TALK TO AN EXPERT NOW

Nassau County: (516) 342-4849
Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940

TALK TO AN EXPERT NOW

Nassau County: (516) 342-4849

TALK TO AN EXPERT NOW
Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940
Everything You Need to Know About Tax Grievance on Long Island

Everything You Need to Know About Tax Grievance on Long Island

What Information Do You Need To Know About Tax Grievance?

  • What a tax grievance is
  • How property taxes are assessed
  • How to qualify for a tax grievance
  • Do you need a professional to grieve your taxes?

What is a tax grievance?

 A tax grievance occurs when the property owner feels they are overpaying on their property tax, or that the value of their home is less than the town has assessed. Information is then collected to determine whether or not a tax grievance can be filed. The tax grievance service then does its own assessment of the property. If it is determined that the property has been over-assessed by the town, or its taxes are higher than they should be, a tax grievance company can begin the tax reduction process.

If the tax grievance company cannot determine that the property has been over-assessed, the property owner will receive a letter stating that there is not a viable tax grievance case. In addition, the tax assessment for surrounding homes does not determine the taxes on a particular property. There is a possibility that other homes in the neighborhood are under-assessed and cannot be used as a baseline for comparison.

Property tax reduction can be done for both commercial and personal properties. If a tax has been imposed on a property within a town’s jurisdiction, and if someone is paying those taxes, a grievance can be filed. A tax grievance company works closely with residents to get them the lowest tax reduction possible, regardless of whether it is a commercial or personal property.

Interested in filing a property tax grievance in Suffolk or Nassau county? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about finding a tax reduction consultant and filing a tax grievance on Long Island!

 How Property Taxes Are Assessed

 Every town places a value on each piece of property, including the surrounding land, and the property owner is required to pay taxes based on the assessment. These taxes are used to fund local establishments, such as schools, law enforcement services, and water and sewage services. The taxes paid essentially help the town/county maintain itself, funding jobs that are not otherwise paid for but are a necessity for the area.

Per the assessed value, the property owner pays the particular amount that the town prompts them to. At times, property owners feel that their property taxes are above average and are interested in taking action to decrease their payments. Property tax reduction can be attempted only after a tax grievance has been filed.

tax-grievance-appraisal

How Filing a Tax Grievance Affects Property Taxes and Other Programs

 Many property owners are concerned that filing for a property tax refund will affect not only their taxes directly but also programs associated with their taxes. Fortunately, property tax exemptions will not change after a grievance is filed. Increasing taxes on a property due to filing a tax grievance is illegal. Tax consultants assess the property before filing a grievance petition with the town, and if there is not an adequate difference in the assessments, no petition will be filed.


Additionally, filing for a tax grievance will not affect STAR or VA programs. Filing for a property tax reduction helps you save money, cannot increase your tax payments or alters current programs you are associated with. Since the tax reduction consultants perform the assessment based on the town’s public information, no officials will be visiting your home for any reason. Everything is assessed based on public information so it will come at no surprise to the officials who assess the town’s properties.

 How To Qualify and How Often You Can File

 Once you have contacted a tax reduction service, an assessment will be done on your property. This information will be cross-referenced with the public records that the town has on file. If it is determined, by the tax reduction service, that the property is over-assessed, you qualify to file a tax reduction petition.

Fortunately, if your petition is denied by the town, you can file a new petition every year. Since the value of your home relies on the constantly fluctuating real estate market, there is always an opportunity to file for a tax grievance in every new year.

how-to-qualify-for-property-tax-grievance

The Process of Filing For a Tax Grievance

 In Suffolk County:

Step 1: File your tax grievance petition with your local BAR (Board of Assessment Review) by the filing deadline

 Step 2: It is common at this point to receive a denial 2-3 months after filing

 Step 3: After you have received your denial, you can file an appeal in the NYS Supreme Court, SCAR division within a 30-day time frame

 Step 4: After filing with the SCAR division, you have only 10 days to serve a copy of your appeal/SCAR petition to your local Treasurer, Town Assessor, Town Clerk, and school district

 Step 5: Wait 6-18 months for your court date

 Step 6: At this point, you will be presenting your tax grievance case in court

If you are filing your petition solely by yourself, without a tax grievance specialist, you are responsible for presenting your case against the experienced town assessor.

