We hope you’ve had a fun, safe summer and are ready to enjoy the cooler months ahead. Given that Fall is now upon us, we’d like to take this opportunity to apprise you of the latest developments with respect to property taxes in Nassau County and advise you of some important action items that lie ahead.
Quantifying Property Tax Grievance Success
Recent press reports provide some detail on the success that Nassau County residential property owners have had by filing grievances. Many homeowners who filed tax grievances for the 2020/21 tax year were able to resolve their grievances and obtain reductions either through the Assessment Review Commission process or the early stages of appeal at Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR), which resulted in the reduced assessment properly being reflected on their tax bills, the first of which was issued in November 2020. However, about 7,400 homeowners, whose grievances were not resolved by the time the November 2020 tax bills were issued, ended up paying higher taxes than they should have, and as a result, received corrected tax bills, or are due a refund from the County, with the average reported refund adding up to $2,267. The average assessment reduction for these homeowners was about 4 percent. About two-thirds of those who filed SCAR claims won reductions. All told, Nassau County is forced to refund a reported $17.2 million to homeowners that challenged their 2020/21 assessments.
These numbers tell a simple story: homeowners who make the decision to grieve often win real tax reductions at zero risk to themselves. As Maidenbaum’s Property Tax Supervisor John P. Frascella remarked recently in a Long Island Home Magazine article, “if a property tax grievance is not successful, a homeowner’s assessment cannot be increased. If we do not get them a reduction, there is no fee, other than a possible $30 court filing fee. Essentially, they have nothing to lose. If they do not file, their neighbors could certainly end up with lower taxes by comparison. It’s important to maintain a fair assessment of your home.”
That’s why we sincerely hope that you file a property tax grievance and we highly recommend that you let Maidenbaum handle yours.
$375 Payment to Nassau County Homeowners Will Happen
The County Executive has proposed taking $100 million from Nassau County’s allocation of funds from the American Rescue Plan and distributing this money directly to residents. The plan – which will result in payments of up to $375 for qualifying residents – has been approved by the Nassau County Legislature. One-time payments to households with a total income of up to $168,900 will be made after verifying each household’s eligibility using their 2020 tax returns.
Make Sure You’re Maximizing Your Exemptions
New York State provides two important programs – STAR (School Tax Relief) and Enhanced STAR – which provide real financial relief for homeowners in the form of partial exemptions from School Taxes for qualifying individuals, including residents over 65 whose incomes do not exceed certain thresholds. If you’re already enrolled in these programs, and haven’t adjusted the ownership structure of your property by way of a deed transfer, for instance to a Trust, you don’t need to do anything, but if you’re a new homeowner, transferred your deed, or just turned 65, please visit Maidenbaum’s explainer blog outlining your options. Also please take note that January 3, 2022, is the deadline for filing STAR and Enhanced STAR applications – yes, this deadline is still a few months away, but it’s best to get started early, given that you’ll need to file a slew of financial documents along with your application.
You Can Start on the Road to Savings Right Now
September 1st was the happy date when you could begin engaging with Maidenbaum to handle your 2023/24 property tax grievance, and we hope you do so. We’re the property tax pros in Nassau County, and we’ll do our very best to make sure you never pay more than your fair share. Remember, Maidenbaum will only charge you for the savings that we achieve and will not take credit for any property tax exemptions – such as the Basic or Enhanced STAR, Senior or Veteran’s exemptions – which you may have filed on your own.