Property tax grievance on Long Island has become a big business in the last few years as property values have continued to plummet. In a perfect world your taxes would follow the same decline as your homes values have, down. However, we live in Suffolk County, where it is one of the few counties in the country that does not re-assess on a regular basis. So the only way to lower your assessed value, ie; lower your property taxes, is to file a grievance.
The key is to make sure that you hire a qualified property tax grievance company that will focus on YOUR homes case. Like any profession, some companies are better and more attentive to their clients than others. Some tips to help you when looking for a property tax representative on Long Island, include:
• Licensed: Make sure the property tax grievance company is licensed! There are many companies and individuals out there practicing without a license. While having a license alone does not mean the company or individual is great at what they do, it does mean that they must meet certain standards.
• Appraiser: Make sure the company has a licensed appraiser on staff! In court the burden of proof is on the representative to PROVE that their clients’ home is over-assessed, and yet, I cannot begin to tell you how many tax grievance services out there do not even bother to work up an appraisal for their cases. What ends up happening is one of two things, either the rep loses the case completely, or settles for far less of a reduction than the client is due.
• Attention: Make sure the company you choose will give you individual attention! Remember most tax grievance cases will go to New York State Supreme Court and will be heard individually just like any other court case. Don’t hire a company that is so big that you fall through the cracks or are forced to settle for less of a reduction than you deserve.
• No upfront fees: Reputable property tax grievance companies, like ours, do not charge any upfront fees whatsoever. Also, because we work on a contingency basis, it is in our best interest to get you the maximum reduction legally possible.
These are but a few of the things to keep in mind when you are looking for a property tax grievance company. The friendly staff at The Heller & Clausen Tax Grievance Group are available during the week, year round from 9-5 to answer any questions you may have if you are considering filing for a reduction.