Q. How do I know if my house is over-assessed? A. Tax Hammer will provide an analysis free of charge, before you even sign up with us. The analysis consists of using comparable sales in your neighborhood to compare to the fair market value the county places on your property.
Q. How does the grievance process work? A. Every January through March is the grievance filing period for Nassau County. During that time we file an application for you with the Assessment Review Commission to review and reduce your assessment. If the application gets denied, we then have the right to file a petition on your behalf to obtain a Small Claims Assessment Review hearing date where we will represent your case in front of a hearing officer, who will then make the final decision as to whether or not your property will obtain a reduction in the assessed valuation.
Q. If Tax Hammer receives a reduction, how long will it take before I actually see any savings or receive my refund check? If we file the applications during the filing period early in the year, and you receive a reduction at application level, you will see the savings on your October school tax bill in the next calendar year. If the application is denied, and we have to go to Small Claims Court, you can see the savings (which can be reduced tax bills or refunds for the over-payment of taxes) between nine to eighteen months after the petition is filed.
Q. What is my assessment and what does that mean? A. Your assessment is the "assessed value" that's on your tax bill, also written as the "AV". That number, when divided by the RAR (residential assessment ratio) will give you the fair market value, or the value that the county thinks your property is worth. So if your assessed value is 1,500 and you live in Nassau County your RAR is .25 (divide 1,500 by .0025) than your fair market value is $600,000. If you purchased this property for less within the last two years, that is an example of adequate proof that it's over-assessed. The same goes for comparable sales in the area if they sold for below $600,000.
Q. How does my assessment relate to my tax bill? The AV gets multiplied by your tax rates to provide you with the amount of taxes you will pay. We cannot protest the tax rates but we can protest the assessment, which in turn will lower your taxes.
Q. Why should I use a grievance service? A. While you are free to grieve your assessment on your own, it is advised to use a grievance service for the process because most cases will be denied at the application level. Tax Hammer has the experience and technology necessary to do extensive work-ups and analyze not only the sales in your neighborhood, but the knowledge of the real estate market on Long Island in the past and present. We will file the petition on your behalf and attend your small claims hearing with sufficient evidence that your property is over-assessed, such as comparable sales and/or an appraisal. Grievance services are more experienced in this judicial review than most homeowners and they know how to argue the assessment, whereas most homeowners make the mistake of arguing the taxes they pay.