Assessment Review Information

All property owners have the right to a review of their property assessment. The process by which assessments may be reviewed or challenged involves the following three options:

  • Informal Assessment Review – Local Assessor
  • Formal Grievance Process – Local Board of Assessment Review
  • Judicial Review – Supreme Court
    • Small Claims
    • Tax Certiorari (Article 7)

 

Informal Assessment Reviews

The informal assessment review process allows owners to submit documentation to the Assessor for review of their property’s assessment. All informal reviews will require an interior and exterior inspection of the property by an Assessment Department staff member. The purpose of a physical inspection is to ensure that the inventory (square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) on the assessment record is accurate and to evaluate the condition of the property.

Property owners who disagree with their assessment value must supply information to support their requested value. Information needs to be provided to the Assessment Department that the property owner feels is relevant to their property’s value. Examples of pertinent information are:

  • A recent appraisal of the property. Please note that appraisals completed for financing or estates, etc. will be reviewed. However, if an appraisal is submitted specifically for an Assessment challenge, the date of the appraisal must be completed by the date set forth by Real Property Tax Law, which is the preceding July 1st.
  • A recent listing of the property showing the asking price, time on the market and any offers made.
  • A recent sale of the property (copy of the purchase contract).
  • Recent sales of similar properties in the subjects neighborhood.
  • Photographs showing aspects of the property that would affect the value.

Informal reviews may also occur as part of the Town’s annual update process, when the Assessor mails out Preliminary Change of Assessment notices, usually between February and April. A set period, which will be defined within any notices sent, will be made available to schedule an Informal Review to discuss the proposed assessment change.

All decisions made through the Informal Review process will be for the next available Tentative Assessment roll, published May 1st. Change of Assessment Notices resulting from an informal review will be sent to the property owner no later than the first week in May.

 

Formal Assessment Reviews

Property owners in New York State are eligible for formal review of their assessment. There are two levels of formal review:

  • Administrative – the “grievance” process, conducted at the municipal level.
  • Judicial Review – must first go through the administrative review process, includes two options:
    • Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) – low-cost option available to most homeowners.
    • Tax certiorari proceedings in State Supreme Court – to pursue this option, you should contact an attorney.

The Administrative review process is with your local Board of Assessment Review (BAR), which meets once a year on the Fourth Tuesday in May. Grievances, heard by the BAR, are by appointment only.

If you wish to file a complaint, you are required to file Form RP-524 Complaint on Real Property Assessment. All four pages of the application must be completed and the form must be signed.

Appointments to appear before the BAR will be scheduled only after the Form RP-524 is completed and submitted to the Assessment Department along with all supporting documentation. Your original grievance application must be accompanied by five (5) copies of the application and all supporting documentation.

Scheduling of Grievance appointments are made in time sequential order (next available appointment time), as the completed application packages are received. If submitting by mail or courier, include a clear point of contact (POC) person with a fax number or email, so that the Assessment Department may send notification of the scheduled appointment date and time.

Faxed or emailed grievance applications (Form RP-524) are not acceptable, you must provide an original signed application; this includes letters or forms designating representation. Supporting documentation may be accepted via fax or email.

The BAR strives to give full and fair consideration to every grievance; however, it cannot do so without information from the property owner to support their complaint. The following types of supporting documentation are helpful in determing your property’s market value and should be provided with your grievance complaint form, if applicable:

  • A recent sales of the property (copy of purchase contract).
  • A recent listing of the property showing the asking price, time on the market and any offers made.
  • Recent sales of similar properties in your neighborhood. Information regarding recent sales of properties is available in the Assessment Department on on the Town website (see below).
  • A recent appraisal of the property. Plese note that the BAR will review appraisals for financing, estates, etc. If an appraisal is submitted for the express purpose of challenging the assessment, the valuation date per NYS RPTL must be July 1st of the preceeding year. (Example: for 2016, valuation date is July 1, 2015)
  • Cost of construction, if recent or new construction.
  • Rental information, if property is commercial income producing. The BAR requires two (2) years of income & expense data.
  • Photographs showing significant problems with the property.

It is important to note, that if you do not submit any documentation to support a different value than what has been determined by the Assessor, do not expect a reduction in the assessed value. You must have documentation justifying your estimate of value, subject to review by the BAR.

Your appearance at the BAR hearing is not required. However, is is encourgaged that you or a designated representative attend in order to address any questions the BAR might have as to the grievance complaint. For complex properties, such as commercial or industrial, it is highly recommended that someone knowledgable about the property be present (available) to answer any questions the BAR might have as to the grievance complaint.

All grievance applications must be submitted to the BAR no later than 8:00 P.M. of the day of the BAR meeting, Fourth Tuesday in May.

Notices of Determination from the BAR decisions will be mailed approximately 3-4 weeks after conclusion of the BAR hearings.

Additional information, visit:   http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/contest/contestasmt.htm

 

Small Claims Assessment Reviews

If you are dissatisfied with the BAR decision, you may request judicial review with a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing officer.

A Small Claims petition, Form RPTL-730 (may be obtained online or at the Monroe County Clerks office), must be filed within 30 days of the filed final assessment roll (July 1st) with the Monroe County Clerks office along with a $30 filing fee.

You must also mail a copy of the filed petition within ten (10) days to the following: Town Clerk, Town Assessor, County Treasurer, and the School District, in which the property is located.

You will be notified of a hearing date and location by the clerk of the Supreme Court or the assigned hearing officer. The hearing officer is directed by law to consider the best evidence in each case, and may order reduction in the final assessment or decide that it should remain unchanged.

For additional information and SCAR petitions, visit:   http://www.nycourts.gov/litigants/scar/

 

Tax Certiorari Proceedings

To pursue this option, you should contact an attorney.