In Nassau County:

Step 1: File your tax grievance petition with your ARC (Assessment Review Commission) by the filing deadline

 Step 2: It is typical to receive a denial 6-12 months later

 Step 3: After you have received your denial, you can file an appeal in the NYS Supreme Court, SCAR division within a 30-day time frame

 Step 4: After filing with the SCAR division, you have only 10 days to serve a copy of your appeal/SCAR petition to your local Treasurer, Town Assessor, Town Clerk, and school district.

 Step 5: Wait 4-6 months for your court date

 Step 6: At this point, you will be presenting your tax grievance case in court

 Once again, if you are filing your petition without a tax grievance specialist, you are responsible for presenting your case against the town assessor, they’ll handle the entire process for you.

Note that Suffolk Counties filing date is always the third Tuesday in May, with the next deadline being May 21, 2019. The property tax reduction filing deadline for Nassau County is always set at March 1st but this year has been moved to April 30, 2019.

Unfortunately, many property owners miss these deadlines simply due to procrastination. There are many benefits to filing early, including additional time for the tax reduction consultants to thoroughly fight your case. The later you file, the less time they will have to put together a quality petition. File today to prevent missing the deadline for Nassau and Suffolk Counties!

reduce-property-taxes

Selling Your Home? Filing A Tax Grievance Can Still Benefit You

 Thinking of selling your home within the next couple of years? Not sure why you would want to put the time and effort into filing a tax grievance when you will be moving from the property soon? The answer is simple – lower taxes equals a more marketable property.

“The answer is simple – lower taxes equals a more marketable property.”

When buying a new home, most people take taxes into consideration. If your properties taxes are higher than the properties around it, there is a good chance prospective buyers will overlook your property and attempt to buy a property with lower taxes. On the flip side, competitive taxes in the area will make your home stand out among the other properties in the neighborhood.

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Benefits Of Hiring An Experienced Tax Grievance Consultant

 Can you file a tax grievance on your own? Simply put – yes, you can. But why would you want to? When it comes to property taxes, there is a lot of legal jargon involved that the average person may not understand. This misunderstanding can lead to incorrectly filing, missing deadlines, and not having the upper hand with local court systems.

While it is very possible to file a tax grievance on your own, it is not recommended. After going through the process of filing for a tax grievance, it is up to the homeowners to provide information to the courts. Under NYS law, the property owners are responsible for providing the burden of proof, while there are professional assessors arguing against your case.

Hiring an experienced tax grievance specialist provides you with the knowledge necessary to win your tax grievance case. Without the training and education of a tax professional, you may not get the outcome you desire. Heller and Associates fight long and hard to get every property owner the tax reduction they desire.

What Are the Fees Involved With Filing a Tax Grievance?

The best part of working with Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance is their no-fee policy – you are only charged a service fee if your taxes are reduced after their efforts. Once your property taxes have been reduced, you will owe 50% of the reduction amount. For example, if Heller & Consultants were able to reduce your taxes by $3,000 per year, your fee would be $1,500 for their services.

Why Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance?

 The licensed professionals at Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance serve Suffolk and Nassau counties with an aggressive, ambitious mindset. Their goal is to reduce the client’s property taxes as low as legally possible.

Additionally, they hold the record reductions in both Nassau County of $73,000 a year and Suffolk of over $17,000 a year.  With over $30 million saved within the last 10 years, Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance strives every day to provide the best service to Long Island Residents.

Nassau County Grievance Filing On Property Tax

Nassau County Grievance Filing On Property Tax

As of 2 January 2018, The Nassau County Department of Assessment carried out an assessment on each property in the region. At times, the assessments might be inaccurate. The question here is “What would you do if you got an inaccurate property assessment?

Well, you can make an appeal whereby you fill an application with the Assessment Review Commission. You should do so not later than 1 March 2018. Grieving an assessment applies to everyone inclusive of contract vendees, property owners, and lease tenants.

