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Property Taxes in Nassau County & Suffolk County

Property Taxes in Nassau County & Suffolk County

It’s no secret that Long Island property taxes are high. In fact, New York City suburbs pay the highest taxes in the nation. While the average effective property tax rate in Manhattan is just 0.88%, and the statewide average rate is 1.69%, Nassau County and Suffolk County average over 2%, according to SmartAsset. It is important to note that property taxes provide the most resources for Long Island municipalities to fund public schools, deliver road maintenance, and finance police and fire departments. In New York State, municipal governments assess your property taxes.

How Are Property Values Assessed in Nassau vs. Suffolk County?

Nassau County and New York City will assess properties at full market value. For all other counties, state law requires that each municipality assess property at a uniform percentage of market value. For example, if the market value of your home is $400,000, but assessments in your community are at 20% of market value, your property assessment should be $80,000. The municipality’s assessment of your property will be equal to a set percentage of market value as determined by the local assessor’s office.

How Does My Jurisdiction Determine Tax Rates?

Initially, a tax jurisdiction will adopt a budget. After adopting a budget, the taxing jurisdiction notes the amount of money collected from state aid, sales tax, and other sources of revenue other than property tax. The total amount calculated from these various streams of income will be subtracted from the budget. The remaining number is called a tax levy, or the total amount of money raised from property owners within the jurisdiction. The tax levy directly influences what you will pay in taxes.

How is My Property Tax Rate Determined?

The jurisdiction divides the tax levy by the total taxable assessed value of properties within your municipality. So, the tax rate is equal to the tax levy divided by all taxable assessments in the jurisdiction multiplied by $1,000. (Tax rates are typically based upon $1,000 of assessed value.) For example, you live in the hypothetical town of Smallville, which carries a tax levy of $1,000,000. The town’s taxable assessed value of all the properties within its jurisdiction is $20,000,000.

($1,000,000 ÷ $20,000,000) =.05

.05 x $1,000 = a tax rate of $50 per $1,000 of assessed value

So, if your property in Smallville has a taxable assessed value of $250,000 you would divide that amount by 1,000 and multiple by $50.

$250,000  ÷ 1,000 = $250      250 x $50 = $12,500.

Your property taxes in Smallville would come to $12,500.

property tax rate nassau suffolk

What are Long Island Property Tax Rates?

Much like assessing your property value, local governments also set property tax rates instead of the state of New York. Therefore, property taxes vary by location. You should note that your property tax will equal the final assessment amount determined by your municipality multiplied by the local property tax rate. So, if your tax jurisdiction determines that the value of your property is $200,000 and the tax rate is 2%, your tax bill comes out to $4,000. Read on to learn more about the property tax rates in Nassau and Suffolk County.

What is the Nassau County Property Tax Rate?

In Nassau County, the average tax rate is 2.24%, according to SmartAsset. It might be helpful to recall that tax rates vary by municipality, and the tax rate for one town might differ slightly from the next even if they are located in the same county. If the Department of Assessment valued your property at $500,000, then your property tax would come out to $11,200. The tax money is used to fund schools, road maintenance, and police and fire departments in your township.

What is the Suffolk County Property Tax Rate?

In Suffolk County, the average tax rate is 2.37%, according to SmartAsset. If your market value is $500,000, the local assessment office will assess your property value at a percentage of market value. If assessments in the community are at 90% market value, then the house is assessed at $450,000. Therefore, in Suffolk, if the tax rate is 2.37% and your property is assessed at a percentage of the market value for $450,000, then your property tax bill comes out to $10,665. Of course, this example does not reflect the actual market value of your community.

dispute property taxes

Can I Dispute My Property Assessment and Taxes?

If you’re a homeowner in a town located in either Nassau or Suffolk County, you may feel that the local Department of Assessment has valued your property for more than it’s worth. If this is the case, you may benefit from filing a tax grievance in Suffolk or Nassau County. Read on to learn more about how to grieve your property taxes in Long Island.

What is a Tax Grievance?

