More than 120 local area residents recently attended a workshop at the Jericho Public Library on how to apply for correction of property tax assessment with a formal grievance application and how to understand the assessment notice for 2015-2016.
Featured speaker Helen McQueen of the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission (ARC) described procedures that homeowners themselves may follow to appeal an assessment of their property.
McQueen distributed forms that homeowners can complete and mail to the Assessment Review Commission in an effort to reduce the assessment of their home and therefore both the annual real estate and school tax.
Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (16th L.D.), who organized this workshop and others, said it “helps homeowners understand how the Commission values a home based on its current fair market value.”
McQueen explained how homeowners can find out the selling prices for nearby homes.
These prices can often be used as benchmarks for the “fair market value” of their own homes.
In some cases, she noted, it might not be advantageous to file a grievance application if a home is actually under-valued for the neighborhood.
Since house prices can change dramatically from year to year, McQueen urged homeowners to be aware of their property’s current value.
“Homeowners typically receive many solicitations from attorneys who offer to file grievance applications,” McQueen said. “For this service, the attorneys usually take a fee amounting to half of the tax reduction. But if often pays for the homeowner to file his own grievance.”
“It’s a simple process,” she continued. “The attorney fills out the same paperwork as the homeowner, but the homeowner knows his property better.”
McQueen explained that a homeowner may note on a grievance application such home-selling turnoffs that the home is across from a school, or faces an apartment building, or is next to a waste basin, for example.
These features can reduce the fair market value of a home and should be brought to the attention of the Assessment Review Commission; they may help reduce the assessment of the home, and consequently the taxes.
McQueen noted that filings for the 2015-2016 tax year need to be made before March 3.
Appeals may be filed online by visiting www.nassaucountyny.gov.
Printed forms may be mailed or delivered in person to the Assessment Review Commission at 240 Old Country Rd., Mineola, 11501.
Further information is available from the Commission by calling 516-571-2391.
Jacobs said she will hold another free workshop on grievance applications on Jan. 30 at the Plainview Old Bethpage Library at 999 Old Country Rd. in Plainview from 7 to 9 p.m.
Information about this and other upcoming property tax assessment workshops is available from Jacobs’ office at 516-571-6216 or email@example.com.