Appeal Your Property Tax Bill
Anyone who wishes to appeal their property bill needs to first of all carefully read their real estate assessment. You can actually reduce your property tax bill and the best way to do that is to appeal the value that your home was assigned by the taxman. It’s this value that’s used for calculating the amount of tax you owe.
If you want to reduce your property tax, then you first of all need to show that your home’s value is lower than the value assessed by the taxman. To do the initial research, you can call your real estate agent or do some quick online research. If you do indeed find out that your property’s value was assessed to be higher than it actually is, then the appeal process can take months.
Read the Assessment Letter
The real estate tax is regularly assessed by the local government. When you receive the letter about it in the mail, it will contain info about your property, such as its assessed value (including that of your land), legal description, but also lot size.
To calculate your property tax bill, you need to multiply your local tax rate with your property’s assessed value.
If you discover that the value of your home is higher than it should be, be sure to challenge it right away. The process should take thirty days or less.
To challenge your assessment, be sure to consider the following steps:
1.Think about Whether an Appeal Is Something You Want To Go Forward With
The stakes are what determine the amount of effort you want to put into a challenge.
If you can lower your property’s assessed value by fifteen percent then your tax bill should go down approximately 15% as well.
In Suffolk County NY, the tax rates are about four percent of a property’s assessed value, in Nassau County rates are about eleven percent meaning that the savings potential is higher. The same goes for communities where property prices are above the median.
2. Verify the Data
Check the data for your home and make sure it’s correct. This includes the size of the lot, number of fireplaces, bathrooms, etc. If you find anything wrong, challenge it right away.
3. Get the Comps
Speak to a realtor to learn more about 3 to 5 properties that were recently sold. You may also want to head over to realtor.com to check the value of similar properties to yours in terms of location, condition, style, and size. If you want, you can spend anywhere between three hundred and fifty to six hundred dollars to hire an appraiser and receive a professional opinion about your property’s value.
Once you find comps, verify their assessments. If your local government has no data on them, hire a real estate agent to help you learn more about this. If you discover that the assessments on your comp are lower, you can then argue that yours is higher than it should be.
You can have a case for relief based on equity if you can prove that the comparable properties are better than yours. For instance, it could be that while you were trying to clean up water damage, your neighbor added an addition to their home. In this case, the properties aren’t comparable anymore.
4. Present your Case
Ring your local assessor’s office and see what they have to say about your case. If you’re not happy with their answer, you may request a formal review. Fill out any necessary forms and pay attention to procedures and deadlines. A review may take between 30 and 90 days and usually does not require you to appear in person. Once a decision is taken, you’ll receive it in writing.
5.If You Don’t Like the Review, Be Sure To Appeal It
The decision can be appealed to NYS Supreme Court, Small Claims Assessment Review Division, SCAR for short, and you don’t have to actually hire a tax grievance company to do so. A filing fee may have to be paid (Thirty dollars). Keep in mind that this process may take up to one and a half years. Luckily, homeowners win (more than 50% of the tax appeals in Nassau and Suffolk Counties).
While weighing the appeal, consider the following:
- Only your real estate assessment can be reduced and not the rate you’re taxed at.
- Under NYS law your assessment can not be raised.
- The sale price (if you plan on selling your home) may be negatively impacted if your assessment is reduced before putting your home up for sale.
If you want to save money, then you should learn more about whether you qualify for property tax exemptions based on factors such as military service, disability, age, etc. Your local assessor can handle these type of requests as well.
Long Island Tax Grievance Process
Contrary to popular belief, the process of real estate tax reduction is not lengthy. In fact, with the right Tax Grievance firm, your grievance will be settled successfully and quickly. The Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance is the Long Island Tax Grievance agency that you need to file your case and reduce your taxes without any hassle.
To get started, visit our website grieveourtaxes.com and complete the simple Nassau Tax Grievance or Suffolk Tax Grievance application form to sign up with us. Please note that we do not charge you anything until the case is won and your taxes are reduced. In the case we cannot get you the reduction, you will not pay us anything. We will pay the filing fee, appraisal cost, and other costs.
Upon receiving authorization, we thoroughly analyze your property to determine whether or not you can receive tax reductions. If we determine your property can not receive any reductions, we will inform you of that at that time and will not continue to file a tax reduction claim. If we find that your property has been overassessed, we will immediately do an appraisal and file a complaint with the office of the assessor. The assessor’s office gives property owners a few weeks window to file their tax reduction grievances, the last day of the period is known as the grievance day. To ensure that your grievance meets the deadline, we at Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance make all the prior arrangements for you.
We present your grievance to the Board of Assessment Review which is composed of homeowners in your local town. After reviewing your grievance, the board decides whether your tax reduction is warranted and publishes their decision within a period of 6 weeks. At this point, they determine whether your property will get a reduction.
Our staff analysts will then discuss whether the reduction is satisfactory or not. If not, we file a SCAR (Small Claims Assessment Review). This is a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court. The assessor will then contact us and make an offer based on what the property value is. If we find that the offer is reasonable, we accept it and write a Stipulation of Settlement. We will then sign a settlement with the assessor and file it in the county courthouse.
If still we are not satisfied by what the assessor has offered, we go to trial and leave it up to judge to decide what the property is worth. When the judge makes a decision, we send you a copy of the decision and the bill. In some cases, the court case can take a period of up to one and a half years.
