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Residential Tax Appeal In Suffolk County, Ny

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greens601

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
Looking for some advice regarding filing my own tax grievance for my single-family home in Suffolk County. I’m

It is my understanding the procedure is the same throughout the state; except the Boroughs of NYC and Nassau County.

Is it worth doing my tax appeal?
Should I get a residential appraisal done; I know the value of my home.

What format should the documentation be when comparing comps in the market?

How many comparable are needed?

I have a few other questions. At this point need to Figure out if I should do it or hire a tax grievance/lawyer company to do it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated?
 

Tony V

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Looking for some advice regarding filing my own tax grievance for my single-family home in Suffolk County. I’m

It is my understanding the procedure is the same throughout the state; except the Boroughs of NYC and Nassau County.You need to check with the TOWNSHIP that you live in as to what date they use for the tax assignment date, which will become the effective date of the report.....Most are July 1st, however one or two use June 30th....

Is it worth doing my tax appeal? Take a look at the sales/comps and see....
Should I get a residential appraisal done; I know the value of my home. You can put together a packet for your appeal or you can get an appraisal done. I am not sure about acting as an appraiser (it would be pretty apparent that you would not be a disinterested 3rd party).

What format should the documentation be when comparing comps in the market? That would be your choice...depending on how you want to go about it.

How many comparable are needed?Just like any appraisal, it would be as many as needed, in these assignments I usually use 5 if possible..

I have a few other questions. At this point need to Figure out if I should do it or hire a tax grievance/lawyer company to do it. Once again, your choice...From discussions I have had out east, they consider an appraisal more tan some tax grievance firm..

Any help would be greatly appreciated?
My thoughts and answers are in red above..
 
Last edited:

David Wimpelberg

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
I'd avoid performing an appraisal for yourself, as you are a biased party. However, you can certainly represent yourself as the homeowner of the property and provide market information.

If the assessor's value is truly too high, I recommend having another appraiser perform the appraisal, as an appraisal carries much more weight than a homeowner's opinion.
 

KHS445

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Michigan
I have testified regarding my appraisals in front the the State of Michigan Tax Tribunal multiple times and have witnessed other appraisers testimony also. In most cases the appraisers have better and more detailed information than the Assessors. Generally the Administrative Law Judge will consider the appraisal and will ask questions and then ask the Assessor for any rebuttal or contradictory thoughts or arguments. In Michigan Assessors use the Mass Market approach to value a property and while it is most efficient and easiest when valuing an entire Governmental Unit, it does not always address the uniqueness of individual properties.

For tax appeal work I will include the normal information regarding the subject and then depending on the uniqueness of the property and the number of comparables I may go back and include sales five or so years old. At least in Michigan it is very important that your comparables are from the same Governmental Unit as I have seen appraisals tossed out or ruled irrelevant because the sales used were from a different Governmental Unit. I also include two charts, one showing the sale price and assessed value along with a breakdown of the various units of comparison for the subject and the sold parcels. The second chart shows similar properties which haven't sold and their assessments again with a breakdown of the various units of comparison. This is especially enlightening when doing vacant acreage or vacant waterfront. Many times it will show a pattern of inconsistency. Many times it will also show some favoritism towards local landowners.

I had a case settle last week the day before the scheduled Tribunal Hearing. The subject included just over 20 acres and close to 700' of Lake Michigan frontage along with a three car garage with a living area above. The assessment being contested was set at $611,200 for a true cash value per the Assessor of $1,222,400. My appraisal was $700,000. The real issue with this property was that it was located in an area that had been identified as Critical Dune and High Risk Erosion. It was approximately 1,300' from the road to the beach and the terrain was predominately steep inclines and declines, making it extremely difficult to navigate. Experts provided written statements that the closes one could build to the Lake was more than 600' back and due to the height of the fore dune a view of the water was not possible unless one was more than 45' off the ground at the proposed building site. The Assessor and the landowner settled at a true cash value of $750,000 and an Assessed/Taxable Value at $375,000. This resulted in $9.900+/- annual tax savings for the landowner.

Now before anyone gets too excited I fully understand that as appraisers we can not advocate a particular position. I have a generic type statement that I read into the record that basically says I have been paid to prepare an appraisal of the subject property and that my compensation is not dependent on the results of the results of the appeal. Additionally I state that I am not there to advocate for one position or another but I am there to answer any questions regarding the appraisal..
 

norapp

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Former Suffolk County appraiser here. I did many appraisals for tax grievances over the years. They do work. The problem I found is it in some areas it was hard to find a similar home where the taxes were significantly lower. I was never called to court. Homeowners would just bring the appraisal to the hearings. I heard they sometimes make you come back several times which I believe was a tactic to wear you down. Depends on the town. I see no reason why you can't pull comps on your own and compare the taxes to yours. Many people just have a realtor pull sold listings and bring those into court without an appraisal. Good Luck. The main reason I left Long Island was the taxes. I bought my home in 2000. Small 2 bedroom bungalow. No garage. No usable basement. My taxes were $3700 and when I left after Sandy in 2013 (final straw) they were close to $6800. Add the increasing cost of flood insurance and I was done.
 
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