Five Reasons to Retain an Attorney to File Your Tax Grievance

You can certainly file your tax grievance by yourself. You only need to be able to research your property’s market value, fill out your Grievance petition, and write a letter in support that explains your position. That said, we recommend that you retain an attorney to represent you in the matter. It’s not absolutely necessary, but in our experience attorneys have a better track record of successfully grieving taxes than homeowners who do it themselves. Accordingly, here are five reasons we think that you should retain an attorney to file your tax grievance.

1. It doesn’t cost you anything unless you are successful.

Most attorneys will represent you in a tax grievance complaint in return for a fee amounting to 40-50% of the first year’s tax savings. That’s a pretty good deal for you. You don’t have to pay anything if you’re not successful, and your attorney has every incentive to maximize the tax savings you can get. Even if you’re successful, you’ll get the benefit of the reduced assessment for many years, and only have to pay the attorney a portion of the first year’s worth of savings. Some attorneys might charge a lower percentage of the savings paid out over more years (i.e., 25% of each year’s savings for two years), which is also a good deal. But we do not advise hiring any attorney that demands an upfront fee, or collects a fee higher than approximately 50% of one year’s worth of tax savings.

2. Attorneys can do all the work on establishing market value.

The hardest part about filing the grievance is establishing market value. You can get help from your Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty agent in finding comparable properties, but attorneys have access not only to that information but to public records that might contain property sales that were not recorded through the local multiple listing systems. Moreover, an attorney can give you a good evaluation of whether it’s worthwhile even to pursue your tax grievance, since experienced attorneys have a strong sense of the local board’s tendencies when evaluating different types of petitions.

3. Attorneys are familiar with the Grievance Day hearing.

If you’re not the kind of person who is comfortable speaking in an open hearing, then you might want to have an attorney represent you. The Grievance Day hearing is not a terribly intimidating atmosphere, but if you’ve never done anything like that you might be more comfortable having someone speak up for you. The hearing process can be confusing for a lay person, and an experienced attorney is almost certainly going to be more adept at explaining your case.

4. Grieving your taxes can take a lot of time.

The reason attorneys charge a fee for handling tax grievances is that the process can take a lot of time. You have to do the research, fill out the forms, write the supporting letter, and then prepare for and attend the hearing. All of that is manageable, but it does take time and effort. If you do not think that you could get all the work done in time for the grievance deadlines, you should hire an attorney who will make sure it gets done.

5. The attorney can handle your appeal if you don’t win the grievance.

Finally, hiring an attorney to handle the grievance can help if you are not successful, since the attorney will be able to handle the appeals hearings that you will likely want to pursue. You definitely will want an attorney to handle the appeal, so retaining an attorney to represent you in the initial administrative hearing before the board ensures that your attorney will be familiar with the facts. If you’re going to have to pay an attorney anyway if your petition is not successful, you might as well have an attorney handle the case all the way through.

If you do not have an attorney to represent you, just contact us at 845-825-8047 and we will refer you to an experienced real estate attorney who handles tax grievances.

 Back to Main Tax Grievance Guide

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 10:12 am
James Troia | Category: Guide to Tax Grievances in New York

The Tax Grievance Process: Three Steps to Grieving Your Taxes

If you wish to grieve your property taxes, you need to wait until the municipality publishes the Assessment Roll establishing the Assessor’s market valuation of your property. That will usually be done by the first Tuesday in May for most Hudson Valley towns, and the first Tuesday in June for most of Westchester County. Once you have the Assessor’s market value, you can follow these three steps to grieve your taxes:

  • Step One: Determine if you have grounds for a grievance petition by researching whether the assessor’s determination of your property’s fair market value is accurate.
  • Step Two: Prepare a grievance petition by filling out the Complaint on Real Property Assessment for (Form RP-524).
  • Step Three: Write a letter in support, including any substantiating documentation (such as an appraisal, comparable property information, etc.).

