Who is responsible for taxes?
Won't my taxes increase if my assessment is adjusted?
Does my town collect more taxes if it does a reassessment?
It is not uncommon to hear property owners complain that their city or town is updating their assessments just so it can collect more taxes. Actually, a cursory understanding of the municipal budget process would dispel this misconception.
If my town does a reassessment, will my taxes increase?
First, a reassessment does not necessarily mean that your assessment or your taxes will increase. Furthermore if your assessment does increase, it does not necessarily mean your taxes will increase.
Who is responsible for assessments?
Assessments are determined by the assessor, an elected or appointed local official, who independently estimates the market value of real property in your community. Market value is how much your property would sell for under normal conditions. Once the assessor estimates the market value of your property, the assessment is calculated.
What do Assessors do?
The assessor is the official who estimates the value of real property within the municipalities’ borders. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of property tax bills.
The assessor maintains the assessment roll – the document that contains every property’s assessment. The physical description, or inventory, and value estimate of every piece of real estate in the municipality is kept up-to-date. The information contained on this site is taken from the Final Assessment Roll, filed on July 1st of every year. The assessment roll may be reviewed on-line or at Town Hall by appointment before the filing of the tentative assessment roll (May 1st each year). The only changes that can be made to the tentative assessment roll are through the formal grievance process with the Board of Assessment Review. After the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has acted on assessment complaints and ordered changes, the tentative roll is made final (July 1st. each year).
Assessors are interested only in fairly assessing property in their assessing unit. If your assessment seems correct but your tax bill still seems too high, the assessor cannot change that. Complaints to the assessor or the Board of Assessment Review must be about how the property is assessed. Complaints about high taxes should go directly to the taxing jurisdiction, such as the town, village or city board, school board or county legislature, who set the tax rates. The assessor does not set tax rates.
What is an Equalization Rate and How is it Calculated?
An equalization rate is the ratio of total assessed value to total market value of an assessing unit is determined by the NYS Office of Real Property Services on an annual basis. It is used by the State to allocate aid to school districts and by Counties to apportion County taxes among municipalities.
What is the difference between the market value and assessed value of my property?
The market value of your property is generally defined as what your property would sell for under normal conditions. For residential properties, your assessor generally determines market values by comparing a property with similar properties that have sold in similar neighborhoods, giving consideration to other factors possibly affecting market value.
What happens during a reassessment?
The purpose of the reassessment is to ensure that all properties are assessed fairly at a uniform level of assessment. (Typically, assessments are adjusted to 100 percent of market value at the time of a reassessment.) To analyze the real estate market, the assessor will review recent property sales and other indicators. All assessments in the municipality will be reviewed to determine where assessments should be increased, decreased or remain the same. This may or may not include visual re-inspection of some or all of the parcels. Mailers may be sent to homeowners asking them to correct/update the information on their property. Those whose assessments are adjusted will receive notification in the mail.
Does New York State require reassessments?
New York State's Real Property Tax Law addresses the issue of assessment equity. While it doesn't require assessments to be at 100 percent of market value, it does establish a standard that assessments be fair at a uniform percentage of market value.
Contesting Your Assessment
How do I know that the assessor has the correct information about my property?
Because the information about your property will be used to determine your assessment, it is in your best interest to make sure that your assessor's data is correct for your property. You can check with your assessor's office to receive a listing of the information pertaining to your property.
When will I know my new assessment?
Based upon the available information about your property, your assessor will estimate the market value of your property. A notice then will be sent informing you of your new assessment. If you have any questions or disagree with the new assessment, you should arrange for an informal conference at your assessor's office to review the information on which the value is based. If the assessment official(s) feel that a mistake was made (or there is any other reason to question the accuracy of the assessment), the assessment will be amended.
What is the Informal Review Process?
The Assessor's Office will continue to offer property owners the opportunity to discuss their assessment on an informal basis. If you feel your assessment is incorrect then you must provide the Assessor with reasonable information, based on market sales, that supports your opinion of market value. To make an appointment, please contact our office.
What is a valid sale?
Valid property sales are considered arm's-length transactions between a willing buyer and a willing seller, both having full knowledge of the facts and neither being under any compulsion to act. New York State defines an arm's-length transaction as a real estate transaction in the open market freely arrived at by normal negotiations without undue pressure on either the buyer or the seller.
How do I Compare Properties?
In comparing properties to yours, it is important to remember that location, style, age and size are critical to the comparison process. You should review sales of similar homes in the same general area and of similar size, and make your adjustments from the sale price of that home. Waterfront properties should be compared with other Waterfront properties. If you are comparing other assessments of properties that have not sold, don't forget to check the data and make the necessary adjustments.
What if I disagree with the assessment on the tentative roll?
While the roll is tentative, you still have the ability to meet informally with your assessor about your assessment. If at the end of such a conversation, you still feel you are over-assessed based upon the market value of your home, you have the right to file for formal review of your assessment.
What is the Formal Review Process?
The Board of Assessment Review meets the fourth Tuesday of May (Grievance Day) each year to hear complaints on assessments. Written application to the Board of Review must be made on or before Grievance Day on forms prescribed by the New York State Office of Real Property Services.
New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. www.tax.ny.gov