Author Topic: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed  (Read 1398 times)

Offline CagedFeral

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Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« on: January 25, 2018, 05:27:51 AM »
Thought I'd wing it out there.

I used the email of my county's auditors site to ask twice now (2 months) but like any Gov't "Service" I've received and forever will get NO reply. I'd say they let me down but it'd be a lie since I completely without fail expected it! It's just disgusting how incompetent they are.

I'm going to build a storage shed this year. I don't want to pay yearly land tax for it.
I know it can't be in concrete as a permanent structure. I asked them only because I wanted to know if the 100 sq ft limit applied here.

I'm in a rural area but I've seen the Tax Boy creeping on my land twice looking at any and every reason to jack my taxes. Shady little man who never looked me in the eye.

Is it safe to go over 100 sq ft  ?

I might be ok with a  10 x 10 but a 10 x 12 would better.


I know you can't tell me for sure but I wanted to show the incompetence of Gov't to even try!

 

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 05:40:38 AM »
Have you tried a tax attorney? Formally it would cost a few bucks, but if you find out where he drinks you could probably get the answer for a beer. It's not official, but knowing is his job.

Offline scoob

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 06:38:04 AM »
I don't know where you are, but in our parts, there's a thick, black, but still somehow fuzzy line between what requires a building permit, and what is considered a taxable improvement to real property. 

Sometimes when you don't get answers from government officials, it's because they have a different language, and you ain't speaking it.

I'll call my assessor, who I've heard is a really nice guy, and an elected official by the way, and ask the question this way:  "I'm looking to put up an out-building on my property, a shed really, and I'm evaluating the property tax consequences of doing so.  At what point does a moveable structure (no foundation) become a taxable improvement?" I might add,  "I'm not trying to get out of paying tax. I just like to be informed of all the costs, especially on-going costs, of a project."  In my head, maybe I am trying avoid more taxes, but that's my business. We're in a small county, so most of our officials are accessible by phone directly.

Point is: Often times, it's the language you use when you ask. You might have asked all the right questions the right way, and the brick wall is all you're gonna get. But increase your odds of a useable answer by really paying attention to how you ask the questions.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 07:35:51 AM »
What is your zoning? I am in AG/F10. Which means I can built agriculture buildings, or buildings related to forestry. If it is 12x16' or under no permit is required. My barn will have a non-inspection, but  the permit will cost me under $40. On my six acres, and with one 12x16' building, my taxes were $18.27. My point being, your building may not add much tax, depending on how the list it. Mine is listed as a "utility building'. 

I will be building a few more buildings, and other than the main house, do not think my taxes will go up.much for the outbuildings. But go to your property tax building and inquire. Mine is a really nice foreign born person, who is very helpful. The reason I added the foregn born part, is that the extension in this county, who are supposed to be helpful, all three I am attempting to work with, we're probably brought up in this county, are anything but helpful.

Cedar

Offline surfivor

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 08:14:06 AM »
 My wood shed at my camp is a stick lean to type frame with a large tarp over it. It will hold a heavy load of snow and keeps the elements out mostly. The only thing it doesn't do is lock up and it's not insulated. I could make something like that that had 4 walls instead of 3 by just hanging a tarp over the front part. I sometimes do do that. I started to make a bigger one to store stuff in but I didn't finish it. I just run a large cedar plank between two trees and then use maple beams I cut myself. All the wood used to construct it is just beams cut from the forest using mostly small trees that where 2.5 to 4 inches in diameter. .. I doubt they could tax me on it even if it was fairly large or I had 2 or 3 such things. I would only want a better shed to either heat in the winter or to have a door that locks but I have a 20 foot storage container that locks
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 08:19:45 AM by surfivor »

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2018, 03:58:58 AM »
I'm just down on our auditor's office right now. We built a 2 bedroom 28x32 in-law house last year. I've been paying $1300 p/yr on 5 acres and our house plus a garage. Not bad I guess but I'm guessing the new house is going to bump it up a good bit. That's why I'm wanting to avoid anything that jumps it up more. I'm also not happy with their GIS site.

Oh and the guy they send out wanted to claim my little pool deck was a permanent porch on an above ground pool. I think he'd try to jack my rates for a picnic table if it looked too sturdy.

I'll have to see if the wife can stop in and ask some day.

I think I'd be fine with a 10x12 on skids out here but you just never know. I've read that some counties will tax anything over 100sqft.

I'm out in unincorporated rural county SE Ohio. Not many restrictions here except maybe the septic systems they require now. It's over kill and cost $10000 for the new house.

Cedar, This is a "Good ol Boy" county. I've wrote a check to the same auditor for 21 years. We did get a new sheriff finally and he seems to mean business. He's going hard after the opioid problem.