Once your paperwork is complete, you need to submit it to the municipality by Grievance Day, which in most cases is the third week of May in the Hudson Valley, and the third week of June for Westchester.

Below, we will take you through the process of filing your grievance petition.

Step One: Researching Your Market Value

Once you know the market value determined by the assessor, you need to do your own investigation into market conditions to find out if you have grounds for filing a complaint about your assessment. Technically, property owners can make four distinct claims for a grievance, including situations where the property is improperly classified (i.e., it’s not commercial property, it’s residential) or exempt from taxation (i.e., it’s a church or school). But the main grievance situation for most homeowners involves the basic complaint that the property is subject to an “Unequal Assessment” because owners of comparable properties have received lower assessments and thus will pay lower taxes.

Essentially, a claim of “Unequal Assessment” is based on your contention that the assessor over-estimated the market value of your property compared to other similar properties in your local area. If your Assessor over-valued your property compared to the other properties, you’ll have a higher assessment than those other owners, which means you will have an “Unequal Assessment. In order to prove that claim, you need to show that the market value of your property is actually lower than the assessor’s determination.

Here are the most common ways of determining market value.

  • The purchase price of your property: If you purchased the property in the last few years in an arms-length transaction involving a seller that was not under duress, you have a good baseline valuation for the property.
  • An appraisal. If you purchased or refinanced the property in the past few years, you will likely have received an appraisal on the property, which is an excellent baseline valuation for the property.
  • List Price. If your property is currently listed for sale, the listing price can provide evidence of market value (although it is likely that your listed price will actually end up being slightly higher than your market value, since most sellers discount 5-6% from the listed price during negotiations with buyers).
  • Recent comparable sales. If you have access to public records or real estate data, you can look for comparable sales of properties similar to yours to provide a fair valuation of your property. Your Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty agent can help you gather recent comparable sales by performing what’s called a “Simple CMA” of your property.

For purposes of your research, note that the valuation date for your property – the date for which you should measure the market value – is not the date of your petition. Rather, New York State has a standard valuation date of July 1 of the preceding year for most municipalities. This is actually helpful, because you can limit your research to any sales up to the prior July, rather than have to look at sales up to the minute of your grievance.

If you determine that your property is over-valued compared to similar properties, and compared to the market value determined by the Assessor, you have good grounds to complete a grievance Complaint.

Step Two: Fill out Your Property Tax Grievance Form

You can get the property tax grievance form, otherwise known as the Complaint on Real Property Assessment for (RP-524), online or at your local municipality. The form is mostly self-explanatory, but we will take you through each section to highlight how to ensure you fill it out correctly.

Part One: General Information

The general information section mostly asks you to fill out personal information such as your name, contact information, and the property location. The only information you’ll need to look up is in section 5, which asks for tax map number for the property. You can get that information on your tax bill, or when you look up the Assessment Roll at the local municipality or online. Also, section 6 asks for the assessed value, which you can also get from the Assessment Roll.

Finally, in section 7, you’ll need to put your own estimation of the market value of the property. Note that the market value is determined as of the “Valuation Date” in the municipality, which in most cases is the preceding July 1st.

Part Two: Information Necessary to Determine Value of Property

Part Two is where you can set out the information that you believe supports your grievance argument. You essentially have a number of choices in which to claim that the market value is lower than the value determined by the assessor, and can check off and complete whichever of the choices apply:

  • Section 1: You will fill out Section 1 if you purchased the property within the past few years and believe that your purchase price should be the basis for the revaluation. You’ll note that the form requires you to identify if the seller and purchaser had a family relationship, which would undermine the significance of the purchase price.
  • Section 2: You will fill out Section 2 if you put the property on the market recently. A property on the market for a particular sale price is also fairly good evidence of market value, especially if it has been on the market for enough time to establish value.
  • Section 3: You will fill out Section 3 if you have had a recent appraisal of the property, but you will need a copy of that appraisal. If you do not have one, your mortgage bank or the attorney who handled your sale should have one. A recent appraisal (within the past three years or so) can be very helpful.
  • Sections 4, 5, and 6: These sections generally govern new construction properties or rental properties. If those sections apply to you, then you should complete them.
  • Section 7: This is a catchall for anything else you want to provide in support. If you are providing market information in the form of comparable sales that justify a lower market valuation for your property, then you should check off section 7.
Part Three: Grounds for Complaint

Part Three is where you identify the grounds for your complaint. This can be a bit confusing because of the array of choices in front of you, but for most people reading this, the choice you want to make is to check off Section A.1.a. of the form – Unequal Assessment.

