Did you recently receive a letter from “Property Tax Grievance Consultants” suggesting a 25% potential over-assessment for the real property taxes for your home? Before responding, consult with a local attorney who specializes in real property tax assessments who can provide you with the right solution for your specific situation.
The suggestion of 25% is no coincidence. If your equalized assessment exceeds $450,000, you are limited to a 25% reduction in your real property taxes if you file a Small Claims Assessment Review Proceeding. Only an attorney can file a proceeding for either Small Claims Assessment Review or in Supreme Court, where there is no limit to the amount of the reduction. Attorneys are also familiar with other rules which limit how and where you can file and what is legally required to prevail.
When you work with an attorney, you will have the opportunity to speak with him or her one-on-one, rather than being sent a contract to sign prior to evaluating the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to file a protest. What if your home is under-assessed? Drawing attention to that may not be in your best interest.
Many of these “Property Tax Grievance Consultants” are not from our area, making their services more generic. There is an advantage to retaining a local attorney who is familiar with the geographical area, the court system, the Assessors and the Town Attorneys.
Karen E. Hagstrom is an attorney at SDG Law. For 15 years, Karen has assisted owners of commercial and residential real estate to reduce their real property taxes, from initial negotiations with the Assessor to the filing of grievance complaints, appearances before Boards of Assessment Review, filing petitions, Article 78 motion practice, hearings and trial.