When the municipality you reside in assesses your property for more than it’s worth, or you feel like you’re already paying more taxes than you can afford, you have the right to request a tax grievance. You can either file the tax grievance yourself or hire a tax grievance company. If you choose to hire a tax grievance company, the company will conduct its own assessment of your property. If it determines that your municipality has over-assessed your property or that your taxes are higher than they should be, then the tax grievance company can begin the tax reduction process for you. However, if the tax grievance company cannot determine that your property has been over-assessed, you will be informed that there is no viable tax grievance case. Moreover, your neighbor’s tax assessments do not determine the taxes on your property. Other homes in your neighborhood may be under-assessed by the municipality, but you cannot compare your neighbor’s property value to the value of your property.

Can I File a Tax Grievance for My Business in Nassau County or Suffolk County?

Similar to your personal property, a property tax reduction can also be made for a commercial property. The general guideline is that a grievance may be filed if a municipality imposes a tax on a property and the property owner pays the taxes. If your commercial property is located in Nassau County, but you live in Suffolk, then you can still file a tax grievance in the town’s jurisdiction where your business is located. Regardless of whether you want to file a tax grievance on a commercial property or personal property, a tax grievance company works hard to get you the lowest tax reduction possible.

Need Help Grieving Your Property Tax in Long Island?

If you’re a homeowner in Suffolk or Nassau County, you know how expensive paying  Long Island property taxes can be. If you need assistance in appealing your property’s value and reducing your property taxes, give us a call in Nassau County: (516) 342-4849 or Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940. We will not charge you a single penny until we have your taxes reduced.


10 Tips for Lowering Your Property Taxes as Much as Possible – 2021

10 Tips for Lowering Your Property Taxes as Much as Possible – 2021

If you were recently hit with a tax bill that caught you a little off guard, you might be on the lookout for how you can lower your property taxes for next year’s tax season. To do this, you will need to learn a little bit more about how property taxes work. Don’t worry though, we have got you covered. On this page, we will cover all that you need to know on this topic.

Is It Possible to Lower Your Property Taxes?

Property taxes are an inevitable part of being a homeowner. Once you accept this, your focus will probably switch towards how you can avoid paying a dime more than you need to pay. After all, you probably are okay with paying your fair share in taxes. Your goal, then, should be geared towards how you can lower your property taxes. Below, we will break down 10 tips for lowering your property taxes!

1. Move to a More Affordable Area

If you jumped on a deal on a home only to find out that it was a little too good to be true, then you should keep the option open for moving shortly. If you do the proper research, you will be able to find an area with lower property tax rates. This is the easiest way you can ensure that you pay a reasonable rate for property taxes.

2. Limit Your Remodeling Projects

One of the biggest tips you need to keep in mind while trying to lower your property taxes is that if you invest in your home, add new amenities, undertake remodeling projects, and so on, you will add value to your home. When you do this, your property taxes will also increase.

3. Know How Property Taxes Work

Depending on your locality, you will have a unique set of rules that you need to follow. There are millage rates and assessment value ratios that will be different in each location. Therefore, check with your local authorities to see what these rates are so that you will be best prepared for estimating your property taxes.

4. Have Your Property Assessment Data

Did you know that your local county building will have your property card on file with the latest assessment data? If not, this will be something that you need to go and gather on your own. This will give you insight into what the county deems your property to be worth, and why.

5. Don’t Clean for the Assessor

If you live in a county where the assessor comes to view your home, save yourself some time and keep your home as it is. You might even consider making it a little dirtier! Having a clean and tidy home will only increase the chances of having a higher assessment value.

6. Build a Friendship with Your Assessor

When the assessor comes over, do your best to be friendly (but not fake) with them. Offer them coffee, ask about how their day is going, inquire about their job. Do what you normally do with somebody that you are trying to build an authentic friendship with when they come over.

7. Know Your Surrounding Neighbors’ Homes Value

When you run into problems with your assessment, one of the ways to see if you received an unfair value assessment is to look up the value of similar homes in your neighborhood. If you start to notice that your home is disproportionately high in assessment value, you might need to file an appeal.