That is, you probably want to claim that the “assessed value is at a higher percentage of value than the assessed value of other real property on the assessment roll.” Essentially, what you are saying is that the assessor’s determination of market value is too high compared to the actual value and the value of comparable properties. That covers most situations in which you think your assessment is too high.

After you check of A.1.a. right at the top of the form, you should also fill out Sections 3 and 4. In Section 3, you’ll put the value that you believe is the market value for your property. The number you put in Section 3 should be the same number that you put in Part One, Section 7.

As for Section 4 (Part Three, A.4), you need to write in the number that you believe should be the new assessed value of the property. There are two ways to do this:

  • First, you can take your market value of the property (the number in A.3), and multiply it by the Uniform Percentage Value that you can find on the Assessment Roll.
  • Second, you can calculate the difference between the Assessor’s determination of market value of the property and your determination of market value, and then calculate that percentage difference off the Assessor’s assessed value for your property.. For example, if the Assessor specified the market value at $400,000, and you believe the market value is $360,000, that is a 10% reduction in the market value. That would also mean a 10% reduction in the assessed value. So if the Assessor’s assessed value is $200,000, that would make your Section A.4 assessed value $180,000 (10% off $200,000 is $20,000).

It may be that you have other grounds for your complaint, so here is a brief explanation of the other sections:

  • Section A.1.b. is for cases where you have recently improved the property through new construction, and the assessor’s valuation of your improvements are too high.
  • Section A.2 challenges the actual equalization rate in the municipality itself, rather than relying upon your determination of market value.
  • Section B is rarely used, because it claims that the assessment is actually higher than the market value. The assessed value is almost always lower than the market value, since the Uniform Percentage of Value is usually about half the actual market value.
  • Section C is used when your property is actually exempt from property taxes because it is an exempt property (e.g., school, church) or is not actually in the jurisdiction of the taxing municipality.
  • Section D is used when the property is misclassified, such as when your property is taxed as commercial property when it is residential.
Part Four: Designation of Representative to Make Complaint

You can fill out this section if you are going to be hiring someone to represent you in filing your complaint. If you hire an attorney, you would fill out Part Four to designate that attorney to act on your behalf.

Part Five: Certification

In Part Five, you certify that everything you write on the form is true and correct to your best knowledge. Making false statements on the official complaint form is a criminal act.

Part Six: Stipulation

Part Six is only used in situations where you and the assessor have come to an agreement as to the assessment of your property, usually as a result of negotiation before Grievance Day.

Space Below for Use of Board of Assessment Review

Do not fill out the rest of the form. It is filled out by the Board of Assessment Review to render a judgment on your grievance complaint.

Step Three: Write a Letter in Support

Neither the state nor most municipalities give examples of how you should write your letter in support of your grievance complaint. In practice, these letters can be anything from a hand-written appeal to a report complete with graphs and charts. Essentially, you simply need to set out your case in clear and concise terms, without worrying too much about the form.

