Here’s What You Need to Know Before Filing a Pro Se Property Tax Grievance

Nassau County officials have recently been encouraging homeowners to evaluate the accuracy of their property assessments and, if these assessments are in any way inaccurate, to file grievances with the County on their own a procedure referred to as a “pro se” filing.

Likewise, we encourage all Nassau County homeowners to take a close look at the data the County has gathered and posted on its website. County assessors, after all, aren’t omniscient or infallible, and errors can crop up in public databases for a multitude of reasons. So yes, by all means, use the County’s new tools, explore the data, and look for obvious errors – every Nassau County homeowner should perform this basic “due diligence.”

At the same time, however, we’re not convinced that filing pro se is necessarily the best way to achieve the key goal of obtaining the best possible assessment reduction. Here’s why:

Time, unfortunately, is not on your side

Yes, Nassau County has extended the 2020/21 grievance filing deadline from March 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019. That’s great news because homeowners now have a much-needed additional grace period to examine their data, identify flaws, and mount challenges if warranted. But, April 30th is still a hard and fast deadline that (at this writing) is only 86 days away (as of February 7, 2019). Worse, it overlaps with income tax season, whose deadline is April 15th.

Perhaps going the pro se route makes sense for homeowners lucky enough to lead low-pressure lives, enjoy empty calendars, and have minimal family and work responsibilities. The problem is we’ve yet to find many Long Islanders in this situation. So, for the bulk of folks interested in reducing their property taxes, hiring an experienced firm with knowhow and a large, passionate, capable staff is still the way to go.

Consider the time value of money

Another good reason it may be penny-wise but pound-foolish to do a pro se tax challenge is the time value of money. You would have to examine the data and identify any flaws.  The next step would be to research and adjust comparable sales.  Then you would potentially have to appear at a conference before the Assessment Review Commission and/or petition for a Small Claims Assessment Review hearing in Court.  That’s a lot of time and effort.

Fact: Professionals perform better than amateurs

There’s a very simple reason why we’re so confident that your tax grievance will be more effective – and yield a larger reduction – when you partner with us, and, yes, it lies in the facts. We’ve been doing this kind of specialized work for decades, and have handled hundreds of thousands of grievances.

We’ve consistently won the largest reductions for the largest number of Nassau County homeowners. And we don’t see any reason why this proud tradition can’t continue into the future. So please, folks – we encourage you to do what the County says it wants you do to: take full advantage of its improved tools, understand the various and multitudinous data points that factor into your assessment, and flag any obvious errors.

But don’t make the mistake of filing a pro se tax challenge that’s defective, incomplete, or ignores details that have an impact on your tax bite. Because taxes matter – more than ever these days – we know you’ll sleep easier if you give this matter over to the pros (that’s us) to handle. We pledge to do what we’ve done for so many Nassau County homeowners in the past: do our best to use our technology and expertise to cut your property taxes to the absolute minimum provided by law.

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.