8. Get Legal Help

One of the best ways that you can bypass a lot of the hassle involved in getting a fair value assessment is to get legal help. You can consider hiring an attorney, or a professional such as Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance in Long Island. This is usually the best option for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands for handling

9. Check to See if You Qualify for Tax Breaks

There are many different potential tax breaks that you might qualify for. Usually, you will need to check with your local authorities to see what these might be. Typically, a homeowner that qualifies for a property tax break will not even know. It’s important to keep in mind that nobody is going to hold your hand and call you on behalf of the government to inform you of tax breaks. You need to do this research on your own.

10. Know How Tax Grievances Work

When your property receives a value that is higher than the fair assessment value, then you can file for tax grievances. To do this, you will need to formally challenge the assessment of your home and get the value changed. Then, you will be able to pay fewer taxes. The idea here is that you will only end up paying your fair share of taxes, and not a dime more!

Need Some Help Lowering Your Property Taxes in Long Island?

If you live in Suffolk or Nassau County in Long Island, then you might need some help to get your tax grievances handled. As you know, there are some pretty expensive property taxes already here in place in these counties. Here at Heller & Consultants, we know what it takes to ensure that you get a fair property value assessment and that you pay the right amount of taxes. Give us a call today in Nassau County: (516) 342-4849 or in Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940 to schedule a consultation.


Claiming a Property Tax Deduction on Your Federal Tax Filing

Claiming a Property Tax Deduction on Your Federal Tax Filing

Property ownership remains one of the best investment portfolios in the country. Many Americans save for years to buy their own homes, and the highlight of this journey is holding the keys to their home. With homeownership, also comes paying taxes on the ownership of that property. If you’re a property owner in New York, you qualify for a deduction from federal income taxes for tax paid on real estate and personal property such as RVs or boats.

For New Yorkers, who face one of the highest tax burdens in the country, any relief on their tax payments is welcome. A recent study compared the tax burden in the country across three categories; property taxes, individual income taxes, and sales and excise taxes as a share of total personal income in the state. The survey found the average New Yorker’s tax burden was 12.28%, which is the highest in the country.

What is a Tax Deduction?

Your total tax liability depends on your taxable income. A tax deduction lowers your taxable income to lower your tax liability. In tax law, deductions are expenses, which you incur in a year that have a reductive effect on your gross income. These expenses are deducted from your gross income to determine how much tax you should pay.

Deductions fall under different federal and state tax codes. While these deductions are available in the tax law, it’s up to the taxpayer to apply for them in their tax filings.

Property Tax Deduction Explained

As a property owner in New York, you’re eligible for a federal tax deduction on your property taxes.

Property tax levied by New York state, a county, or a town is deductible when you are calculating your federal tax liability. The tax deductions apply only to personal property you own. You can deduct property taxes on your primary home, co-op apartment, vacation homes, and land. Deductions don’t include expenses incurred to renovate, improve, or beautify your home.

Before 2018, you could claim the full tax bill for property tax deductions. This changed when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped property tax deductions starting in the 2018 tax year, which set a limit of $10,000 for joint filing and $5,000 for single filers. You can only claim this deduction if you itemize your deductions on your tax form. A taxpayer should itemize deductions if the sum of all their eligible itemized expenses is greater than the standard deduction allowed in a given tax year.

If you buy a property that carries delinquent tax (unpaid taxes) and pay this liability, this is part of the purchasing cost of the property. You can’t include it in your tax claim as a deduction. If you buy a property where the previous owner had paid taxes on the property for part of the year, those property taxes are not deductible on your taxes for that year.

The tax deduction only applies to tax collected annually by local or state governments.

As stated earlier, you can only take the property tax deduction if you itemize your deductions. This is true for mortgage interest as well. Under the Tax Cuts and Job Act, homeowners who deduct mortgage interest are limited to the amount they pay on $750,000 worth of debt, down from $1 million. Interest on homes bought on or before Dec. 15, 2017, is grandfathered in at the previous rate.