If you want a simple example of what the letter should look here, here is a model:

Board of Assessment Review Town of [town name] [Address]Re: Complaint on Real Property Assessment [Property Address]To the Board of Assessment Review:I write in support of my Complaint on Real Property Assessment for the property at [property address]. My Complaint Form RP-524 is complete and attached.I bring this Complaint on the grounds of Unequal Assessment because the Town Assessor’s valuation of my property is higher than its true value, and inconsistent with comparable real property on the assessment roll. Specifically, the Assessor has determined that the market value of my property is [Assessor’s Market Value], when the true market value should be [Your Market Value], as determined by the following:

[Use whichever apply]

  • The attached appraisal shows a value of [appraisal value]. The appraisal was conducted by [Appraiser] on [date] for the purpose of [purpose: refinance, purchase, etc.].
  • I purchased the property on [date] at a market value of [sales price]. The sale was an arms-length transaction, and did not involve a seller under distress [make sure that statement is accurate].
  • The property is currently for sale at a value of [listing price] and has been on the market since [original listing date].

Also, a review of comparable sales at the time of the valuation date demonstrates that properties of similar size, style, and amenities have sold for a price inconsistent with the Assessor’s determination of market value. My property has [number of bedrooms] bedrooms and [number of baths] baths, is approximately [square footage] square feet, is on a lot that consists of [acreage] acre(s), and is located in [village or town]. These comparable properties have sold at prices significantly below the market value determined by the assessor

[List comparable sales like this]

  • Property at [address] sold on [date] for [price]. The home consists of [bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, acreage], and is located in [town or village].
  • Property at [address] sold on [date] for [price]. The home consists of [bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, acreage], and is located in [town or village].
  • Property at [address] sold on [date] for [price]. The home consists of [bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, acreage], and is located in [town or village].

Accordingly, we respectfully submit that the market value of the property be reduced to [your market value], and the assessed value be reduced to [your assessed value].

Thank you for your courtesies in this matter.

Very truly yours,
[signature]
[name]

 Back to Main Tax Grievance Guide

Download the Complete Tax Grievance Guide

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 10:11 am
James Troia | Category: Guide to Tax Grievances in New York

NY Tax Grievances: Frequently Asked Questions

As part of putting together this Guide to Grieving Your Property Taxes, we anticipated a number of questions that you might have about the process. So we’ve gathered them together into this list of “Frequently Asked Questions” and our answers.

Q: Do I need to hire an attorney to represent me?

You do not need to hire an attorney, but it helps. We have provided information in our Guide to Grieving Your Property Taxes about how to file your own grievance. All you really need is to do some research on why you think you are over-assessed, fill out a form, write a letter, and maybe attend the hearing. That said, we actually do recommend you get an attorney, because (1) if you are not successful, you will likely want to appeal, something that really should be done by an attorney, (2) preparing your grievance papers can take a bit of time that you might not have, and (3) attorneys do not charge you unless you are successful. Most attorneys charge a percentage of your first year’s savings, without any upfront fees or filing fees unless you need to appeal the determination. It’s a good deal, and worth it to make sure you get the best representation possible. If you need an attorney, just let us know and we’ll refer you to an experienced professional who can handle your case.

Q: Can I get help from my Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty agent?

If you are currently listed with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, or if you’ve purchased a home with us, we can help you do the research on comparable sales to determine whether you are over-assessed. Key to your grievance is proving that the assessor’s determination of your market value is too high, and you need access to recent sales data to support this. We are happy to help with that effort. If you do not have a Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty agent, just contact us at 845-825-8047 and we will put you in touch with someone who can help.

Q: When I file a grievance, what am I really challenging: the taxes or the assessment?

When you file a grievance, you are simply challenging the Assessor’s calculation of the market value of your property. You are not challenging the amount of the property taxes that you will pay. Rather, if you are successful getting a re-assessment of the market value, the reduction in market value will thereby reduce your assessed value. And because your property taxes are based on your assessment, the reduction in the assessment will ultimately lower your taxes. You won’t know your actual property tax amount until a few months after Grievance Day.

Q: Do I need to grieve my village and town tax separately?

Although you likely pay property tax assigned to multiple municipalities and your school tax, all those taxes are based on the assessment. Reducing the assessment will reduce all the types of property taxes you pay. You don’t need to challenge each property tax authority separately, although in many villages in Westchester and the Hudson Valley the village has its own assessor and its own grievance schedule. In those villages, most of which have a February deadline for grievances, you need to grieve the assessment by both the town and the village. You can get a list of all villages that have their own assessment schedule at the end to this Guide.

