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The Property Tax Grievance Process

Tax Grievance

You may be paying more than your fair share of property taxes, because your town thinks your house is worth much more than its current value, but the only way to have your assessment reduced to reflect fair value is by filing a Property Tax Grievance.

What is a Property Tax Grievance?

A Property Tax Grievance is a formal complaint filed by a property owner or property owner’s representative contesting a town's valuation of a specific property. If successful, the “Assessed Value” of the property is reduced, and the property taxes are recalculated against this lower value, resulting in lower taxes.

How Property Taxes Are Assessed

The assessed value of your property, set by your Town Tax Assessor, is a key factor in determining if you’re paying too much property tax.  Every town places an assessed value on your property which is a percentage of full fair market value.  New York State establishes a ratio (called the Residential Assessment Ratio) which, when multiplied by your Assessed Value, equals the full Fair Market Value. Your Assessed Value is then divided by your local "Tax Rate per $100" to determine your actual property taxes. 

How Property Taxes Are Reduced

You can't change your "Tax Rate per $100" or the "Residential Assessment Ratio." What can be reduced is the “Assessed Value” of your property, which reduces your taxes.  To do this, you must file a Property Tax Grievance with your Town’s Tax Assessor, contesting the assessed value of the property. If proven that your property is worth less than the full fair market value, the assessed value is reduced. 

Property Tax Grievance

We research your case, file all necessary paperwork with the Town Assessor, and represent the final case in court if necessary. We do not charge a fee if there is no reduction (NO REDUCTION = NO FEE) and there are no upfront fees. Our fees when we win your case are as follows:

  1. Upon success - 50% of the first year's savings – all subsequent savings are yours!

  2. Upon success a $30 court filing fee if we need to file an appeal.

  3. Upon success a $75 appraisal fee.

How Property Tax Grievance Works

From your prospective as a client, should you retain Aventine, we will complete all steps in this process on your behalf. You will not need to do any of the steps below yourself. You will not need to appear at court or at any other time or location. The process will be seamless and require no action initiated by you.

 

However, for informational purposes,

1. The deadline for filing a grievance is a specified day each year (see the appropriate page for your county’s deadline). For a designated period (usually about 2 ½ weeks from the first of the month to the deadline date), a form RP-524 or Complaint on Real Property Assessment before the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) or Assessment Review Commission (ARC) with supporting documentation (appraisal, etc) on the grounds of Unequal, Excessive, Unlawful Assessment, Misclassification.

2. BAR/ARC review all grievances filed (this can take several months), and notifies all property owners whether their grievance resulted in a reduction of assessed value, or was declined. In most cases BAR complaints are denied on essential a pro-forma basis. As a result appeal of this decision is necessary in Supreme Court.

 

3. Complainants have 30 days from the date of decision to file an appeal. Depending on the property type and specifics of the case, the appeal may be made in Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) or by Article 7 proceeding. Cases are then scheduled for trial anywhere from six to eighteen months from the date of appeal filing depending on the jurisdiction.

 

Many property owners worry that if they file a grievance, their assessments and taxes may be raised through this process; however this is not true. Your property tax assessment can ONLY be lowered or remain the same as a result of your grievance.

 

To have us handle your case, simply APPLY NOW and complete and submit the appropriate Retainer Agreement. Should you have any questions please contact us via email or give us a call.