What is property tax grievance?
Property tax grievance is a formal complaint filed against a town’s assessed value on a particular parcel of property based upon comparable sales. The town places a value on every property. ie – $600,000 – if we can prove your home is worth less than that value, we will accept your grievance. If there are sales in your area that are equal and above that value, we will send you a letter stating that, in our opinion, you have no case. If a neighbor has a similar home, and has lower property taxes, it may mean that they are under assessed; it is not a basis for accepting your case. The easiest cases to win are those on homes that have been purchased within the last year or homes that are currently for sale. To help entice potential buyers we can supply a letter stating an estimated reduction for homes that are for sale.
Can they raise my taxes because I filed a grievance?
Under no circumstances can your taxes be raised due to filing a tax grievance. Your assessment can only go down or remain the same. We prequalify the home before bringing the grievance to the town’s attention, therefore if the taxes are lower than they should be we do not file the petition.
Will anyone from the assessor’s office come to my house?
No one from the assessor’s office will come to your home. We use the information that the town already has on file for your property in order not to raise any red flags. This way everything we are comparing they already know about!
Does this affect my STAR program or VA program?
Under NO circumstances will this have any effect on either the basic or enhanced STAR programs, as well as the different VA programs. The best thing about a property tax grievance reduction is that it offers you the ability to pursue an additional savings!
How often can you grieve your property taxes
You can grieve your property taxes every year. The value of your home is directly related to the fluctuating real estate market therefore your homes value has the potential to change every year. There are two levels to a property tax grievance. First we submit the paperwork to the town’s board of assessment review (BAR). Then, if necessary, we go to the small claims court level (SCAR). Homeowners can pursue a property tax grievance every year at the town level, but you are only allowed to win at the small claims court level (SCAR) every other year. For example if you go in 2009/2010 and win at both the town/small claims court, you would only be able to pursue a grievance at the town level for 2010/2011.
What is the Process?
The value of your home is directly related to the fluctuating real estate market therefore your home’s value has the potential to change every year. There are two levels to a property tax grievance. First, we submit the paperwork to the town’s Board of Assessment Review (BAR), in Nassau County it is called Assessment Review Committee (ARC), most cases are denied here. Next, we appeal your case in a division of NYS Supreme Court called Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR). Homeowners can pursue a property tax grievance every year at the town/BAR level, but are only allowed to win at the small claims court level (SCAR) every other year. For example, if you won at the Court/SCAR level as a result of a 2013 filing, you may file again at the Town/BAR level in 2014, but would have to wait till 2015 to file again at the Court/SCAR level.
When May I File and What Are The Deadlines?
The Tax Grievance filing deadline in Suffolk County is always the third Tuesday in May, this year’s filing deadline is May 17, 2016.
The Tax Grievance deadline in Nassau County is always March 1st.
We accept and recommend filing your property tax grievance now while it is fresh on your mind, since we respond to hundreds of LI residents each and every year who miss the deadline by procrastinating. There are other advantages to filing early, simply put, the more time we have to prepare your case the better result we can achieve for you. You may file your case now electronically by clicking the “Applications” or “Apply Online” tab located on this page. The entire process takes less than 2 minutes that’s why at The Heller & Clausen Tax Grievance Group we say “You Have NOTHING to Lose, except… YOUR TAXES!”
What if I’m selling my home, does it still make sense for me to grieve?
If you want to get top dollar, then yes. Studies have shown that for every $1,000 saved in property taxes, your home’s value increases by $10,000! Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes, wouldn’t you want to purchase the house with the lowest property taxes? In fact realtors have reported it is usually the second consideration purchaser’s take into account, right below asking price.
I’m selling my house, why would I want to incur any fees on a home I am selling?
Lower taxes=Selling your house faster and for more money, period! Because we charge NO upfront fees whatsoever and you are grieving your future property taxes, the buyer will become responsible for any fees, since they will be the one enjoying the lower property taxes.