Q: Do I have to grieve my taxes, or will the Assessor reconsider my assessment?

Most municipalities allow for an informal “review” of your assessment with the Assessor, where you can present your case without having to file a formal grievance. In some cases where you are clearly over-assessed, the Assessor might agree to reconsider the determination of your market value and enter into a stipulation with you for your assessment. The requirements for requesting an informal review vary by municipality, so check the end of this Guide for information about how to request a review with the Assessor. At the very least, there is no harm in calling up the Assessor’s office and asking for the review. The worst that can happen is that they turn you down, and you’ll then file your grievance.

Q: What proof do I need to challenge my assessment?

You just need evidence that your home is worth less than the Assessor’s valuation. This could take the form of an assessment, your recent sales price (if you recently purchased the home), or your listing price (if you are on the market). You can also provide evidence of what other homes have sold for, which you can get in a “Simple CMA” from your Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Agent.

Q: Do I need to hire an appraiser to challenge my assessment?

For a grievance, you do not need to pay for an appraisal. You can establish market value by using comparable sales for the past year or so. If you do have an appraisal, which you would have gotten if you refinanced or purchased your property recently, the appraisal will help establish market value and you can include it in your petition. And you might need an appraisal for an appeal if your grievance is unsuccessful. But you do not need it for the grievance.

Q: Can I file a grievance if I previously filed one?

The rule is that you cannot file a grievance only if you filed a successful one in the previous year. If you did not file a grievance last year, you can file this year. If you filed last year and were not successful, you can file this year. But if you filed last year and were successful in reducing your assessment, you cannot file this year.

Q: If I lose, will the municipality actually raise my taxes?

Grieving your taxes is a no-lose situation. Once the assessor establishes a market value, the municipality will not raise it just because you challenged it and opened the issue. We have never heard of a situation where the municipality actually raised the assessment as a result of the grievance, and believe that any municipality trying to do so would risk a lawsuit for retaliation or free speech violations. You get a free bite at the apple.

Q: Do I have to attend the Grievance Day hearing?

You don’t have to attend, but it helps. Once you file your grievance petition with the municipality by the deadline, your petition will be included on the list of grievances for Grievance Day. On Grievance Day, the municipality holds hearings on all the petitions. You have a right to be present at the hearing to present your case, but you don’t actually have to attend. It’s a good idea, though, if you feel that you could articulate your case and persuade the panel.

Q: What if I miss my municipality’s deadline for filing the grievance?

The deadlines for filing a grievance are hard deadlines. If you don’t get your grievance in by Grievance Day, you’ve missed your chance for the year and will not be able to grieve your taxes. For most municipalities in the area, the window is between the first week of May, when the roll is published, and the last week of May, which is grievance day. In most areas of Westchester, Grievance Day is in June. You can check the end of this Guide for a list of municipalities and their deadlines.

Q: If I am successful, am I hurting my municipality or my schools?

Some people get concerned that grieving their taxes might strip their local municipalities of revenue needed to fund schools and other services. But that’s not how grievances work. If you’re successful, you will reduce your own taxes, but not at the expense of revenue needed by your municipality. Rather, the municipality determines how much revenue it needs and sets a tax rate that is applied to all property owners. Your grievance will simply reduce your share of that burden. While it does mean that your burden will be shifted to other property owners, that’s only because you were over-assessed in the first place and paying more than your fair share.

 Back to Main Tax Grievance Guide

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 10:10 am
James Troia | Category: Guide to Tax Grievances in New York

Understanding the New York Tax Grievance Process

Most people think that the property tax grievance process is complicated. It’s not. It only requires you to do a bit of research, fill out a form, and write a supporting letter, and get all your paperwork submitted by your municipality’s deadline. Here is a brief (and somewhat simplified) overview of that process.

