If you’re a homeowner in Nassau County, you’ve likely been contacted by a company offering to file a property tax grievance on your behalf. Before you authorize one of these companies, ask them a handful of pointed questions to evaluate their fitness for the job:
1. How long have you been in business?
Anyone with a telephone number and an internet connection can claim they’re a property tax reduction specialist fully qualified to file a tax grievance on your behalf. However, that’s very different from being a bona fide firm that’s been around for decades with a proven record of guiding thousands of Nassau County homeowners through the tax grievance process. So ask any tax grievance firm soliciting your business how long the firm has been active, how many customers they’ve served, and beware of those who won’t be forthcoming with a credible answer. (Maidenbaum has been doing this work for almost 30 years, and our successful assessment challenges have resulted in millions of dollars in property tax savings for our clients.)
2. How many people work for your firm?
While it’s theoretically possible that one sufficiently knowledgeable person can file a successful tax grievance for you, the odds of reaping the greatest possible tax savings look much better when you choose a firm large enough to field a team of professionals whose special strengths can be leveraged in your favor. Such strengths include data analytics, legal acuity, persuasive ability, customer service, and intimate familiarity with Nassau County’s complex property tax environment. (Maidenbaum has a full staff of specialists whose only business is to get you the biggest property tax savings possible through the tax grievance process.)
3. What are people saying about you?
In the era of social media, establishing the reputation of a tax reduction firm means examining what third parties – especially current and former customers – are saying about the company. So check client testimonials to gain insight into your prospective tax reduction firm’s reputation. Established sites such as BBB.org should be examined to gain insight into the firm’s fitness to represent you. (By the way, Maidenbaum has an “A +” rating from the BBB.)
4. What percentage of your clients stay with you for more than one year?
Unless a property tax reduction firm performs very well for a client, he/she will likely seek out a new firm as soon as possible, or decide to file a grievance pro se. You should definitely ask any firm vying for your business to report on the percentage of customers electing to stay with the same firm for more than one year. (Maidenbaum’s customer retention rate is among the highest in the industry.)
5. Will your firm stand with me if my grievance is denied?
While many property tax grievances are settled with the Assessment Review Commission, it’s possible that the initial protest will be denied, in which case the homeowner may have the option of petitioning for a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) proceeding in Nassau County Supreme Court. Getting successful results at this hearing means presenting the strongest, evidence-based case possible. Unlike many small tax grievance representatives that have limited resources, Maidenbaum is able to go to SCAR for each client that has a meritorious case for a reduction. So it’s prudent to ask whether your prospective property tax grievance representative will represent you at a SCAR proceeding. (At Maidenbaum, we charge only an additional $30 court filing fee for SCAR. Many other representatives increase their fee if they file a SCAR proceeding.)
Remember – Nassau County’s rules require that you can only have one tax reduction firm represent you for any given tax year. That’s why it’s very important that you choose the one most likely to win you the biggest property tax reduction.
If you’d like to learn more about how Maidenbaum can help you achieve a property tax reduction, give us a call. Our staff can assist you with the grievance process (in both English and Spanish).
If you’re ready to get started, click here to authorize us to file a property tax grievance on your behalf.