New York & New Jersey Property Tax Appeal
If you own property in New York State you are eligible to file an appeal for a formal review of your assessment. There two levels of formal appeal.
The first level of appeal is at the municipal level. It involves either a meeting with the Assessor, or after filing a complaint (an RP524) you can meet with the Board of Assessment Review of the municipality that has jurisdiction over your home.
To get to the second level of review, you must first go through the first level of review. The second level of review is called judicial review. There are two options in this process. A Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) is a low cost, expedited option available to owners who reside in a 1 to3 family home. The other is a Tax Certiorari proceeding in State Supreme Court. This method of grieving your taxes involves all other types of commercial and residential property except owner occupied 1-3 family residential properties. In this form of grievance petitioners must follow certain formal civil procedures and a formalize petition needs to be filed stating your arguments framed by the statute, together with proof to support your legal position. This is a longer and more expensive procedure. In the event the property you own is held in a corporation, then an attorney must file the paperwork for the judicial proceeding. All others may be done by an owner of the property, however since it is very formalized, you should consult an attorney familiar with this area of law before you proceed.
In order to know whether you have a case for filing an appeal to grieve your taxes you should know the assessed value of your property in relation to the market value. In order to determine the market value of your home you need to know the sales price of similar properties, the cost of replacing your property and in the case of income producing properties how much income the property produces translated into fair market value compared to the assessment.
Some cases of over assessment are clear; still others require a lot of data extrapolation in order to get the full picture. In any event, the burden is on the petitioner to develop the argument that the property is over assessed because under the law, the Assessor's value is presumed right.
Some people find out that they are assessed fairly, but they perceive that their taxes are still very high. This has to do with the school, county, city and town districts the property is located in and the budgetary constraints of the community.
Any person who pays property taxes can grieve them. You can be an owner, a tenant required to pay the taxes as a result of their lease, or a contract vendee, which is a purchaser under contract who is about to acquire that property.
There is no cost to file a grievance complaint called the RP 524. When a judicial review needs to be filed, then there are court fees involved. Presently, the fee for fling a SCAR is $30. The fee for initiating a Tax Certiorari proceeding is $210, however other fees for a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) is $95 and a Note of Issue is $30. These fees are for each year that the property assessment is grieved.
Each county has its own statutory period for grieving taxes. They are as follows:
Throughout New York State, Grievance Day is the fourth Tuesday in May. However, there are exceptions:
Cities and towns that share an assessor can adopt different Grievance Days between the fourth Tuesday in May and the second Tuesday in June
New York City - the Assessment Review Commission meets throughout the year, but complaints must be filed by March 15 for Class One properties and March 1 for all other properties
Nassau County - the Assessment Review Commission meets throughout the year, but complaints must be filed by March 1
Other Cities - dates vary, contact your assessor or city clerk for the date
Suffolk County - town BAR's meet on the third Tuesday in May
Westchester County - town BARs meet on the third Tuesday in June
Villages that assess property - typically, the BAR meets on the third Tuesday of February; however, dates can vary - check with your village assessor or village clerk
Find local government information at: NY State Department of Taxation & Finance
The grounds for your complaint include:
at a higher level of assessment than the rest of the community (Unequal Option A)
higher than the actual market value of your property (Excessive - Option B1)
too high because an exemption has been improperly denied (Excessive - Option B2)
too high because a transition assessment was inaccurately calculated (Excessive - Option B3)
in a way that is contrary to the law (Unlawful - Option C)
in the wrong class in a community that uses homestead and non-homestead tax rates or (misclassification - Option D)
Depending on the type of property you are grieving you must also know how to apply the equalization rate or the residential assessment rate to your assessment in order to know how the assessed value compares to the fair market value of your property.
Property tax grievance procedures can be daunting. At Sampson Law Group we sift through them for you and help you obtain the assessment that your property deserves!