For tax year 2020, the standard deduction for couples filing jointly is $24,800, single filers is $12,400. For tax year 2021, the standard deduction for couples is $25,100, single filers is $12,550. Because the standard deduction doubled in 2018 and is increasing through the 2021 tax year, it is more than likely that fewer homeowners will claim the property tax deduction.

Need Some Help Lowering Your Annual Property Taxes?

If you live on Long Island and are currently paying high rates for property taxes, we understand your struggle. At Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance, we have an extraordinary record in helping you minimize your property tax burden. And, you won’t incur any cost until we successfully lower your property taxes. Give us a call for a free consultation today or apply online here.




Why Do Property Taxes Go Up?

Why Do Property Taxes Go Up?

Property taxes fund schools, libraries, police and fire departments, along with public works such as roads, parks, and playgrounds. They’re essential to our communities – but that doesn’t make them any easier to pay. When you buy a home, you learn what the property taxes are in your area. However, when those rates start rising, it’s often difficult to understand why. When you’re holding a higher tax bill in your hand, it’s most likely one of the following reasons that are to blame for your property tax bill rise.

1- Property Revaluation

Predictably, municipalities do reevaluate the properties in their area at certain intervals. During this time, accessors, who are government officials, will go around and do their best to determine the true assessed value of the properties in their jurisdiction. This is to help ensure that the tax burden is correctly spread amongst the area’s homeowners. The assessor is only responsible for assessments – not taxes.

According to the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance, months after assessments are finalized by the assessor, taxing units (school districts, cities, towns, and counties) determine the amount of taxes that a taxing unit needs to collect from property owners, known as the tax levy. The property tax levy is determined separately from the assessments and is then distributed over all taxable assessments.

A home assessment doesn’t necessarily mean that your taxes will go up. For example, there may be a lot of new constructions in your community, which can help to offset any tax bill increase.

2- Home Improvement and Additions

Renovations are a common part of homeownership and revitalizing your home can add to its value. Unfortunately, however, that bathroom or more substantial kitchen renovation you just finished will most likely cause your property taxes to rise as well. Why? There’s a simple reason. Improving your home means it’s worth more. As your property taxes are based on the value of your home, when your home value increases, your property taxes will increase alongside.

Adding a second floor to a ranch home or an extension to the back of a colonial house will most likely increase that home’s property taxes. But anything that increases the square footage of the living space that you already have, such as finishing the attic, garage, or basement with sheetrock and adding heat and air conditioning, will likely trigger an automatic reassessment as well.

Building an additional bathroom is an improvement that will trigger a reassessment of a home. While replacing cabinets in your kitchen may not trigger an assessment, moving walls and adding cabinets and countertops may.

Even improvements to your property outside of your home can trigger an assessment. While above ground pools don’t tend to increase property values, inground pools do. Adding fences, sheds, patios, and decks can also increase your home value, causing corresponding property taxes to increase.

Before any home renovation, it might be worth running the numbers. Calculate how much the renovation will cost you, what it will add to your property’s value, and then figure out what the probable rise in your tax bill will be. Before you pull the trigger on your home renovation, decide if you can afford a higher property tax bill, or if the expense of the remodel will leave you with too short a cash flow to pay the higher rates. If you’re unsure, you might want to hold off and save up until you’re sure you have enough for a renovation and your new property taxes.


3 – Higher Home Sales in the Neighborhood

Home values are partially based on the value of other homes in the area – so keep track of what your neighbors are selling their homes for, not what they pay in taxes since what they pay can include exemptions.  If the homes in your neighborhood are selling for more than the asking price, it might be a sign that property taxes are soon to rise. Unfortunately, this type of tax increase is out of your hands.

4 – Building New Schools

New schools are important additions to the community – however, they’re also almost always a signal that a property tax hike is on the way. First off, new schools will attract new families as your community becomes a more desirable location. This will drive home prices up, and subsequently, property taxes.

New schools – at least, if they’re public – may also contribute to higher government budgets, as administrators, teachers, and school employees will need to be hired, and grounds will need to be maintained, which almost always indicates that a tax rise is on the way.

5 – Local Government Budget Increases

One of the principal reserves on which cities and counties draw to fund their budgets is the property tax. If budgetary needs increase, the residents’ taxes may need to be increased to help pay for it.

