Like in many other states, local governments in the state of New York rely on revenue from property taxes to fund public services such as schools, law enforcement, fire protection, parks and recreation, and road construction. These taxes ensure that communities remain safe and desirable for New Yorkers.
However, it can also impose a heavy burden on property owners. Every year, many residential and commercial owners overpay their property taxes due to incorrect assessment by the local government. And those looking to sell their property can find it challenging due to the high property taxes.
According to the National Taxpayers Union, 60 percent of properties are overvalued. If you live in areas with high property taxes such as Nassau County, a tax grievance can be your way out of a high tax bill. Here are a few things you need to know about tax grievance:
What is a tax grievance?
You are not challenging the tax, just the assessment. The tax is based on the assessed value of your property: The higher the assessed value of the real estate, the higher the taxes you pay. Local assessors determine the market value and the assessed value of your home. Once the assessors have determined the assessed values of the properties in an area, they will publish the “roll,” a list of all properties and their market and assessed values. Homeowners are free to contest the assessor’s calculation of the market and the assessed value of their property. This process is called tax grievance.
The deadline for filing a tax grievance is a few weeks after publication of the roll. In Nassau County, the tax grievance deadline has been extended from March 1, 2020 to April 2, 2020. Dates vary for other counties and cities.
Will filing a tax grievance cause my valuation to increase?
In the State of New York, people who take steps to file a tax grievance run zero risks for an increased assessment. A review of the assessment will never lead to a higher market or assessed value for a property.
Do I need an appraisal?
Tax grievances do not require an appraisal, although it can help your petition. Local assessors predict the market value of a property by comparing it to the market value of other properties in the area. If you can provide stronger evidence of lower market value, make sure to include it in your petition.
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
You do not need to hire a lawyer to represent you, but it may help. Check your local government website for the process of filing a tax grievance. In most cases, all you need to do is to fill out a form, write a letter, and to attend a hearing. However, consider hiring a lawyer if you’re unsure about the process or if you want to appeal a rejected tax grievance.
Filing a tax grievance requires little effort and a successful petition may save you a lot of money. While not all people succeed in their first attempt, you can always file again next year with zero repercussions.