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Old 05-07-2008, 09:33 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,486 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi my fellow Long Islanders,

I'm 27 years old living in Nassau County NY in a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath home financially supporting my mother who retired in 2004 with a mortgage left of only $100K. I've been doing some research regarding the disgusting rise in prooperty taxes in the last 6 years--I remember when my taxes were $6000 a year and mind you that was around the time I was 19 and at that time could give a crap less about bills or anything else but shopping. However, I'm seeing many blogs that are saying our property assesments are grossly overvalued. Is this so that our taxes can be raised??? My taxes are currently $9000 a year while my neighbor, who has corner house only pays $6000 a year--what is the deal??? I remember reading an article a few years back and I wish I coulod remember what magazine but it predicted that Long Islanders would slowly be pouched out of their homes so Long ISland could become only for the rich. I think it's happening as we speak. Who is this Mark Lewis who can get your taxes reduced? Is the reduction only good for 1 year? What is his number??? Please help--I feel like I'm drowning in taxes.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:25 PM
 
4,135 posts, read 10,767,250 times
Reputation: 2698
In NY state, you may challenge your tax assessment at any time. (Usually people do it when the entire town is reassessed) Tax assessments are initially made when a home is purchased. Your neighbor may have lived there longer and the house may be smaller so it is an older assessment and lower. Towns which have % assessments ( % of value) often go to full assessment ( full value of the house on the market). This generally raises your taxes.

We went to full assessment in our town; our home occasionally has a creek on the property flood badly and I took pictures from once in summer and once in winter and put them on CD and gave it to the assessor. My taxes came way down. Why do I get this problem? Downstream are expensive homes and our culverts are now smaller to protect those homes.... result, we get more water than 30+ years ago.

Before you hire someone, go to the assessor and ask for info on challenging an assessment. They legally have to give it to you. You should drive up and down the streets looking for similar homes of similar age and condition. Take notes on the address and look at what they pay in taxes ( it is public record); some counties have it in the town offices, some only in the county hall. Research will get you the info to challenge an assessment. If Property A is the same size as your mother's, in the same condition, same builder ( it might be in the neighborhood) and pays less in tax, you could challenge on that. It is good to have 3 properties to use as taxes where yours are out of line. Good luck
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Sound Beach
2,160 posts, read 7,488,795 times
Reputation: 897
From a newbie at the tax grievance thing, I had the same questions as you (WHY was my 275K home assessed at 450K????)

I went to the tax assessors office with a fistful of comparable sales and my recent appraisal. They looked it over and said "you are paying way too much...fill out this form" (tax grievance form). Sometime in August I will hopefully get a letter saying my 9K tax bill has been reduced to 6K (the ballpark estimate given to me by the assessor).

It really is that simple...but you do need recent comparable sales (best to contact a realtor for this...there are a few very good ones that post on here)...and also very good to have a recent appraisal.

I was "specifically" told an appraisal and recent comparable sales hold the most weight in getting your taxes grieved.

I would start however...by calling your local town assessor and finding out how much your home is assessed for. This will give you an idea if you are wasting your time or not trying to grieve.

Grievance period ends soon however (3rd Tuesday in May)..

You can google Mark Lewis Tax grievance...I did not use them but have heard nothing but praise. Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:05 AM
 
Location: Long Island (chief in S Farmingdale)
22,092 posts, read 19,296,640 times
Reputation: 5251
First off I would say check mynassauproperty.com.

As far as properties being over assessed that is a possibility, but I would say most of the comments on properties being over assessed are based of not properly understanding how the system works. The county deems what the market value of your home, but you also have an assessed value that the county gives. However, during the run up in prices a 6% cap was put in place on how much a yearly assessment can rise. During this period we were seeing double digit gains in home values. So what happened was the deemed fair markey value of the home was higher and in some cases much higher than the assessed value. Now this basically resulted in catch up over the last couple years as prices have leveled or dropped and some assessments have risen. When some people were seeing their assessments rise over the last year or so while they knew they had no change or a drop in the value of their home they often thought it was a result in the home being over assessed. Now that may have happened in some cases, but that was generally due to the home being assessed at a lower value than it was actually worth in past years due to the 6% cap during a time we had double digit increases.

Now another point about assessments, whether your assessment rises or decreases (or even if it remains the same) is not what impacts your taxes. Its how that change in assessment compares to the average change in assessment in that particular taxing district. For example Nassau County and the latest round of assessment. During 07 prices in Nassau County dropped by about 3%, but assessments rose by 2.9%. The reason the assessments rose even though the actual values dropped was the assessment from the prior year were still generally below the actual market values. However, just because the average assessment rose by 2.9% doesn't mean your county axes would have increased. If your assessment increased by more than that 2.9% you would see an increase, if it increased exactly at the 2.9% you would see no change, and if the assessment dropped, or even if it increased but by less than 2.9% the county taxes would actually decline. Nassau County hasn't raised taxes since 2002, the amount of property taxes they collect has been the same every year since then. What impacts the taxes is how your home compares to the average home, so even if we were all over assessed you wouldn't see a difference because what you pay is not based off the assessment itself, but how that assessment compares to the average home.

