I Submitted My Tax Grievance…What Happens Next?

After three extensions, Nassau County’s 2020/2021 tax grievance filing deadline has finally passed. We hope that you’ve filed your tax grievance, as Nassau County is one of the highest taxed counties in the country.

So if you’ve grieved on time, our advice to you is to pat yourself on the back, relax a bit, and take a well-deserved break. But just because no further immediate action is required on your part, doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay close attention to official communications you’ll be receiving in the next few months as your grievance makes its way through Nassau County’s administrative review process.

While it’s impossible to assign precise dates to the key actions that will be taken with respect to your property tax grievance, below is a brief roadmap outlining what typically happens after your grievance is filed:

The County Will Review Your Grievance and Make an Offer

The County’s Assessment Review Commission (ARC) will be reviewing a record number of grievances – reportedly more than 200,000 – filed for the 2020/2021 tax year. Processing this high a volume of grievances, along with the comparable sales data Maidenbaum supplied to support our clients’ cases, will obviously take a bit of time. ARC’s window for this process extends until March 31, 2020. By that point, ARC will have reviewed your grievance and made a determination.

During this review period, if ARC decides to make an offer to reduce your assessment, you will be notified in writing. If you’ve selected Maidenbaum as your representative, we will be notified, and we’ll transmit the substance of that offer to you. We will also advise you as to whether we think you should accept or reject the offer.

What Happens if I Accept the County’s Offer?

If you accept ARC’s offer, your case is deemed settled with the County. The Fair Market Value of your property should be adjusted to the new lower value by April 1, 2020, and you’ll be able to verify this new lower value by simply going to https://lrv.nassaucountyny.gov/ — the site maintained by Nassau County that allows homeowners to inspect their property tax records — and looking up the tax data on your property.

What Happens if I Reject the County’s Offer?

If you reject ARC’s offer, you may still have another way to argue that your assessment is too high: it’s called SCAR – a Small Claims Assessment Review proceeding, staffed by court appointed hearing officers empowered to preside over your case. If you believe your assessment is too high, and want to proceed with SCAR, you will have to file a petition prior to the April 30, 2020 deadline, and pay the required $30 filing fee.

If you have chosen Maidenbaum to handle your grievance, we’ll take care of filing your petition, represent you at any SCAR hearing, and aggressively argue for a reduction on your behalf.

When Will I See a Reduction?

Any reduction in your assessment granted by the Assessment Review Commission won’t come to you in the form of a check, but rather will be reflected in a reduced property tax bill, which will be reflected on your October 2020 school tax bill and January 2021 general tax bill. If your case is decided by way of a SCAR proceeding, you may receive a refund, depending on whether your case is decided before or after your October 2020 school tax bill is issued.

A friendly reminder: if you receive a reduction, but not in the form of a refund, and you’ve used a professional firm like Maidenbaum to represent you, you will be obliged to pay this firm a one-time share of the reduction you receive, in accordance with the terms of the agreement you signed.

This Sounds like a Long Process, How Can I Check the Status of My Grievance?

If you’ve handled the process yourself via a pro se grievance, you’ll have to review any communication from ARC and decide if you accept its offer when it’s communicated to you. If you have selected a professional firm such as Maidenbaum to represent your interests, you will be periodically notified of the status of your grievance. Given that multiple years’ tax challenges can be occurring at the same time, Maidenbaum sends fully personalized summary letters explaining the status of each challenge. If you’ve chosen us to represent you, feel free to email (info@mptrg.com) or call us (516-336-8622) to obtain the latest status of your case.