Category Archives: Government

New Yorkers Feeling The Pinch Over The End Of SALT (State and Local Tax Deduction)

mining for salt photo

Tax Reform, Tax Cuts, Boon for the Middle Class and Tax Breaks for the Rich are but some of the names being applied to describe the tax legislation Congress is currently debating! The potential to rescind the state and local tax deduction, or SALT as it is commonly known, has many New Yorkers and residents of the other […]

2018 Nassau County Budget: Legislators Attempt Fiscal Sleight Of Hand (And Fail)

trick up your sleeve photo

The good news? The proposed budget-balancing Nassau County fee increases to record real estate transaction documents and mortgage refinancing documents were voted down by the County Legislature! While the increased revenue from these very unpopular fees are much needed to balance Nassau County’s budget, to vote them in would not have been the politically expedient thing to […]

Nassau County: Bipartisan Political Gamesmanship And Empty Gestures Surround Proposed Real Estate Fee Hikes

jones beach tower photo

Both Republican and Democratic Party legislators in New York’s Nassau County have filed bills opposing the egregious proposed real estate fee hikes designed to fill deficit holes in the 2018 County budget! Of course, in the current political environment, rather than consensus for where the lost revenue might be made-up were these proposed increases not […]

Are You An Activist Focused On The Real Estate Industry In New York? Specifically, Nassau County…

long island homes photo

If not, should you be? The term activist when describing an individual, or activism when describing a group of activists focused on a specific issue, conjures up a variety of mental images! And of course the intensity and ferocity of the images will typically vary depending on the scope of the issue and the emotions […]

Political Commentary: Throw All The Bums Out*!

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Note: Rereading this nonpartisan commentary after it was done I questioned whether it had any place being published in a business venue. However, as all businesses are subject to the impact of both the consequences and unintended consequences that the decisions out of Washington (and our states) create, I determined that it was. Throw All […]

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders That Seek To Identify High-End Cash Buyers In Certain Cities Extended!

FinCEN extends the Geographic Targeting Orders

Anti-money Laundering GTO extended for 180 days The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Treasury has extended the Geographic Targeting Order (GTO), set to expire tomorrow Feb 24. The new GTO is identical to the current order and will not expand the cities or the dollar thresholds. Borough of Manhattan, N.Y.; $3 million […]

Have Governments And Banks Learned Nothing From The 2008 Financial Crisis?

Government Bonds And Consumer Debt Levels Soar While Bailouts Remain The Norm! This is an excellent read from an article at City Journal! These are some of the general takeaways… Some Key Points: ‘Bailouts remain the norm worldwide’ ‘In 2008, the world’s major central banks held little more than $6 trillion in assets, according to […]

Hallmark Abstract’s News 12 Long Island Interview About The New Suffolk County Mortgage Recording Fees!

Suffolk County mortgage recording fees

On December 2, 2016 Hallmark Abstract President Michael Haltman wrote an article concerning the significant new mortgage recording fees set to be imposed by Suffolk County, New York! In the article Haltman opined that the new fees represented ‘an egregious money grab and as regressive a tax as has been seen in some time! And, by some […]

Nancy Pelosi Opines About Real Estate Closing Costs On Long Island…Affordable! (Video)

New

Update December 7, 2016: The new fee discussed below has been passed by the Suffolk County legislature per the County website… $300.00 per document   MORTGAGE VERIFICATION FEE effective January 1, 2017 In this short video clip Nancy Pelosi opines about the proposed increase in certain real estate fees and the implementation of some wholly new ones by […]

Are Governments Raising Revenue Through Regressive Taxes Disguised As Fees?

  Question: How do government entities, whether federal, state, county or local, raise revenues in ways other than by increasing taxes? Answer: By increasing fees or creating entire new classes of fees. A perfect example of this from the recent past would be the tax map verification letter fee imposed by Nassau County back in early 2015 that was then tripled only […]