Challenging a tax assessment? Worth it?

10 Replies

I was wondering if anyone has any insight into challenging a tax assessment of their property. Is it worht it? I don't actually think my assessment is too off, maybe $4k greater than its value. However I did note that my tax assessment is $10k - $15k greater than nearby (within a block) comps. My property is located in NYS so a $5k to $10K reduction in tax assessment would result in a several hundred dollar reduction in my property taxes. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

@Daniel Cavallari

Yes, it's worth it. I challenged one of our rental property values last year. They changed it from $250,000 to $180,000, which saved me $1,500 in taxes this year. A few years ago the city doubled our personal property value. My wife went to the appraiser office and objected and the lady lowered it below what the appraisal was from the year below!🙃 It is free to ask, nothing to lose on your part.

Wouldnt this be handled through a tax grievance? Pretty sure that is how they get a reduction or not 

@Erik B. Through my brief understanding from contacting assessor offices they offer 2 options (at least where I live)

1. An informal meeting with assessor to discuss the issue.

2. File a grievance

Through talking with the assessors office it seems that option 1 is a good place to start because they can hear you out in person and can choose to agree or disagree with your opinions. If you meet a favorable outcome you can agree and dont need to file a grievance.

@Daniel Cavallari I think most attorneys that handle grievances only collect if they are successful.  If you would like the name of one, I can get it for you from a LL I know on LI.  Is the property on Long Island? 

Originally posted by @Daniel Cavallari :

@Erik Baumer Through my brief understanding from contacting assessor offices they offer 2 options (at least where I live)

1. An informal meeting with assessor to discuss the issue.

2. File a grievance

Through talking with the assessors office it seems that option 1 is a good place to start because they can hear you out in person and can choose to agree or disagree with your opinions. If you meet a favorable outcome you can agree and dont need to file a grievance.

You can try to do it personally but I've heard people say it was a waste if time. Not sure why the towns (especially here) would open themselves up to the public bombarding the tax office w millions of questions and mistakes on forms.  There has to be an advantage for them to allow this.

I would just get a grievance atty and be done with it. 

 

Originally posted by @Daniel Cavallari :

@Scott Wolf It is not on long island but I appreciate the help and suggestion. I think I'm going to go in person to see what happens. I'll use it as a learning opportunity.

OK, best of luck!

 

I would say go for it. You should be able to make a case yourself without representation. When my wife and I bought our primary residence, they sent us a tax assessment of $530k, we paid $285k for the house. It's supposed to be based on fair market value of the property. They were way off, the house was a mess, needed full reno. In Maryland they had 3 steps I believe. Step 1 call in and request a change or second look. That didn't work. Step 2, file paperwork and a try to make a case, they lowered the value like $10k or something. Still not happy. Step 3, go in front of a judge and argue with 2 assessors from the state. We made a case about the "fair market value" and won. The judge lowered the value to what we paid for it. It's creeping back up, but was a huge savings. I'm very glad we went through with it.

Is there a specific time of the year when you can challenge the assessment or can it be done anytime?

@Scott Wolf - Can you send me your recommendation? I'm actually interested in seeing if this can lower my tax assessment for my residence in Manhattan.