How to challenge your home property tax assessment in NY State

From Divide NYS:

Property values have dropped in a lot of areas in New York State. These are the steps to challenge your home property tax assessment in NY (Note there is an example near bottom)

First Step

Get an estimate of how much your property is worth (full market value) today. (check with an appraiser, bank your insurance company to confirm the value in writing)

Second Step

Get the amount your property is currently assessed from your town or city. It should be on your tax bill.

Third Step

Get the Residential assessment ratio (RAR) for your town village or city go to this link http://orps1.orpts.ny.gov/cfapps/MuniPro/ Select your county; then select your town or city; then select RAR Information take the most current RAR.

Fourth Step

Then take the Residential assessment ratio (RAR) you got from the table and multiply it by the current value of your home. This should give you the current home property tax assessment of your home plus or minus 5 percent.
If amount you get is HIGHER than your current tax assessment or within 5 percent of your current tax assessment STOP HERE challenging your assessment could RAISE your taxes.
However, if amount you get is LOWER than your current tax assessment you can use the fifth step below to challenge it.

Fifth Step

In most towns, villages and cities you must file your challenge/grievance in writing we suggest you file it a few weeks before these deadlines.
Check with your assessor to confirm Grievance Day in your community
Grievance Day is the deadline for submitting Form RP-524 and the day that the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) meets to hear complaints. In most communities, Grievance Day is the fourth Tuesday in May. However, there are exceptions:
• Cities and towns that share an assessor can adopt different Grievance Days between the fourth Tuesday in May and the second Tuesday in June
• New York City – the Assessment Review Commission meets throughout the year, but complaints must be filed by March 15 for Class One properties and March 1 for all other properties
• Nassau County – the Assessment Review Commission meets throughout the year, but complaints must be filed by March 1
• Other cities – dates vary, contact your assessor or city clerk for the date.
• Suffolk County – town BAR’s meet on the third Tuesday in May
• Westchester County – town BARs meet on the third Tuesday in June
• Villages that assess property – typically, the BAR meets on the third Tuesday of February; however, dates can vary – check with your village assessor or village clerk
The amount you got by taking the RAR and multiplying it by the current value of your home(full market value) is the amount you should request as your new assessmentHowever, if the RAR is greater than one (1) a 100 percent your whole municipality is over-assessed so you should request your full market value as the new assessment.
Take a copy of the appraisal or other document proving the full market value of the home; and attach it to the form you prepare using this link and file your grievance
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/grievancebooklet.pdf
Nassau County and New York City use a different form which is explained in the link above.

Note If your property is located in a village that assesses property, you may have to file two assessments grievances, one for the village and one for the town. To grieve both assessments, you are required to file two separate Form RP-524 with both the town and village. You will have to repeat first to fifth steps above selecting your village this time. If you miss the deadline for one you can still file for the other.

Sixth Step

If you are dissatisfied with the decision of on your tax assessment grievance by your municipality, you may appeal your assessment again via:
• Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) – only available to:
o Property owners who live in their one, two or three family dwellings that are used exclusively for residential purposes, or
o Owners of vacant land that is not of sufficient size to contain a one, two or three family dwelling
o Requires $30 filing fee
o Information regarding SCAR is available from the New York State Unified Court System http://ww2.nycourts.gov/litigants/scar/index.shtml
• Tax certiorari proceeding
o Commenced in New York State Supreme Court pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law
o We highly recommend you contact a private attorney
o If the RAR for your municipality is greater than one (1) see extra information below.

———————– Example ——————–

Step 1) Your home is currently worth $450,000 (check with an appraiser etc to confirm)
Step 2) You are assessed at $370,000 according to your tax bill or other town records.
Step 3) Say you live in the Suffolk county, Town of Brookhaven You go to this link http://orps1.orpts.ny.gov/cfapps/MuniPro/ Select your county Suffolk; then select your town Brookhaven; then select “RAR Information” take the most current RAR from the table for the year 2019 Brookhaven has an RAR of 0.79 or 79 percent.
Step 4) Take RAR and multiply it by the appraised value of your home $400,000 * 0.79 = $316,000
This should give you the current home property tax assessment of your home plus or minus 5 percent if correctly assessed; 316,000/370,000 = about 0.85 or 8.5 percent, so it is NOT within 5 percent.
Also amount we got $316,000 is LOWER than example home current tax assessment of $370,000 so our example is over assessed
Step 5) Then the homeowner would take copy of the appraisal or other document proving the full market value of the home; and attach it to the form you prepare and file the tax grievance via the link below which must be received before the deadline date which varies by municipality from mid-February to June every year See fifth step above for deadline details. Our example would ask for a new assessment of $316,000 https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/grievancebooklet.pdf

Divide NYS 7a

———-Extra Information————-

If the RAR for your municipality is greater than one (1) that means your whole town/city/village is over assessed at more than full market value which is unlawful in NY. However, the only method available to force a municipality to obey the law and reduce everyone’s assessment down to full market value is a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court. (a trial court in NY).
This means the court should order all residential assessments in the municipality reduced by multiplying each assessment by the reciprocal of the RAR (1/RAR) to return the municipality to full value assessment.

More Information on RARs https://www.tax.ny.gov/research/property/equal/rar/index.htm
The RAR should NOT be used for agricultural, industrial, or commercial property assessment calculations.

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