Former Starks building owner fought assessments before selling for $14 million
The tax appeal board resolves differences between local PVAs like Lindauer and property owners who appeal assessments.
Mendel Hertz, a Hertz Investment Group partner who worked closely with the Starks building, did not return a call and email sent last Monday. Judah Hertz, CEO at Hertz's headquarters in Santa Monica, California, did not return a call placed Friday.
It's possible that market changes, or physical improvements, could have raised the building's market value between Jan. 1, 2014 – when Hertz claims it was worth $8.5 million – and April 2, when it was sold for $14.25 million.
But no building permits have been issued at the Starks address, 455 S. 4th Street, since Aug. 28, 2013, when Hertz got approval for an estimated $100 worth of “fit up” work for a new tenant, according to a search of Louisville Metro permits.
Hertz's property tax bill for 2014 was $118,881, based on its opinion that the building is worth $8.5 million. With a $9.3 million assessment, the bill would be just over $130,000, according to a WDRB analysis.
The new owner of the Starks building, which appears to be an affiliate of Florida-based Hudson Holdings, will have a tax bill of almost $200,000 based on the $14.25 million sales price, assuming tax rates do not change.
Calls to Hudson Holdings, which is reportedly planning a mix of office space, apartments and hotel rooms at the Starks building, have not been returned.
Lindauer said it's not unusual for property owners like Hertz to want the lowest possible tax value for their homes or buildings – right until they're ready to put the property on the market.
“Everybody wants their assessment kept low until they sell, and then it's gone from a shack to a palace,” he said.
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