Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

How is it possible that my property is over-assessed?

Assessments are based on the market value of a property which may change from year to year. The factors (Residential Assessment Ratios and Equalization Rates) that translate your assessment to full value also are subject to change. Accordingly, assessments aren’t always equitable and can sometimes be significantly higher than they should be.

Why should I challenge my assessment?

Nobody likes paying taxes but most people are willing to pay their fair share in order to enjoy the services provided by the local municipalities and school districts. As the assessment of your property is never guaranteed to reflect your “fair share”, it’s important to seek relief when you’re paying more than you should. A reduced assessment will certainly save you money and could also make your property more saleable if you were to put it on the market.

Can I file every year?

Although you have the right to file a grievance each year, it probably doesn’t make sense to do so. If your assessment has been reduced to a fair value, it usually will remain equitable for some time. I’d suggest keeping an eye on it from year to year but it might not reflect an over-assessment for several years; if ever.

What’s the grievance deadline in my municipality?

Please click this link for a list of deadlines for each of the municipalities in my service area. Grievance Deadlines Dates!

How do I find out if my property is over-assessed?

Please call us or complete a Property Profile and we will contact you in a few days to discuss whether your assessment may be a candidate for reduction.

If we do move forward, what do your services include?

We handle your case from beginning to end. We will file the grievance with the Board of Assessment Review. If their determination is not satisfactory, we will file, for residential cases, a Small Claims Assessment Review Petition with the Supreme Court and follow the process through the pre-trial and trial (if necessary).

What is your fee?

We work strictly on a contingency basis. We receive absolutely no payment unless we are successful in reducing your assessment. We charge a one-time fee of 50% of the first year’s savings for residential properties. All future savings are yours to enjoy.

Do I need an appraisal?

There is no requirement as to the type of evidence needed. However, in our opinion the best evidence to maximize your savings is a third party appraisal prepared by a New York State licensed appraiser. Although the appraisal fee (generally about $400) is the client’s responsibility, it will be refunded in full if your assessment is not reduced. There is absolutely no risk to you.

Do you handle commercial properties also?

Absolutely. In Rich’s capacity as a Tax Assessor, he analyzed thousands of commercial properties for tax certiorari purposes. Please call for more information.