5 Surprising Environmental Factors That Could Affect Your Commercial Property Assessment

If you are looking to appeal your property taxes, your success will largely be determined by whether or not your commercial property is accurately assessed. However, a commercial real estate appraisal can be influenced by many factors, and the appraiser used by your local government may not take everything into account. As a commercial property owner, it is important to understand that environmental factors can affect the value of your property, and therefore your assessment. Here are 5 important environmental factors that assessors should be taking into consideration when determining the value of your real property.

  1. Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is created when Uranium and Thorium degrade. Due to Radon’s high density, it tends to accumulate in low areas of buildings such as basements and crawl spaces. Radon’s radioactivity and its gaseous state make this element a health hazard, and it’s the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Luckily, Radon is easily abated through various methods, and buildings can be made safe for residents and employees. Even after abatement, it’s important to make sure your representative is aware that radon exists as it could continue to affect the market value of the property.

  1. Erosion

Erosion is caused by rain and wind removing the top layer of soil and vegetation. While this is normal in small amounts, major soil erosion causes rain water and snow melt to go unabsorbed and can cause flooding, leaking basements, and uneven sidewalks and parking lots. Erosion that goes unchecked can be disastrous when it weakens tree roots and retaining walls. It’s possible to manage erosion with landscaping and proper drainage, and it’s likely that it will be less obvious in the summer when there’s less rain, so make your assessor aware if erosion is an issue on your property.

  1. Soil Contamination

If your property is near an airport, harbor, landfill, foundry, or an industrial or mining site, it’s important to have your soil tested for contamination. The most common types of contaminates are oil spills from underground storage tanks, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers from agriculture, and lead and other heavy metals. Since soil contamination can affect large areas of space, it’s important to hire a company like Realty Tax Challenge that is familiar with your area and will know if any of your neighbors have this issue.

  1. Vibrations

Ask anyone who has lived near railroad tracks about the challenges and you’re bound to hear stories of rattling windows and falling plaster. Commercial properties located near railroads, airports, elevated trains, and highways will likely have the same issues. Vibrations transmitted through a structure can affect foundations, structural integrity, and be a general noisy nuisance, all of which can negatively affect property value.

  1. Excess Land

Common sense will tell us that more land is always better, but in the case of property taxes, excess land may be distorting the value of your commercial property. An experienced assessor will be able to tell you if your jurisdiction will make adjustments for excess land. They might even suggest having the land surveyed and established as a separate parcel. Some areas have laws that preserve certain land as open space.

The environmental factors on this list are just a few of the things you may not have considered when it comes to determining the value of your property. At Realty Tax Challenge, we have been helping commercial property owners in NY with real estate tax reductions for over 22 years, and we are experts in reducing your assessment to the lowest possible. We can provide insights and access to information about your property that can help you lower your assessment. Please contact us at 914-348-9473 for a free consultation today if you think any of these environmental factors might be a concern for you, or to find out more about the many factors that can affect the value of your property.

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