According to the Office of the NY State Comptroller, with some exceptions, the State’s Property Tax Cap limits the amount local governments, and most school districts can increase property taxes to the lower of two percent or the rate of inflation. In order to override the Tax Cap, local government boards must pass a local law or resolution by at least a 60 percent vote.

What should I do if I Think my Long Island Property Taxes are Too High?

So how can homeowners push back and lower their property tax rates? For starters, make sure your property records reflect your property accurately. Mistakes do happen. Some assessments list more bedrooms or bathrooms than you have in your home. If you do find mistakes, make sure to contact the tax assessor and have them corrected.

If you believe your property taxes are too high, you can file a tax grievance. A tax grievance professional can give you a good estimation of whether pursuing a tax grievance is a good idea or not, and that’s because they have a great sense of the tendencies in the local boards when evaluating various kinds of petitions. Hiring a respected tax grievance firm costs you nothing unless your property taxes are reduced.

Founded on the simple principle of helping our clients pay the lowest possible property taxes, Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance have saved Suffolk and Nassau residents over $35 MILLION, a figure that continues to increase daily.  Last year alone we saved our Nassau clients over $1.5M in property taxes…  Suffolk homeowners over $1.4M.

New York’s STAR Rebate Program Undergoes Changes

New York’s STAR Rebate Program Undergoes Changes

Important - Nassau County Filing Deadline March 1, 2024

Two new measures were approved by the New York State legislature that will change the way the Star Rebate Program works.

Part 1: Homeowners earning between $250,000 and $500,000 a year will get a check for their STAR rebates this year, rather than receiving the savings directly in their school-tax bills.

Part 2: Any STAR recipient that doesn’t switch to a check will miss out on the two percent increase in their tax savings this fall.

The changes won’t impact eligibility – just whether homeowners receive the rebates in a check or in their school-tax bills, and not everyone will feel the change.

Those who owned their homes before Aug. 1, 2015, and earn less than $250,000 a year, will still get the STAR savings in their tax bills unless they opt for the check.

If property owners want to switch to the STAR credit program, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance suggests that they register as soon as possible, and no later than two weeks prior to the date when the final assessment roll is published.

A spokesperson for the tax department said the system is working well and that homeowners should feel confident they will get the checks prior to when their school taxes are due.

Last year, the agency said it issued 99.5% of STAR credit checks prior to the school tax bill due date.

What’s STAR?

The School Tax Relief (STAR) program is a property tax rebate program available to New Yorkers whose household income is $500,000 or less – only primary residences are eligible. Around 2.6 million homeowners in New York receive the STAR tax break, which averages to around $790 per year per household.

The tax break is part of a $3 billion program that started in the mid-1990s, which helps New Yorkers curb the impact of having among the highest school taxes in the nation.

Why the Changes?

Under the previous system, schools give homeowners the STAR savings and then get reimbursed by the state — which showed up as a budget expense for the state. The new system gives the savings directly to the homeowners in a check, so it counts as a “personal income tax credit,” and shows up in the state budget as a reduction in tax revenue – not as state spending.

That change is sizable for the state’s finances. The new system is estimated to lower spending by $238 million in the fiscal year. Plus, capping the growth in the program for those who don’t get a check is another potential money-saver for the state.

Critics have asserted that the STAR program’s alterations have created falsities in the state’s budget by changing how the program functions, from a homeowner’s property tax discount to a state-issued ‘personal income tax credit’ that is issued as a check. According to an article in lohud. the Director of State Studies for the Citizens Budget Commission, David Friedfel asserts “the state is able to artificially make state spending appear lower than it is.”

The state defended the changes, however, saying it will help cut out fraud in the program and streamline payments. The goal of the changes, as explained by Freeman Klopott, spokesman for the state Budget Division, is to transfer people to the credit program, which is more efficiently administered. This will help to prevent abuse of the system. It will also separate the STAR savings from the tax bill, making districts more accountable to taxpayers.

What About Mortgage Escrows?

