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Can I Grieve My Property Taxes Every Year?

Can I Grieve My Property Taxes Every Year?

For those living on Long Island, property taxes may already account for their highest house-related expense. According to tax-rates.org, the average yearly property tax paid by Nassau County residents amounts to about 8.26% of their annual income. And in Suffolk County, it amounts to about 7.57% of their yearly income. When property taxes go up, this adds more of a financial burden for many who own a home in Nassau County or Suffolk County.

Let’s take a look at more stats from tax-rates.org. Nassau County has one of the highest median property taxes in the U.S. and is ranked 2nd of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. in order of median property taxes. Suffolk County comes in at number 12 in order of median property taxes.

There are many advantages to living on Long Island, including the closeness to NYC and all it offers for work and cultural opportunities. And Long Islanders have access to many beautiful beaches on the Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. But high property taxes are a constant concern for homeowners. However, there is a way to reduce your tax burden and make living in your Long Island home more affordable. It’s filing a tax grievance every year.

How did property taxes come to be?

Property taxes date back to colonial times in the U.S. By the late 1790s, 14 of the 15 states taxed land, with four also taxing inventory (i.e., livestock). Delaware was the one state that did not tax property by instead the income from it. States had different definitions of what could be taxed. Some would tax quantity, others quality. Some would tax all of the property, and some would tax specific objects. By the end of the Civil War, many state constitutions had adopted that property taxes be more uniform and assessed based on value.

Today, property tax is based on your municipality’s tax rate, as well as your property value. Your school district (which accounts for two-thirds of property tax levy) and other tax districts set annual budgets. Your share of the taxes that will be raised for school and general municipal purposes like renovating school buildings, adding school programs, building roads, or hiring police in your community is based on an annual property assessment. The more your home is worth, the higher your taxes will be.

Is it really possible to get my taxes lowered?

If you never grieve your taxes, your tax bills will most likely never go down, only up. For your tax bill to not go up, you need to have your assessment lowered. The way to do that is to file a property tax grievance. And yes, you can file a tax grievance every year. A property tax grievance is a formal complaint filed contesting a town’s assessed value of a specific property. After you file a tax grievance, the local BAR (Board of Assessment Review in Suffolk)  or ARC (Assessment Review Commission in Nassau) will review your assessment to see if a reduction is justified. If the BAR or ARC denies your grievance, you can file an appeal in the NYS Supreme Court, SCAR division within a 30-day time frame to determine if your house is overvalued for tax purposes.

Will I get penalized if I grieve my property taxes every year?

The important thing to know is that your assessment will never increase because you file a tax grievance every year. That’s the law in the state of New York. There is no disadvantage to grieving your taxes every year, but you may or may not get a reduction. But just because you may not get a reduction one tax year doesn’t mean you can’t get a decrease the following year. And reductions can and do happen multiple years in a row.

property tax grievance company

Grieving Your Taxes is Easier with the Help of a Tax Grievance Company

You can file a tax grievance on your own, but there is an easier way.

Hiring an experienced tax grievance specialist provides you with the knowledge necessary to win your tax grievance case. It’s worth it to make sure you get the best representation possible. Without the training and education of a tax professional, you may not get your desired outcome. When it comes to filing a tax grievance, there is legal terminology involved. If misunderstood, it can lead to incorrectly filing, missing deadlines, and not having the upper hand with local court systems. At Heller and Associates, we have extensive experience filing grievances in Nassau County and Suffolk County and have saved homeowners thousands of dollars each year since 2007. We have many clients who grieve their taxes every year.

Whether you Stay or Plan to Go – Grieving your Taxes is a Good Idea.

If you are thinking about selling your home in a year or two, you may think, why should I bother grieving my taxes? Because lower taxes make your property more marketable. Taxes are a significant consideration for people who are in the market for a new home. If your property taxes are higher than others in your neighborhood, prospective buyers may overlook your property and search for other properties with lower taxes.

Get Help Filing Your Tax Grievance

If you are in Suffolk or Nassau County in Long Island and need assistance in appealing your property’s value and getting a better rate on your property taxes, give us a call in Nassau County: (516) 342-4849 or Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940. We will explain everything involved and not charge you a penny until we secure you a lower tax rate.

