How much is my case worth?
While every case is different, there are some basic lessons that the attorneys at McKirdy & Riskin have learned in their decades of experience representing property owners against the government in eminent domain, redevelopment and property tax matters. Having skilled and experienced counsel involved can help you address and answer these very important questions:
- Is the government’s offer of compensation in an eminent domain matter fair? Over the years, our answer to this question has been no almost every time. To determine the fair or “just” compensation, you will need a proper evaluation so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed. The valuation of real estate can be very complex and requires experienced counsel to guide the property owner in understanding the legal issues and, where appropriate, hiring the right additional experts, such as real estate appraisers or other consultants, to work on the owner’s team.
- In eminent domain cases involving “partial” takings of property, does the taking of a portion of the property have any impact upon the remainder of the property? Taking a portion of your property can have significant negative impacts on the remaining property such as the loss of parking and maneuverability, the elimination of access, or the impairment of the use of the property for a specific purpose. All of these possible impacts can create what are referred to as severance damages, which form part of the just compensation for the taking.
- Am I paying too much in property tax? While most of us believe that our property tax expenses are too high, a property tax appeal can only be successful if the tax assessment on the property is too high. This is measured by evaluating whether the assessment reflects the fair market value of the property as of the relevant date. Many towns in New Jersey use an “equalization ratio” to translate the assessment to the fair market value. Your potential tax savings can only be measured by the amount of money you could save if the assessment is too high, warranting a reduction of that assessment. The bigger the reduction in the assessment, the bigger the savings.
- What is the “highest and best use” of the property? Every valuation case – whether it be an eminent domain or property tax matter – requires that the appraisal consider the legally permissible, physically possible, financially feasible and maximally productive use of the property. This can include future uses of property, such as a property along a highway currently used as a residential dwelling which might be more valuable if the building was either converted to commercial purposes or demolished so that a new commercial building could be constructed upon the land. The determination of the highest and best use is the foundation of every appraisal and is critical to the client’s potential for a fair, successful outcome.
These are just some of the questions that need to be answered to property evaluate your case. At McKirdy & Riskin, we have helped thousands of clients over the course of nearly 50 years in achieving fair outcomes where the government has unfairly estimated the value of real property in eminent domain and property tax matters.
Dealing with the government can be confusing and exhausting. Many people feel that they are being treated unfairly but don’t know what to do or don’t think they have a choice. For nearly 50 years, McKirdy & Riskin has helped level the playing field for its clients, and knows how to fight City Hall and the State in order to get the results that its clients deserve.