The Assessment

People sometimes think that their property taxes are set by their assessor. That’s not the case. Your municipality’s assessor does not determine your property taxes. Rather, the assessor’s role is only to determine what the market value is for your property by performing what is essentially the same sort of comparable sales analysis that a real estate agent or appraiser conducts when determining the value of your home when you are buying or selling.

Once the assessor has determined your market value, the assessor then calculates your assessed value, which is a simple mathematical calculation that multiples the market value by a predetermined Uniform Percentage of Value set by the state. The purpose of the Uniform Percentage of Value (“UPV”) is to provide a standardized assessment calculation to ensure that every property receives an equitable assessment. So, for example, if the UPV is 40%, and your market value is $500,000, your assessed value would be $200,000 ($500,000 times 40%). If your neighbor’s home has a market value of $400,000, her assessed value would be $160,000 ($400,000 times 40%).

The Assessment Roll

Once the assessor has determined the assessed value of all the properties in a municipality, the assessor’s office will publish what’s called the “roll,” which is a comprehensive listing of all properties, their determined market value, and their assessed value. For most municipalities, the roll is published in the first week of May, a few weeks before grievance applications are due. You can get the roll by going to your local municipality, and in some cases online. You can check on www.randrealty.com after May 1 for links to your local roll publication.

The purpose of the roll is to provide property owners with fair notice to prepare their grievances once they see the assessor’s determination of their market and assessed value. Again, the roll does not state your property taxes, but provides the market value and assessed value upon which your taxes will be based.

Researching Grounds for a Grievance

Once you know the market value determined by the assessor, you can decide whether you have grounds for filing a complaint about your assessment. Technically, property owners can make four distinct claims for a grievance, including situations where the property is improperly classified (i.e., it’s not commercial property, it’s residential) or exempt from taxation (i.e., it’s a church or school). But the main grievance situation for most homeowners involves the basic complaint that the property is subject to an “Unequal Assessment” because owners of comparable properties have received lower assessments and thus will pay lower taxes.

Essentially, a claim of “Unequal Assessment” boils down to this: you contend that the assessor over-estimated the market value of your property, leading to an inflated assessment value, resulting in your having a higher assessment than other owners of comparable properties. In order to prove that claim, you need to show that the market value of your property is actually lower than the assessor’s determination.

If your review of your property’s market value demonstrates that the assessor’s determination of your market value was too high, then you have solid grounds for filing a grievance petition.

Grievance Day

You have to file a complaint grieving your property taxes by the deadline established by your municipality. The deadline is usually a few weeks after the roll is published, and is called “Grievance Day” in most of the Hudson Valley (Westchester has a “Grievance Period” that runs about three weeks, and ends with the deadline day that we’ll call the “Grievance Day.” On that day, a Board of Assessment Review (“BAR”) will meet to start the process of evaluating all the grievance petitions, and will hold an open hearing in which you can present your case.

You only need to submit two documents to file a petition to grieve your property taxes. First, you need the Complaint on Real Property Assessment for (Form RP-524), which is a standard New York State form used to file grievances across the state. The form mostly requires you to fill out information on you, your property, and the nature of your grievance.

Second, you need a letter in support. The state does not particularly stipulate what the letter should look like or contain, or mandate that the letter be typed, but for best results we suggest typing up a simple letter addressed to the Board of Assessment Review for your municipality, including a brief explanation of why you believe that you are over-assessed. As part of that letter, you can attach any documents that support your case, including an appraisal, comparative market analysis from your real estate agent, public records, or anything else that would substantiate your claims.

In your petition, you should ask for the specific relief you want – a reduction in the market value to the lowest level that you think is justified. You should always ask for as much relief as you believe you can possibly get.

You can attend the Grievance Day hearing if you wish to state your case, but even if you do not appear the BAR will consider the petition and make a decision within a short time of Grievance Day.

Appeals

If your grievance complaint is not successful, are not successful, or you get relief but not as much as you asked for, you can appeal the decision in what’s called a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) or a Supreme Court trial. We are not going to cover the details or requirements for that review here, but you can get information provided by the State in the What to Do if You Disagree with Your Assessment booklet that is available online (the link is below).