Upon a successful tax reduction grievance, your assessment will stay reduced for many years unless you make major improvements in your house or there is a town-wide re-assessment on all the properties. Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance only charge 50% of first year’s savings only if we succeed and your taxes get reduced.
If you have any further questions call us at 631-782-3177.
Author: Justine Lorelle LoMonaco | Published: Monday, January 27, 2014
Discovering that your home is being taxed at a higher value than it is worth means it’s time to start grieving. But don’t worry—that doesn’t mean investing in a box of tissues and complaining. Filing a grievance against the town’s valuation of a home can reduce its taxes for the following three years.
To begin the process, a homeowner needs to establish that the home has been appraised at a higher price than current market value. This can be done by proving that comparable homes in the neighborhood sold within the last year for less than your home’s value (as indicated on the tax bill). Attorney Dale Allinson, real estate tax partner at Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, said a key for homeowners to remember is that both Nassau and Suffolk counties have specific grievance deadlines; March 1 for Nassau and May 20 for Suffolk.
Successfully grieving taxes can take anywhere from a year to two years. Suffolk County homeowners grieve for the current year’s taxes and can expect to wait another 12 to 15 months to receive their refunds. Nassau homeowners file for the next year’s taxes and usually do not receive refunds because the county generally tries to resolve the case and adjust the bill before it comes out. Before filing, homeowners should gather the necessary paperwork; forms can be found on each county’s website. “You need proof of the recent market value of your home,” Allinson said. “You can research comparable sales in your neighborhood, but the best evidence is if you have recently purchased your home [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][for a certain value].” Residents must initially complete the pages of NYS Form RP-525 and submit it to the county’s assessor’s office. If denied, the RPTL-730 can be submitted to the county clerk’s office.
If the thought of all that paperwork and court time is overwhelming, homeowners can leave the filing in the hands of a specialized property tax grievance firm. According to Adam Heller, founder and CEO of Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance , this can save the homeowner headaches as these services usually take care of everything. “In Suffolk County, the overwhelming majority of cases are declined at the Board of Assessment Review. This requires taking the town to Small Claims Assessment Review, a division of the New York State Supreme Court,” Heller said. “Unless the consumer is familiar with the NYS Supreme Court system and has access to an appraisal completed by a licensed appraiser, they will likely be better suited to have a property tax grievance company handle the process.”
Heller said last year he saved a client in Nassau $21,589 a year while someone else with a similar house on the same street only trimmed $3,500 a year off the property tax. He pointed to the importance of starting the process with the right assessment. Most grievance services charge up to 50 percent of first year’s savings, plus a $75 appraisal fee and a $30 court fee.
Allinson and Heller agree that the sooner the process is started, the better. “What I hear from my clients all the time is that they wish they started the process sooner because it is so lengthy,” Heller said. “You can’t grieve past tax years, so they should begin right away.”
Sell Your Home Faster For More Money
Help #1-Makes your home more attractive to a buyer by reducing the annual property taxes burden.
Help #2-We will issue you and your agent a letter to show potential buyers. The letter will state that the property taxes are being professionally grieved in addition to showing annual projected savings.
Help #3-Reducing property taxes by only $1,000 annually would allow a buyer to spend up to $20,000 more on a home.
Help #4-Because the buyer will enjoy the future property tax savings, they pay the fee.
Help #5-The second question a buyer asks is how much are the property taxes? The first is what is the asking price?
The Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance
“Long Island Property Tax Grievance Professionals”
Serving Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Phone: 631-782-3177 ext 171
“You have nothing to lose except your taxes!”
Nassau County Tax Grievance has been a hot button for years now in the press ever since the county was court ordered to reassess in 2002. The reassessment for better or worse has caused a multitude of issues for both Nassau County and its homeowners’. Then Ed Mangano, Nassau Counties current County Supervisor, who among other policies has frozen tax assessments for the past 3 years in a row,. This policy has added as much confusion as perhaps the entire reassessment itself, and remains a mainstay of his current 2013 re-election campaign.
“Mangano has been on a top secret mission to under-assess the entire counties assessment roll”
But what you have not seen in the press is the fact that Mangano has been on a top secret mission to under-assess the entire counties assessment roll. Under-assessing the counties roles is a brilliant solution in that, eventually, it will prohibit future property tax grievance challenges. The main problem is that in the mean time tax rates must increase in order for the county and school districts to fund their respective budgets. This, much like Obama Care, relies on every resident actually filing a grievance, if they don’t they will penalized by paying much higher tax bills. This is because Nassau residents who don’t file will get hit with the one two punch of a higher assessment in addition to a higher tax rate. As a result there will be thousands of Nassau homeowners paying twice as much as their neighbor.
“As a result there will be thousands of Nassau homeowners paying twice as much as their neighbor”
Due to Nassau’s counties current “under-assessment” policy, EVERY Nassau homeowner should file a property tax grievance each and every year. My firm, Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance has been successfully representing Nassau County Homeowners since 2006. I am proud of my companies over 98% success rate. Unlike some other companies we charge ABSOLUTELY NOTHING upfront and you won’t pay a dime unless we successfully lower your property tax bill!
“Remember, if you don’t grieve, you are effectively paying your neighbor’s property taxes.”