Unfortunately, if you fail to file your grievance within the deadline, you can’t file for one in that year. Luckily, at Heller & Consultants, we can assist in knowing whether you have additional open tax years in the past.

If you do, our responsibility is to include your tax years in the current year. Then we’ll negotiate them together. However, you should always beat deadlines to avoid losing lots of money on inaccurate taxes.

At Heller & Consultants, we don’t charge our customers upfront fee when they grieve their Nassau county property taxes. Instead, we take the fee from their return – only when they get the reduction.

Tax rates in Nassau County have increased because of the DAF (Disputed Assessment Fund). Nassau and Suffolk counties were the ones with highest rates on property tax in New York.

Most people hesitate to file a grievance because they think their taxes will increase. The law prohibits the rise of taxes whenever someone files a grievance.

Since you can’t do it alone, you can let Heller & Consultants help you out. Unlike others, we make no money until you get a reduction. So we’ll always work hard to help you obtain your reduction.

You don’t have to file the first application or submit any supporting documents. We always do that for you. Along, we’ll engage with the ARC (Assessment Review Commission) in Nassau County.

Some of our customers had filed grievances in the past but were denied a reduction. Well, if you are one of them, there’s hope. We’ll help you make a new, fresh grievance application. Since every new year, comparable values come up; they might favor you this time around.

Every commercial property is eligible for official assessment review. These commercial properties include movie theaters, hospitals, supermarkets, hotels, office buildings, and country clubs, among others.

You don’t have an idea of where to start? Heller & Consultants are experts at reviewing commercial and residential properties. We determine the market value and take you through the filling process for a grievance. Most essentially, we keep customers up-to-date on the progress.

Nassau County Property Tax Increase

Here are simple steps to follow:

First, visit http://Irv.nassaucountyny.gov/ to see what market value the assessors estimate your property. We advise you to do so at least each year – before the deadline.

If assessed inaccurately, then allow Heller & Consultants to get you the reductions. We have the expertise and experience of property values. For more than 25 years, we have dealt with grievances on commercial real estate.

In case we evaluate that your property was over-assessed, we’ll file a grievance- right away! Then the process of tax reduction starts.

The objective of assessors is to assess a property’s value as opposed to determining property taxes. At times these assessors might give a lower property value than the one given by a municipality. In that case, then, you should file a grievance with the assessment review commission and the assessor. Your aim is to obtain a reduction on the basis of your application.

In the event that the commission denies your application, then you can file an Article-7 petition. However, you should do so within 30 days after which the final roll is declared.

Perhaps you’ve heard about tax certiorari. This refers to the process of applying for a grievance and challenging a tax assessment on the property. It is a formal review with 2 stages:

1. Administrative review: this is the grievance procedure done at the municipal level with the ARC (Assessment Review Commission). Here the ARC might plan a conference or ask for financial documents to support your application.

Our experts will review as well as submit any documentation that ARC will request. In most cases, we’ll negotiate on your behalf – just to obtain the least assessment possible.

2. Judicial Review: this is a petition application with the Supreme Court in Nassau County. We’ll submit an Article-7 petition in case the settlement negotiations don’t bear fruits.

Nonetheless, you must undergo an administrative review process for you to take the judicial review.

The bottom line

The good thing with Heller & Consultants is that we’ll walk you through the entire process. All you have to do is to provide us with the right property information and we’ll do the rest. We’ll keep you updated about your filing. After getting the tax reduction on your commercial property, we’ll proceed to get the refund for any overpaid tax. Lastly, we’ll make sure your tax bills on the property are accurate.

Save Money By Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Save Money By Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Many homeowners are not aware that it is possible to reduce the property taxes that they pay. Each year, they nonchalantly look or wince at the escrow notice on their mortgage and pay up without giving it a second thought. Just 2% percent of all homeowners appeal their property tax assessments (the first step when it comes to reducing taxes) in spite of the huge potential in money savings.