Conclusion

Grieving your taxes is easier than you think. You simply need to pay attention to what’s happening in the local community, review the assessment roll, and get your complaint and supporting documents submitted by Grievance Day. That said, if you don’t want to do it yourself, you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you. Attorneys who handle tax grievances generally charge between 40-50% of the first year’s savings on your taxes, so they only charge you a fee if they are successful. And you will likely need an attorney anyway if you are not successful and choose to appeal the BAR decision.

If you would like some additional information, the State of New York has prepared some materials that you might find helpful:

What to Do if You Disagree with Your Assessment
http://www.orps.state.ny.us/pamphlet/complain/howtofile/whattodo.pdf
A guide from the State of New York for property tax grievances and appeals.

Complaint of Real Property Assessment for (RP-524)
http://www.orps.state.ny.us/ref/forms/pdf/rp524.pdf
The actual form you need to file a tax grievance.

General Instructions for Filing Complaints on Real Property Assessments (RP-524-Ins)
http://www.orps.state.ny.us/ref/forms/pdf/rp524ins.pdf
Instructions for filling out the tax grievance complaint form.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Good luck in your property tax grievance. If you need anything from Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, just call us at 845-825-8047.

 Back to Main Tax Grievance Guide

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 10:09 am
James Troia | Category: Guide to Tax Grievances in New York

Introduction to Tax Grievances in NY

TO OUR CLIENTS:

At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Rand Realty, we believe that service to our clients does not end just because you have closed on the purchase or sale of your home. Rather, most client need professional real estate services all the time, everything from keeping up-to-date on market news, changes in property values, or information on their local communities. That’s why, for example, we’ve put out Quarterly Market Reports and Seasonal Event Guides for our clients for over ten years.

In that spirit, we created The Guide to Grieving Your Property Taxes in Westchester and the Hudson Valley to provide you with a simple but comprehensive guide to challenging your property tax assessments. While we understand that our local communities need revenue to fund the schools and services that make our communities such desirable places to live, we also believe that property taxes should be fairly apportioned among property owners. In our experience, though, too many homeowners pay more than their fair share of property taxes because assessors have over-estimated their market value, and those high property taxes can become a tremendous financial burden. And for our current clients who are selling their homes, unreasonably high property taxes can become a challenge for selling at a fair price.

As this Guide explains, challenging your assessment and grieving your taxes is a complicated but manageable process. We are happy to help you in that effort, particularly by providing you with information on comparable sales that can help you determine your market value and support a case for lowering your assessment. We are also happy to help you if you would like an attorney to assist you in filing your grievance, which we believe is a good idea because of the difficulties of the process and also because most attorneys only collect a fee based on your savings if you are successful.

Here is what we have in the Guide:

  • Understanding the Property Tax Grievance Process: An explanation and overview of the entire process.
  • The Property Tax Grievance FAQ: Common questions and answers about the grievance process.
  • Three Steps to Grieving Your Taxes: Step-by-step instructions for determining market value, filling out your complaint, and writing your letter in support.
  • Five Reasons to Hire an Attorney to Represent You: An explanation why we recommend that you retain an attorney to represent you through the grievance process.
  • Grievance Day Deadline Summary: A review of all the deadlines for filing your tax grievance throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Under separate cover, you can also get the Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Property Tax Grievance Municipality Guide, which contains detailed information on each municipality, including contact information, tax grievance deadlines, and more.

If you would like our help providing you with market information on comparable sales that can help you challenge your assessment, or if you would like us to connect you with an experienced grievance attorney, just contact your Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty agent. If you do not have an agent, then just contact us at 845-825-8047 and we’ll take good care of you.

Good luck, and best wishes.

Yours,
The Rand Family

Back to Main Tax Grievance Guide

Download the Complete Tax Grievance Guide

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 10:07 am
James Troia | Category: Guide to Tax Grievances in New York