One of the most concerning issues each year for owners of Nassau County real estate occurs on January 2nd, the date when tentative assessments of property values are made that begin the process of determining their share of the taxes scheduled to be raised for school and general municipal purposes.
What some property owners may not realize, though, is that this initial estimate can be challenged if you feel the tentative assessment is too high and will leave you owing more in taxes than you should rightfully be paying. Let’s take a look at the overall process involved.
Basic Tax Assessment Rules
Each year the municipal service providers and school districts in your area set annual operating budgets that have a determinative impact on the amount of tax revenue that will need to be raised from Nassau County real estate owners to ensure that each of these entities will be able to function for the coming twelve months.
The tentative assessed value of your home or property is determined by first making a determination of what is the most probable price that any piece of Nassau County real estate would sell at if sold on that date, with all other factors being equal. The process involves:
determining the recent selling prices of similar Nassau County real estate for comparison
estimates of rental income potential for commercial properties
the employment of a fractional variable to calculate the applicable assessed value
There are limitations in the amount any private homes and condominium properties (designated class1) can be increased from one year to the next. Typically Nassau County real estate assessment values cannot increase by more than 6% in any given year, or 20% over a five year period.
When it comes to setting the actual tax amount due, the legal requirement is that each property’s bill be based on a set percentage of its market value. This percentage has held steady at 1% or less since 2003.
Appealing Your Assessment Amount
Of course, just because Nassau County real estate is subject to such a process does not mean that the tentative assessment is by definition accurate. In fact, in 2012 over 100,000 county residents challenged the accuracy of the assessments made on their property, and in over 90% of those instances it was ultimately determined that the initial assessment had been too high.
This means that a significant number of Nassau County real estate owners were able to reduce their property tax bill simply by formally questioning the accuracy of the initial tentative assessment. And even for those who questioned the accuracy and the initial assessment was upheld, they could not then have that amount increased.
Here are a few key elements pertaining to appealing your assessment to keep in mind:
the first day you can appeal is January 2nd
the deadline for appealing is March 13 (though this is sometimes extended)
you can file an appeal either online, or via a filled-out paper form
an appeal will not reduce your current tax bill since that is based on last year’s determination
there is no fee for filing an appeal if you do so yourself, as the property owner
As you can see, there is essentially no down side to filing an appeal of your tentative Nassau County real estate holdings value assessment. And given the fact that a high percentage of such appeals have been upheld, you actually stand a pretty good change of reducing your property tax bill by doing so – without the worry of stumbling into an increase as a result. Be aware, though, that extensions for filing appeals are not permitted – so make your decision early and then proceed accordingly.