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Long Island Property Tax Grievance 101

09/01/2021
Howtoproptaxes

Eric Feil

You’ve bought your house, furnished it, manicured the yard, put down roots…and you’ve likely learned that home ownership is not a destination, but a journey. Among the ongoing issues that come up time and again—perhaps even at the top of your list—are property taxes. They spark a multitude of emotions and misconceptions, to say nothing of myriad questions, often beginning with one almost every Long Island homeowner ponders: Should I consider filing a tax grievance? 

“A homeowner should not ‘consider’ a property tax grievance,” according to Maidenbaum Property Tax Reduction Group, LLC, Residential Property Tax Supervisor John P. Frascella. “They should absolutely do it.” 

Just Do It!

“There is zero downside,” Frascella says of a grievance. “If a property tax grievance is not successful, a homeowner’s assessment cannot be increased. If we do not get them a reduction, there is no fee, other than a possible $30 court filing fee. Essentially, they have nothing to lose. If they do not file, their neighbors could certainly end up with lower taxes by comparison. It’s important to maintain a fair assessment of your home.”

“But the County Will Inspect My Home!” and Other Misconceptions

“Common misconceptions are, ‘The county is going to come and inspect my home.’ That is not true,” explains Frascella. “A property tax grievance will not trigger an inspection by the Nassau County Field Division. Another misconception is, ‘My assessment is already too low’. There is no way to know that with confidence, two years in advance of the tax year at issue.” That is for the experts to determine. “We have creative, advanced ways of making arguments in these cases. Don’t count yourself out before you even start.”

Every Homeowner Can File a Grievance. But…

Frascella says that every homeowner can file a grievance but notes that not every homeowner is eligible for the Small Claims Assessment Review, also known as SCAR. “For SCAR, the property must be owner occupied.” 

The Eternal Question: I Filed Last Year, Can I Do It Again?

“Yes, you absolutely can, and should!” says Frascella. “Maintaining a fair assessment is undoubtedly a yearly process. The uphill battle never ends. We must challenge consistently in Nassau County. School and General tax rates have a tendency to rise on a yearly basis.”

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