To make things even worse, the National Taxpayers Union reports that assessors overvalue 60% of all properties.  Generally, it is surprisingly easy to get some relief on property taxes. The local assessor in your area can help you out on this. Below are five measures you can take:

Examine the description of your property

Your assessor may have stated that your property has four bedrooms instead of three, which is the correct number. This mistake can be rectified by submitting building drawings or having them visit your home. Naturally, a reduced amount of living space translates to a decrease in the tax bill. The description of your property must be spot-on in regards to rooms, amenities and total square footage.

Are you eligible for any exemptions?

If you are living in your home and have not rented it out, you automatically get a “homestead” exemption.

Veterans, seniors and the disabled can also get exemptions. To know whether you qualify, contact your assessor or check their website.

Have you been over-assessed?

The best indicator that you need to appeal is if the assessor’s market estimate of your property exceeds what you believe you can get if you sold it. This estimate may be unclear, but you should always appeal if you feel that you are being over-assessed.

To learn how much your property might be worth, talk to your local real estate agent or visit Zillow .com. But remember that market values are usually estimated. The actual value of your home is the amount of money a buyer ready to pay for it at the close of the selling transaction.

The assessors will give you a 30-day window to appeal the assessment notice. You will be forced to wait until the following year if you do not begin the appeal process during this period.

In addition, you will be required to know the equalization factor (a number used when multiplying the assessed value of your property) of your county. Among other things, the equalization factor is an indicator of the prevailing market conditions.

Sadly, it is not possible to contest the final tax bill straight away even though you may definitely complain (failing to pay your tax bill can make you lose your house). To compute your annual property tax bill, the total equalized assessed value of your property is multiplied by the local tax rate.

Generally, you can use three properties of similar square footage and characteristics with a lower assessment to support your assessment appeal case. While you need to have like-for-like comparisons, you will probably be required to follow the tax appeal process in your county.

Your home has unique problems

Let us assume there was a natural catastrophe in your locality and a tree fell on your home or there are additional damages that you have not yet repaired. Or there was flooding in your area. You may note down these problems and make a request for a lower assessment.

You conducted a sale recently and you have an up-to-date appraisal

In case a qualified appraiser says your home is overvalued, that is normally sufficiently strong evidence. Furthermore, you can get a new appraisal even though it could cost you a few hundred dollars. But it could be worthwhile if it supports your case for a lower tax assessment.

Remember, you are not appealing your property tax bill directly. This is because it is not much you can do by the time you receive it. Tax rates are fixed by local organizations such as school districts, villages, and various other agencies. There is not a lot that you can do unless they reduce their rates or levies.

At any rate, it is always useful to appeal. It might not be possible to reduce your tax bill but it is advisable to try it. The assessment procedure is generally unclear and it is not always standardized. You should challenge it if it is unjust.


Need Help Reducing Your Property Taxes? We can Help – Suffolk Nassau

 

What Is Property Tax?

What Is Property Tax?

Defining property tax

Property tax is an ad valorem tax on real estate that is computed by a local government and paid by the property owner. Normally, the tax is based on the property value, and this includes land. The local government uses the assessed tax to finance public schools, sewerage and water supply improvements, provide fire services, law enforcement and other services that are considered to be necessary

Explaining property tax

New York Property Tax

The property taxes that are collected are utilized by the government that has jurisdiction in the area where the property is located. The money finances highway and road construction, education, public servants and other community services. Property tax rates and other forms of properties that are taxed differ from one jurisdiction to another. Therefore, it is important to check the applicable tax laws when buying a property.

In nearly all OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, taxes on immovable property constitutes a low proportion of federal revenue in comparison with value-added and income taxes. But the rate in the US is significantly higher than in a lot of European countries. Various pundits and empiricists have advocated for the raising of property rates in developed countries. They assert that the certainty and market-rectifying nature of the tax promotes proper development and stability of real estate.

Property tax calculation

Whats is Property Tax?

Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the property tax rate by the latest market value of the properties under consideration. The majority of tax bodies will recalculate the tax rate every year. Most property taxes are charged on real property whose legal definition is given by the state bureaucracy. Real property encompasses the land, fixed buildings and other structures. Personal assets (for example TVs and clothes) are not charged property taxes.

