Think you are over-assessed? How to determine if you have a property Tax Grievance Case in Suffolk County

Suffolk County property tax grievance information:
Below are answers to five questions that are commonly asked about filing a Suffolk County property tax grievance:


1. Q:   What is a property tax assessment?

A:  Every year each individual town assessor’s office in Suffolk County determines a value of your property. This serves as the basis for what your property taxes will be in the coming year – the 2013 filing period is for the 2013/2014 tax year. In Suffolk, generally speaking your assessment should reflect property values in your neighborhood as of July 1, 2012 for your December 2013/May 2014 tax bill.

“You want to make sure that your assessment reflects the fair market value of your house,” says David Clausen, Co-President of The Heller & Clausen Grievance Group, a leading Long Island property tax grievance company located in Suffolk County.  “The higher your assessment, the higher your property tax bill – it’s that simple,” says Clausen.

2. Q:  What is fair market value?

A:  That’s how much the town assessor says your house is worth as of a certain taxable status date – March in most of Suffolk County’s townships.

3. Q:  What are the levels of a property assessment?

A:  This is the percentage of market value at which properties are assessed. In Suffolk, the level of assessment varies by town.   The following is an updated list of level of assessments for 2013 in each township, according to NYS Office of Real Property:
•    Brookhaven      .0095%
•    Huntington        .0079%
•    Islip                   .1320%
•    Smithtown         1.37%
•    Babylon             1.23%
•    Riverhead         15.98%
•    Southampton    100%
•    East Hampton  .73%
•    Southold           1.18%
•    Each year a new level of assessment is released by New York State for each individual township, usually in February.

4.  Q: How is a property assessment calculated?

A:  If the fair market value of your house is assessed at $500,000 and the level of assessment is set at .95 percent, your tentative assessed value is equal to $500,000 multiplied by .0095 percent, which equals $4,750. This is then calculated by your tax rate, for this example, let’s say 3% of your total tax bill, without any exemptions, would then be $13,050 (4,750 assessed value x 3%=$14,250).

5. Q: If my assessed value goes down, will I pay less in property taxes?

A:  “If you think your home is assessed too high, and we successfully prove that the value is less, then your tax bill will go down,” says Tara Dreuer, office manager of The Heller & Clausen Grievance Group, a property tax-reduction company in Rocky Point Long Island. Under NYS law your assessment cannot go up; it can only be decreased or remain the same.


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