Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions About Property Taxes

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Especially for those who are buying a home for the first time, we know that there is a lot to learn about what it means to be a homeowner - specifically, what expenses are involved? While some answers are easy to figure out (for instance, there's your water bill, and that can be self explanatory), others are bit more involved - here, we're talking about property taxes.

To help you out a bit, today we're answering some of the most frequently asked questions we get about property taxes; take a look below.

Property Tax FAQs

Property Tax FAQs | Property Tax Reduction Long Island | P.T.R.C. Inc.

Q: What determines the amount of a property tax bill?
A: Your property taxes are determined by multiplying your property's assessment (which is your assessment minus any exemptions) by the tax rates for school districts, municipalities, counties and special districts. More on how property taxes are calculated can be found in this blog.

Q: What is a property tax assessment?
A: Like we mentioned in question #1, your property's assessment is used in order to determine how much you pay in property taxes. To figure out your property's assessment, market value is taken into consideration.

Q: What is market value?
A: Market value refers to how much a property would sell for under normal circumstances. For the most part, it is usually determined by comparing the property to other similar homes/properties.

Q: Why do taxes go up every year?
A: Your taxes can change each year for a number of reasons, including changes in the school district or local government such as budget changes and revenue. Also, the tax rates typically increase each year, so even when your property's assessment doesn't change, you'll see an increase since tax rates are a factor in your bill. Of course, if your assessment does change, that could impact things too.

Q: What can I do if my property taxes keep rising?
A: As a homeowner, you are entitled to file what is known as a property tax grievance. What this means is that you can have your assessment reviewed by the assessor to determine if you are eligible for a reduction. If the assessor does not offer a reduction, you may file an appeal to have an impartial hearing officer take a look and determine whether or not your house is overvalued for tax purposes.

Q: Can you explain the property tax grievance process further?
A: Ultimately, property tax grievances are formal complaints against the value your property has been assessed at. The two levels of formal review include:
  • Administrative review (BAR or ARC): this is when the grievance process happens at the municipal level.
  • Judicial review (SCAR): this occurs after the administrative review - in fact, you must go through the administrative review first in order to pursue a judicial review. Currently, the state imposes a $30.00 filing fee for each case it sees.
Q: How long is the grievance process?
A: The grievance process does not happen overnight, so you will need to be prepared for it to take some time - it could take as long as 18 months from start to finish. 

Q: Does it matter if I live in an incorporated village?
A: Typically, yes - most villages have their own assessment rolls for village taxes, so they require a separate filing if you want to grieve their taxes.

Q: When can I file?
A: If you live in Nassau County, you can file between January 1st and March 1st. If you live in Suffolk County, you can file between May 1st and May 17th.

Q: Am I able to apply on my own?
A: Absolutely. However, since most homeowners are not familiar with the information and evidence that is needed to represent themselves properly during a property tax hearing, it's recommended that you turn to a professional such as P.T.R.C. Inc. for help.

Q: What if I am turned down?
A: If your request is turned down, nothing will happen and your property taxes will simply remain the same. You do not have to worry about any penalties, and in fact, you can try to file again the following year if you'd like.

If you're interested in filing a tax grievance for your Long Island home, our team would be more than happy to take care of things on your behalf! We have secured millions of dollars in reductions and refunds for homeowners in the past, and we only charge a fee for successful cases!

For more information about our services, please give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654, or email

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