At this time of the year, most home owners are receiving solitications from firms that can grieve your property taxes.  For those of you who have not grieved your taxes over the years, here is some information that may be useful.

First, you should know that everyone can grieve their taxes. If the home you are buying does not have STAR savings (School Tax Relief), this is something you should apply for immediately.  Also, being that prices of homes have come down so much over last few years, if the home you buy has not had its taxes grieved, you may want to consider having it done. This can only be done once every 2 years.
Some very helpful information can be found on the New York State Department of Tax and Finance page.

Each municipality has a date in which the appraisal needs to be done, and only a two week window where you can grieve your taxes.  In Greenburgh, May 1st is the time that the appraiser needs to come out, and take comparisions for last six months.  Grievance procedure is held at the beginning of June.  This is done through the Tax Assessors Office .  You can find your own property through this page to find out what your assessment is.

For those who have the time, fortitude, and determination to see through this process, you can gather all of the information and submit yourself.

However, since it can only be done once every two years, the use of an attorney to file the papers, in case it needs to go to court, may be worthwhile.

But, beware. Not all of the real estate attorneys vying for your business are equal!
The best way to hire someone is, of course, to ask people you know in the neighborhood who they’ve used.  Referrals in this regard are the best. However, if you are at a loss for a referral, here are some important questions to ask:

1)Are they an attorney?
2)Do they have a relationship with the town/municipality you are grieving? For how long?
3) How successful have they been in getting taxes reduced in your neighborhood or town? What is the average return they’ve received over the last 3 years?
4)*****What percentage of first year savings do they take. This is the important one.  This can range from 50% to I’ve heard 100% of first year savings.
    Being it takes almost a year for the process, and they take a large chunk, you really don’t see returns for 2 years.
5) They all say, we only get paid if you save. But, some may have that small prin they will charge for correspondence or mailings. Check the fine line!

If you are also not aware, the Greenburgh Tax Assessors Office page also has a list of partial Tax Exemptions that include:
Senior Citizens - Should know that only one person needs to be 65 or older
Star (School Tax Relief listed above).

So, do your homework. May 1st is right around the corner. May be time to think about grieving your taxes for the future.

Thomas Ricapito Headshot
Phone: 914-804-3048
Dated: April 5th 2012
Views: 8,082
About Thomas: I got into real estate sales by accident in 2006. At the time, I recently earned a Bachelor's Degre...

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