Many homes have recently been inundated with fancy colorful brochures by mass mailing companies seeking to lower your property taxes on your behalf. Although these companies have nice colorful brochures and a very nice advertising campaign, they lack the single most important thing in this business: The ability to achieve very good assessment reductions.
Be very wary of big companies that handle areas as far as Suffolk County to Dutchess County; they make money because of volume as opposed to careful diligence to each and every case. Often they intake thousands of cases and wind up withdrawing a very large percentage of the cases because their policy is quantity over quality. They also have scant knowledge of the local real estate market etc.
AAA almost never withdraws a case and takes each and every case very seriously. Sometimes people call and ask what we charge and, although we are competitvely priced, I advise them that since the fee is based on only the first year savings, the price should really be the last concern. Here's why. Suppose "Company A" is charging 75% of the first year saving, and "Company B" is charging 50% of the first year savings. If Company B withdraws the case because it is a difficult case, you've paid the equivalent of 100% of the first year savings because you've saved nothing. Company A may have seemed more expensive but they were not.
In any event AAA charges 55% of the first year savings but does not charge for, nor get reimbursed for, any filing fees etc.
Another caveat with the fancy-brochure mass mailers: These companies never send their principals to hearings - Rather, they send an employee who typically doesn't care of the outcome.
The bottom line is the thing you should look for when selecting a representative to challenge your property taxes is who is going to conduct the proper diligence and achieve the best reduction. Most of the other considerations are secondary.