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Five Property Tax Terms Every Homeowner Needs to Understand

Long Island New Home

L.I. Home

You are considering grieving your property taxes, but maybe you aren’t quite sure you truly understand the term “grievance,” and that’s holding you back. You’ve heard the words “assessment” and “tax rate,” and you find yourself wondering if you actually know how they apply to you and your home. And acronyms like HIEX and SCAR seem downright scary, right?

“These terms are important to internalize and understand because they make the grievance process more accessible on the whole,” said Property Tax Supervisor John P. Frascella of Maidenbaum Property Tax Reduction Group, LLC.

“The grievance process relates to formally challenging a homeowner’s property tax assessment, which is the value that Nassau County assigns to each property. The actual tax grievance is a document filed with the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission, which begins the grievance process.”

As for some other key property tax–related words and phrases you should know, the experts at Maidenbaum offer this primer

Assessed Value
Also known as a property tax assessment, and one of the two multipliers utilized by the County to determine the dollars and cents of your property taxes. A grievance allows us to challenge this value.

Tax Rate
The second of the two multipliers utilized by the County, which varies by school district, to determine your property tax liability. Unfortunately, by law, this number CANNOT be challenged.


HIEX: Home Improvement Exemption
A new exemption has been instituted for some homeowners for the 21/22 tax year: the HIEX. The exemption applies to any homeowner whose property increases in value up to $750,000 (previously capped at $80,000) as a direct result of improvements/construction. The exemption will be phased in over an 8-year period (with the 9th year having no exemption), and does not require the homeowner to file an application. But all improvements need to be completed by January 2023.

Property Tax Exemptions
Partial property tax breaks for which homeowners can apply (for free!). To take advantage of these exemptions, you’ll need to be a member of a class of individuals for whom these exemptions were designed—for example, a veteran, senior citizen, a volunteer firefighter/ambulance worker, or a person with limited income and disabilities.

SCAR: Small Claims Assessment Review
If we are unable to settle with the Assessment Review Commission for a fair and reasonable reduction, we can move forward with an appeal of your case through SCAR, to be presided over by an impartial Hearing Officer.

Learn more about property tax grievances and other property tax issues at maidenbaumtax.com.