The best way to check taxes are the tax records. I can help you with this anytime.
As for the which would be better Taxes or Mortgage. I would say Taxes, because of the possibility of the mortgage interest deduction going away. You will always be able to right off your taxes.
Call me I can help with any questions.
Not all abatements are the same, some buildings are granted lower rate abatements than others. Some can be Pilot programs which change in phases.
If you are working with a real estate agent, I hope you are, :) you should ask him or her to clarify this for you. Remember though, you should always call the tax assessors office to confirm what the taxes are, and whether an abatement is in place.
Your attorney will also confirm this information for you.
If you aren't working with anyone right now, please feel free to reach me if you'd like some assistance finding a home that doesn't have crazy high taxes!
Other buildings, like Crystal Point for example have tax abatements which greatly reduce their taxes. I personally would rather pay less in taxes, if they can be held at bay for long term that is, and buy more house.
Keep in mind, part of your property taxes can be written off on your income tax returns, as will your mortgage interest.
Taxes do not change with each sale, they change yearly with budgeting from the city or state increases or decreases.
Hope this helps!