Eventually, property owners are bound by the rates set by the municipal authorities. A municipality will engage a tax assessor who assesses the property in the locality. In a number of areas, the tax assessor might be elected. The assessor will charge property taxes based on current market values. This value is taken to be the home’s assessed value.

The property tax payment schedule differs from one locality to another. In the majority of local property tax codes, there are structures that enable a property owner to talk about their tax rate with their assessor. If property taxes remain unpaid, the taxing authority can place a lien on the property. Before purchasing a property, buyers must always conduct a comprehensive review of the outstanding liens.

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Property Tax

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Property Tax

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has prepared a list of several common myths about property tax that can also be applied in other areas. Listed below are these common myths and misconceptions about property tax:

  1. Property taxes are set by assessors

This is not true. Assessors only establish a property’s market value. After the assessment is done, the market value is multiplied by the rate of tax in order to arrive at the actual property tax figure indicated on the tax bill. Normally, property tax rates are determined by the local authorities, for example school boards, county legislatures and so on.

  1. Assessments lead to high taxes

While this might be true, assessments are only half the story. Although getting a high assessment might play a part in a homeowner receiving a high property tax bill, the tax rate is the main determinant of the amount of tax that an individual will pay. You may have a low property tax assessment, but your tax bill will still be high if the assessment is based on a high property tax rate.

Your property assessment is the only component of your property tax bill that you can do anything about- other than complaining to the local authority in your area about the tax rate or voting against tax rate hikes. Because an assessment can be subjective to some extent, the majority of localities have established assessment appeal procedures if you feel your property assessment is excessively high or it does not reflect the market value.

Contact your local assessor’s office to learn how you can file an appeal yourself or contact a professional property tax reduction service to handle the process on your behalf. Most tax grievance companies charge 50% of your first year’s savings with nothing due upfront and nothing at all if they are unsuccessful. The firm will handle the entire process including the extensive legal filings and court appearances. But beware, never hire a tax grievance company that charges you anything upfront, since savings are never a guarantee.

  1. People are charged high property taxes to plug state budget deficits or states get too much money from collecting property taxes

Property Tax GrievanceProperty taxes are the leading source of revenue for school districts and local authorities-but not the states. The Tax Policy Center notes that taxes collected from property taxes contribute just 2 percent to the states’ total tax revenues. Moreover, a lot of states do not get any tax revenue from property taxes. Instead, they leave all the property tax revenue to school districts and localities.

But states without income tax or sales tax (or both of them) usually have a higher dependence on property taxes. Michigan, Wyoming, Arkansas New Hampshire, Montana, Michigan, Vermont and Washington receive a little over 8 percent of their total tax revenue from the property taxes they collect. States such as New Hampshire, Michigan and Vermont have introduced special property tax levies to boost public school funding.

(Information Source- Tax Policy Center)

  1. Equalization rates can rectify inequitable property assessments

By definition, an equalization rate is the ratio of the total value of properties assessed in a particular community to the true market value of the properties.

Equalization ratios are municipal-based measurements and they are intended to make sure that the assessments done in the whole municipality do not vary too much from the market value. In addition, the ratios may also be used to ensure property taxes, for example the public library levies that various communities pay, are shared according to the total market value for every community. This is achieved by setting a specific assessment to market value ratio for the municipalities.

This is a false myth. Equalization rates are not intended to rectify individual assessment

  1. Tax rates are good pointers of tax increases

This is not true. A property tax bill is based on two factors: the tax rate and the assessment of the value of the property. The tax rate might rise but if the property values are declining, your property tax bill will remain unchanged. Similarly, tax rates may decrease, but if property values rise substantially, your tax bill may increase. The property tax that you will pay is dependent on these two factors.

  1. Assessment caps reduce the assessment on property tax

Assessment caps ensure that assessments do not rise beyond a set limit every year. Having the cap means that properties whose value is appreciating faster than the rest may end up being under-assessed. This is due to the fact that the cap prevents the homes from being assessed at their actual value.