 

 

Tips for Lowering Your Property Tax Bill

Tips for Lowering Your Property Tax Bill

Property taxes pay for numerous things within your community. From funding fire departments to maintaining local parks, to paying for schools, the revenue generated from property taxes goes towards making your community a better place to live.

Unfortunately, all that goodness doesn’t mean that your tax bill might seem a little bit on the high side.

Although beneficial, property taxes can be a financial burden – especially as they have the tendency to rise steadily over time.

While you’ll always have to pay your taxes, you can get a break. Here are a few simple ways to lower your property tax bill to a more manageable level, while still supporting your community.

Understand Your Bill 

Before you can do anything to change your tax bill, you need to understand where the numbers come from.

Property taxes are calculated by using two numbers: the tax rate, and the current market value of your property. The tax rate is set by law, and although it can change every year, there’s nothing you can really do about your municipal tax rate.

So, if you’re looking to change your property taxes, you’ll need to focus in on your home’s current market value.

Determining Value

To determine your home’s current value, an assessor, hired by the local government, reviews your property. The assessor may actually come to your property; however, they often value your property remotely, using old records, software, and tax rolls. That’s why it’s important to review the inventory your town or county has for your home.  Things like an extra bathroom, an old deck or inground pool which no longer exists can cause your tax bill to be higher than it should.  These records are available on your assessor’s website for most, some homeowners may have to pay a visit to their local town or county offices.

Once your property’s value is determined, the tax office multiplies said value by the tax rate, then sends you the bill.

Making a Change

So, how can you change your tax bill? The only real way is to get an assessor to adjust the perceived market value of your home.

A Property’s Market Value is based on a few factors, many of which are relative. The market value takes into consideration everything from the structural wellbeing of your property, any recent sale prices, the sale prices of other comparable homes in the neighborhood and even your home’s “curb appeal” – or how nice it looks from the outside when you first see the home from the curb.

Some of these things, such as sale prices of other homes, are out of your control, however, you can make sure that any other facts that are determining the value of your home are correct and up to date. Go down to the tax assessor’s office and ask for your tax card. It’s a compilation of all the information the municipality has collected about your property over time, from lot size to room dimensions to features, fixtures, and renovations.

Review the card and point out any discrepancies – they’re more common than you think, and the tax office has an obligation to correct them and reassess your home.

If everything’s in order, then it’s time to go a bit deeper to update your tax bill.

Look to Your Neighbors

Home values are available to the public at the tax office, so when you’re going to check your own tax card, have a glance at other homes in the neighborhood. While you can’t change the property value of your neighbors, you can use their bills as a base argument for your own.

For example, let’s say your four-bedroom, single car garage home is valued at $500,000, yet your neighbor’s four-bedroom, two-car garage home with a swimming pool was only valued at $375,000. That discrepancy is a very convincing argument to get your local tax assessor to re-evaluate your home – preferably, this time, on an in-person walk-through.

Check for Exemptions

Look to see if you qualify for a tax exemption. New York State Property Tax Exemptions include:

  • STAR (School Tax Relief)
  • Senior citizens exemption
  • Veterans’ exemption
  • Exemption for persons with disabilities
  • Exemptions for agricultural properties

Walk This Way

When you’ve got a tax assessor coming to your home, you should be there every step of the way. You don’t want the evaluation to focus on only the visible, positive features of your home. A new fireplace or marble counters can easily outshine old windows or small cracks in the ceiling, so you’ll want to be there with the assessor to be sure that both the positive and negative qualities of your home are being counted towards its perceived market value.

File a Tax Grievance

If you’ve done all you can and haven’t managed to get your tax assessment office to lower your property tax, you still have the option of filing a tax grievance. A property tax grievance is a formal complaint, filed on your behalf, against your town’s assessed value on your property based upon comparable sales. This is the most effective way for most homeowners to reduce their tax bill.

You don’t have to do it alone either. Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance has achieved record reductions in property tax savings for homeowners in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Apply online today.

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.

property-tax-grievance-long-island

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.