Now as to why you have seen such as increase. The most likely contributer is school taxes, which makes up the bulk of the property taxes (roughly 2/3) and pretty much rises every year. One thing to do if you didn't already is take part in the NY state STAR program.

As far as your neighbor and why his taxes are so much lower. There could be numerous reasons, if your not in the star program it could explain some (though not all of it). Is your neighbor in a different school district? Similar homes in the same neighborhood can differ quite a bit in value based off the school district alone. If the school districts are different, but the values are still pretty similar you might also see differences due to the school district tax rate. Every district pretty much has a different tax rate, and some even those in close areas could have rather significant difference in the tax rate (this is due to several factors based off the overall properties in the area). School districts in areas that are pretty much all working to middle class neighborhoods are not going to have the higher priced homes which can help ease the property tax burden as someone else who lives in a primarily middle class neighborhood, but has some higher ends homes to ease the burden. For example I'm in the Massapequa S.D, near the Farmingdale S.D border and the school taxes on a similar priced home in the Massapequa district is roughly $1,250 less in the Massapequa district than in the F'Dale district in part due to having some higher end homes near the water in Massapequa that Farmingdale doesn't have to ease the burden. Also areas with large retail, commercial, and business districts etc will generally have lower rates than a district which is pretty much just residential as its something else to help ease the burden off the homeowner.

You also have other exemptions which impact taxes, such as veteran status, age, disability, etc
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:07 PM
 
39 posts, read 113,850 times
Reputation: 39
Default Why do you pay such high taxes?

Ya, I think you're right, someday only the rich can afford LI, what a shame!
I grew up on Long Island and when we first moved there in the '40's there were still dirt roads in East Meadow, Newbridge Ave was one. I loved the beaches but hated the winters.
Lo and behold I left there for good in 1980. You see there is a world out there where people do not pay exhorbitant taxes, and guess what they still have wonderful community services. Makes you wonder what exactly they do with all the property taxes collected on LI. Does anyone know?
My taxes in my new location even today are still only $747.00 per year. That's for a 3Br, 2Bth, 2car Garage, 80x100 property with natural gas piped in, central air conditioning, very low utility bills, and lovely weather all year.
True, Jones Beach isn't here, and I really miss that. But I know one doesn't have to be ripped off to live comfortably.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Long Island (chief in S Farmingdale)
22,092 posts, read 19,296,640 times
Reputation: 5251
Quote:
Originally Posted by mskitny View Post
Ya, I think you're right, someday only the rich can afford LI, what a shame!
I grew up on Long Island and when we first moved there in the '40's there were still dirt roads in East Meadow, Newbridge Ave was one. I loved the beaches but hated the winters.
Lo and behold I left there for good in 1980. You see there is a world out there where people do not pay exhorbitant taxes, and guess what they still have wonderful community services. Makes you wonder what exactly they do with all the property taxes collected on LI. Does anyone know?
My taxes in my new location even today are still only $747.00 per year. That's for a 3Br, 2Bth, 2car Garage, 80x100 property with natural gas piped in, central air conditioning, very low utility bills, and lovely weather all year.
True, Jones Beach isn't here, and I really miss that. But I know one doesn't have to be ripped off to live comfortably.
2/3 of the property taxes go to school taxes and the $$ should be better spent in that regard. With that being said while LI has very high property taxes it also as a whole has one of the best schools in the entire country. Many of the areas with the very low taxes, have schools which aren't even remotely comparable to the schools on LI.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:27 PM
 
39 posts, read 113,850 times
Reputation: 39
Default Long Island taxes and schools

My children went to school on LI, one of them through high school and one through 7th grade. I can tell you that when we got to NM, the difference was huge. The schools are every bit as good as LI. The school buildings are very modern. All the teachers here live in the same community as the school.
They are very happy to be teachers that's the impression you get from them.
My children were very happy in their new schools. They went on to college which is also here in the same town, and today they are happy in their chosen careers, and the college was easy to pay for. I lived on LI for 38 yrs and here for 27, so I know the differences. But if you live in NY, I know how it is, I remember hearing it so often, why go anywhere else when you have everything here. Many NYers don't know they don't have to pay exhorbitant taxes or keep up with the Jones's.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:04 PM
 
Location: East Meadow
3 posts, read 11,850 times
Reputation: 10
Default Real Estate Appraiser

Hello--I am a certified real estate appraiser, and have recently had many tax grievance appraisals for homeowners on Long Island. So far they have all been very successful as there are many homes that are overassessed. My customers have told me that when they have presented the appraisal report that i compiled for them, the reassessment went very smoothly, and have saved as much as thousands per year. If you would like more information please go to Nassau Real Estate Appraisal, Long Island Real Estate Appraiser
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