Offline Fixit

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2018, 06:59:57 AM »
Ah I love were I live. Zoning In the county ? We have no zoning in the county . Taxes on outbuilding nope. The tax is based only on acres plus square footage of heated living space .
 Your best answer really will be a face to face with the assessors office.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 09:17:31 AM »
Where I live the laws are very clear about what is and isn't allowed. That said it's more to do with the neighbors.

My next door neighbor got a code call because he put a massive (and ugly) tent in the backyard. about 12'x20'x15' high. It was an ugly eyesore made of tarps that he welded in. We had a little meeting over beers about how many neighbors were upset that he had to stop his welding side hustle.

Here's the odd part... Virtually nobody around me is in compliance with the code. Looking out the back window right now the people behind me have way too large a shed too close to the property line. On my side the neighbor technically put his fence on my land but as I told him what kind of ass would whine over a couple inches? The fence company measured wrong and it is what it is.

When I put in my shed I found it quite clear that I could do no bigger than 120 square feet and no closer than 2 feet from the property. And that's exactly what I did. I bet the city doesn't even know. But almost none of my neighbors are compliant and doing fine. We get away with anything as long as it's not an eyesore.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 05:52:39 AM »
Building a 10x10 is dumb when a 10x12 cost nearly the same.

I'm only hoping for a way to make gov't kiss my ass. Sorry but yeah. It's a good thing.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 06:33:47 AM »
In our county the no-permit limit is 200 sqft.  I don't think there is any restriction on foundation or permanency. And I know for a fact they use Google Earth (probably an annual update service) to scour the properties for new buildings and changes and "unkempt/hazard" yards.  So maybe paint the roof in a color/pattern that matches the surrounding ground and build it quick enough it isn't captured by satellite.  Or, pour a concrete slab first, let it sit for a coupe of years and then build  the shed over it and paint thee roof same as the concrete, or paint the original concrete the same color as the eventual roof.

Helps if the shed is not visible from the road/sidewalk.

Our neighborhood also has several projects not in compliance, but many may be grandfathered in as most were built in the 1980s.  And I doubt the code compliance dept actually scans images of EVERY property every year.  They most likely just investigate when a complain from a neighbor is made.  They came to me once and showed my the satellite before and after images of what they thought was a neighbor property asking me if I knew whose it was.  Looking at their documentation I realized they wanted the WEST end of addresses and we are on the EAST end of the street.  I pointed that out to them and they went on their way.  I was impressed/creeped by their imagery though.  Pretty much could see detail down to the square foot level; see individual logs in a wood pile, size of tarps, toys or garbage on lawn, etc.

Online Stwood

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 08:20:11 AM »
No codes here except for sewer.

But go to town, and it's very different. Put wheels under the building, and they can't tax as permanent.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 05:29:36 AM »
I was going to build it on 6x6 skids. Cut and ready to pull in appearance anyway.

I really want to J hook it down even though it's over kill. We have had tornado's run through here tough. Very rare but I'm getting at that age where I really want to avoid any future problems.

The tax man might reach under and find my bolts. It could back fire on me if I try.

I'm pretty much set on a 10x12 with a 6/12 roof.  Local gov't can't simply reply to a clear question by email so I'll be foolish and assume I'm somewhat free out here in rural county.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 06:23:25 AM »
Permits are about collecting money.  They do not see themselves as a "service" to the public.  We were supposed to get a permit for our wood burning stove and have it inspected.  We visited in person, called, wrote letters.  Nada. Once they had our money they had no interest in coming out to inspect.  Contractors who are in there frequently filing and paying for permits have some rapport with them, but individual citizens are not on the radar apparently.

I wouldn't sweat it.  Build as close to code as you can (usually a good idea for most things anyway) and if you have a slight deviation from non-permit required specs, like the J-hooks, then just plead ignorance and say you'll remove them to make it mobile again.  Bureaucrats seek the path of least paperwork.  Especially the further you get outside of the urban area.  The thing is to make it look good and not trashy, and not leaning over as a hazard or wires hanging out of it!  If there is no apparent reason for them to take interest when driving by then it will likely stay off the radar.  Paint it the same color scheme as your house so it looks like it belongs.  Or as near to it as you can.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Avoiding yearly tax on a shed
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 02:51:55 AM »
NWPilgrim, Thanks. I might try the email one more time before I build. I'm sure it will be ignored for a 3rd time though.

I'm out in unincorporated county so I'm going to go ahead with a 10x12 material list. I'm most likely fine but I've heard that some places will hit you for anything over 100 sqft.   

I plan on building it nice. Vinyl siding to match garage