Thousands of Long Island homeowners are overpaying their property taxes by hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year…. Are you one of them??
I’m Tony Izzo, president of TruTax Reduction Services, Incorporated, located in Patchogue Long Island. TruTax is licensed by the Suffolk County Dept of Consumer Affairs, to represent Suffolk County homeowners throughout the property tax grievance process.
In this article we’ll cover:
What is a Property Tax Grievance? and we will provide an overview of the initial filing procedure.
Simply put, a Property Tax Grievance is a homeowner’s right to formally challenge the value of his or her home as determined by the Town Tax Assessor.
Many homeowners complain that the assessed value of the home they live in is incorrect as the taxes seem very high for the property in question. Too often, that’s as far as they go; complaining and commiserating with friends or family at a social gathering without doing anything to correct the situation.
Meanwhile, state law allows for the fact that mistakes happen and provides a remedy by way of the Property Tax Grievance process. Why not exercise your right and take advantage of this opportunity.
To start, you must do your homework. You must research home values and recent home sales in your area. This information is available in public records or by retaining a licensed home appraiser to provide a certified appraisal of your home. If you choose to do your own research and it appears that your home is being over-assessed, you need to list three to six comparable homes in your area with a lower assessment. These homes cannot be the result of short sale, foreclosure sale, estate sale or other distressed property sales. There must be a buyer and seller each acting in his own best interest in the open market. The homes should be as similar as possible and adjustments should be made to offset any differences. The better the evidence you present, the more likely you will be to win a reduction.
The process begins by filing a formal grievance for your home in person at the town assessors office. The home must be owner-occupied and support must be included proving your case. The grievance is not designed to fight high taxes, but merely to correct inequality. The purpose is to assure that the taxes you pay are the same as other homeowners with similar property in the same general area.