Westchester, Putnam and Rockland County, yes! You can grieve your property taxes

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker
It's that tiime of year again, and some of you misses out last year, but if you live in a Village Grievance Day is around the corner, and it only happens once a year. You must be succesful with yur Village taxes before you can grieve your Town taxes. Homeowners have a right to challenge their taxes, and Grievance day is around the corner. New York property taxes are out of control , property values are down; the law and more and more cases are supporting the right of the homeowner in challenging their property taxes. To start with you need current supporting comparable sold properties, and time (or you can hire a tax certiorari). Municipalities do not like to lower assessments. A tax certiorari attorney can make a big difference in how successful your grievance is; usually one has a greater chance working with an attorney than going it alone for it is a long process that can be frustrating and done in a timely manner.

Several years ago at a time when property values were soaring homeowners were simply not aware of what was happening in our municipalities, in our county, our country, many were making money. Well, times have changed, the market turned around, property values are down, and here we are with these outrageous property taxes. I don't think our town and county officials are getting it, home prices have declined, and the more they hike our taxes the valuation of our homes goes even further down!

Property taxes are calculated by fair market value. The amount of a particular property's tax bill is determined by two things: the property's taxable assessment and the tax rates of the taxing jurisdictions in which the property is located. The tax rate is determined by the amount of the tax levy to be raised from all, or part, of an assessing unit, and the unit's total taxable assessed value. The assessment is determined by the assessor and should be based on the value of the property less any applicable property tax exemptions.

The assessor can estimate the market value of property based on the sale prices of similar properties. A property can also be valued based on the depreciated cost of materials and labor required to replace it. Commercial property may be valued on its potential to produce rental income for its owners. In other words, the assessor can use whatever approach provides the best estimate of a property s market value; they must be assessed at their current-use value.

What your neighbors pay in taxes for what may be a similar property is not considered by the municipality in the grievance process. Their property may be under-assessed. Actual sales are generally considered the best evidence of a property’s market value.

You can go it alone, or hire a tax certiorari. The one thing to keep in mind is Grievance Days in every municipality have only one day a year to for you start the process. There is a set day in Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties to hear property tax appeals. If you live in a Village, you must go first go through your town’s grievance day, and then once that has been accepted you than proceed to have your village taxes grieved.

Putnam County Grievance Day is the 4th Tuesday in May. Kent the 4th Wednesday.

Rockland County -Village G-Day is the 3rd Tuesday of February. Town G-Day are the 4th Tuesday in May.

Westchester County - Village G-DAy is 3rd Tuesday of February. Town and Cities are the thurd Tuesday (this year the 15th) in June. You can apply anytime between the 1 and the 15th.

Keep in mind: Have a Realtor provide you with comparable properties, and/or have your house appraised by a certified appraiser.

You can challenge your assessment every year unless you have had a successful challenge than you must wait two years.

Hire a professional if you don’t want to spend the time to fill out much paperwork, attend and present to the hearing board.

Fee’s by a tax certiorari attorney are generally calculated as a percentage of the first years save in taxes.

Your assessments cannot increase with your grievance application. The Board of Assessment Review (BAR) and the Small Claims Assessment Hearing Officer (SCAR) only have authority to review the evidence presented, and if accepted they can only lower your assessment.

If you believe your home is over assessed, homeowners have a right to challenge their assessment.

Grievance Day is coming up, and you’ve got the right…to grieve….!

Posted by

Suzanne Welch
Coldwell Banker Residential Services
Associate Broker
1392 Albany Post Road
Croton on Hudson  NY 10520
office- 914 271 8500
fax-     914 271 1082
cell-    914 557 3760



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