - Shelter Island Estates


Where in the World are the PropTax Monkeys?? Estonia!

Topic: A Tax to Grind, A Tax to Grind

Thursday, 04 December 2014 by Advantax

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We are sending the PropTax Monkeys packing. Well at least exploring the globe for interesting property tax facts. Join us as we embark on a great journey and discover “Where in the World are the PropTax Monkeys?” This month they are in Estonia and if you don’t know where it is, we will wait while you Google the location.

  • Estonia was the first country in the world to introduce online political voting.
  • Key drivers for Estonia’s high rank include, a property tax that only taxes the value of land and not the value of building and structures. Most countries tax both the value of land and any buildings or structures built on top of the land, which is, in effect a tax on capital. If a business builds any new structures or buildings, it results in a higher property tax bill, but not so in Estonia.
  • Roads are traffic jam free. Reflectors are mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists at all times!  I wonder if this includes monkeys?
  • Estonia allows for full expensing of capital investment. This means that when business determines its profit, it is able to account for the full cost of capital investment (plant, equipment, structure, etc.) in the year in which it is incurred.
  • The country is extremely well educated, with one of the highest literacy rates in the world.

They invented Skype…….

Advantax Monkey Estonia