For instance, let’s assume there are customized homes in a fashionable neighborhood whose values are appreciating quicker than other homes in less attractive areas of a town. The values of fashionable homes are rising at the rate of 25% annually while values of the other (older) homes are increasing at a rate of 10 percent annually. In addition, let us say there is an assessment increase cap of 15% per year.

The cap will stop the fashionable homes from being assessed at the rightful market value but the older homes will be assessed using their real market value. The owners of the older homes will be left in the lurch because the owners of the fashionable properties are not paying their equitable share. Obviously, this is not necessarily the case, but it is a potential problem with having assessment caps.

Common terms used in the property tax field

There is plenty of jargon that is associated with property taxes, and sorting through this maze can make you dizzy. Therefore, we have provided the simplified definition of several common property tax terms:

  • Abatement- Partial or full writing off of a debt
  • Ad Valorem Tax- A value-based tax, for example property tax
  • Arrears- A term that describes taxes for the previous year that are still outstanding (or are paid) in the current tear
  • Assessment(Appraisal)- The process of establishing the value of a for property tax reasons.
  • Circuit Breaker- A relief on property tax that lowers or limits the property tax bill for specified persons.
  • Comparable sales method- A way of estimating a property’s market value by comparing the sales of equivalent properties.
  • Equalization rate- The ratio of overall assessed property values in a particular community to the actual market values of the properties.
  • Homestead deduction(exemption)- A reduction on assessment enjoyed by property owners who use the property as their main residence.
  • Millage rate- An alternative term for the tax rate, usually given as a thousandth of a dollar (called one mill)
  • Tangible personal property- Property, besides real estate, that can be touched or felt such as office furniture or a car. A number of cities and states tax tangible personal property.
Nassau County’s Carry Forward Policy Found To Be Unjust

Nassau County’s Carry Forward Policy Found To Be Unjust

The Carry Forward policy in Nassau County allows property owners to enjoy annual tax reductions continuously.

Nassau’s Assessment Review Commission gives settlement offers to people who appeal against the tax assessment on their houses. Those who repeat the appeal every year get reductions that are automatically carried forward in the group of people who negotiate for reductions each year.

However the gravy train is halted in case the property is to be sold or the owner makes an application for a permit when building or when, in addition to other issues, the property owner misses an appeal.

While the group getting reductions continue moving ahead, the homeowner together with the annual automatic reduction remains behind.

A Sunday report in the Newsday newspaper reviewed Nassau’s Carry Forward policy and declared that it was as discriminatory as the whole assessment system in the county.

Why discriminatory?

In the first place, the normal property owner who got a settlement during the initial year of the assessment system reforms carried out by Edward Mangano (Republican County Executive) in 2010 and then filed successive annual appeals up to 2015 eventually saved 20% of the taxes they could have been required to pay during that period.

In case the homeowner dropped from the Carry Forward group at least one time during that time, the tax reduction came to 17 %.

On the other hand, homeowners who postponed filing their annual appeals after the year 2010 did not enjoy the full benefits that came with the automatic reductions.

But let us assume that all homeowners accepted settlements from the commission from 2010 and that in addition, they wished to make sure that they did not drop from the Carry Forward group.

Was it possible to do that?

According to the report on Newsday, the answer to this question is no because the commission did not publicize the basis for remaining in the group and, equally important, the acts that could lead to the disqualification of a home from the tax assessment policy.

It was therefore not possible for the owner of a house to be aware that simple actions such as selling or listing a property, applying to get a permit when building or missing an assessment appeal would ultimately affect potential reductions.

That is unjust and unfair.

From the time that the assessment overhaul launched by Mangano got underway in 2010, taxes amounting to $1.7 billion have been moved from homeowners who contested their assessment to those individuals who did not. The end result of this has been the creation of two separate and unequal tax systems.

Next January, Laura Curran, a Democrat, will be the new county executive and she will need to craft a solution to the problem. Throughout the campaign, Curran frequently stated she would engage a properly-qualified assessor to take the place of the acting assessor appointed by Mangano.

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