The changes will impact homeowners who pay their taxes through a mortgage escrow because they will pay more per month to cover the taxes, and then have to wait for reimbursement through the STAR check.

Are Seniors Affected?

Senior citizens who get Enhanced STAR are not impacted by the changes and will still get the savings upfront on their tax bills although those receiving Enhanced STAR will now have to enroll in an income-verification program to get the rebate. Enhanced STAR is available to homeowners age 65 and older with incomes of $86,300 or less. This program benefits 665,000 seniors and averages $1,400 a year.

For more information on the STAR program or to register, please visit

Nassau & Suffolk Homeowners Will Be Hurt by Limiting Deductions Proposed by the GOP Tax Plan

Nassau & Suffolk Homeowners Will Be Hurt by Limiting Deductions Proposed by the GOP Tax Plan

A proposed change in the Republican plan to redefine the federal tax code is basically impractical to Long Island property owners while enormously affecting their capability to take a property tax deduction. This is what critics and analysts said after a long-awaited proposal was disclosed.

Under the current plan that has the backing of President Donald J Trump, property owners who itemized their returns will no longer be allowed to deduct the amount of money paid in their state income taxes from their federal taxes. They will only be able to deduct the maximum amount of $10,000 in property taxes. According to the latest taxation reviews, this proposal will hurt high-income earners and high taxation states such as New York, especially Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

This proposal has been slightly steered by the GOP. It has not significantly changed from the original draft in regard to local deductions, but there are slight changes. The republican house proposed a plan to cap this at $10,000. According to analysts, the cap will be able to cover property owners in most in the upstate counties, but most experts also said that most of the homeowners would be left out in Suffolk and Nassau counties.

“Any elimination or reduction of these deductions will hurt most Long Islanders and the $10,000 cap is virtually useless to Long Islanders who on average pay more in property taxes and state income taxes than any other region in the country,” said Kevin Law, CEO of the Long Island Association, a pro-business group.

The average amount of Nassau deductions for local and state income taxes is $15.213 with another amounting $12.683 for property tax deductions. This is according to a recent report released by the state comptroller’s office. Suffolk’s deduction is $10,934 and $10,387, consequently. As we have said, this is according to the new Republican plan. Under this plan, the property owner will be unable to deduct income tax payments and will most likely see his/her property tax deductions capped at $10,000. This would basically mean that most Long Islanders would lose deductions of $10,000 or more.

It is important to note that mortgage interest deductions will be maintained but only limited for newly bought homes up to $500,000. The loss of these deductions is estimated to result in an amount of $2 billion dollars annually. According to LIA projections, this will greatly hit Suffolk and Nassau economies. They have confirmed that the rates could drop as much as 10% according to the GOP plan. This is according to State Realtors Association.

“Our initial read of the House tax proposal released today is that it will harm many New York homeowners,” Duncan MacKenzie, head of the realtors’ group, said in a statement. “It will lessen the value of the property tax deduction and it cuts a host of other key housing-related tax incentives.”

The National Home Builders Association that has been offering tremendous support to Republican candidates are opposed to the GOP tax plan in its current plan. Those who back the plan believes and promotes the idea of doubling the standard deductions even though it would be primarily for those living in lower tax states. This includes the South and South West. There is also a very decent provision that aims at eliminating an alternative minimum tax that affects most households that make about $200,000-$1 million dollars per year. This is according to a report released by LIA. They also confirmed that the plan would not offset the loss of deductions.

The effect on property tax and state tax deductions are fundamental reasons why 7 of the 9 Republicans in New York delegation are opposed to the plan.
“I am a ‘No’ to this bill in its current form . . . Adding back in the property tax deduction up to $10,000 is progress, but not enough progress,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said.

“They call it a tax-cut plan, excuse me . . . In the state of New York, it’s a tax increase plan,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, calling the loss of state and local deduction “diabolical.”

Now more than ever, we strongly urge all Nassau and Suffolk homeowners to grieve their property taxes prior to the respective filing deadlines. In Suffolk County this year’s filing deadline is May 21, 2019, Nassau is March 1, 2019.