Archive for Uncategorized

Homeowners Face Serious Penalty For Missing Tax Grievance Deadline!

Homeowners and tax payers in Westchester County have an opportunity to challenge their tax assessment once a year.  In Westchester County the filing period typically occurs in the first 3 weeks of June, however there are several municipalities, such as White Plains, Yonkers, and New Rochelle which have separate filing periods.  A list of all filing dates can be located through the Office of Real Property Services, ORPS or by simply calling your local assessor’s office.

Also, keep in mind that, it is typical to file separately for properties that are also subject to village taxes.  The filing period for these properties is typically during the first 3 weeks of February.  Don’t take it for granted that a reduction in your Town tax assessment is going to carry over to your Village taxes, you will almost certainly be disappointed. The bottom line is that it is best to check the filing period with your assessor just to be sure.

The penalty for missing the deadline is steep indeed, and can result in being penalized several thousand dollars.  The reality is once you miss the deadline you are out of luck and your penalty is to be overtaxed for yet another year.  No amount of complaining or excuse making will get you anywhere.  Miss the deadline and you will pay the penalty.

Unfortunately, once you miss the deadline the assessment is set and is used to determine the following year’s taxes and the homeowner does not have another opportunity to challenge for a full year.  Think about it, can you really afford to throw away potentially thousands of dollars year after year.  Stop what you are doing for a moment and think of all the possibilities of what you could do with that money, even if it is just a nice vacation for you and your family.  You owe it to yourself to determine if your assessment is fair.

More and more homeowners are becoming aware that they can review their assessments or have them reviewed and challenge and reduce them. I am dedicated to educating homeowners about their property taxes.  If there is anyway that I can be of assistance please contact me.  You may also find the blogs and video’s I have posted on my site helpful.

How much have your property tax rates increased since 2002?

Do you think this is an interesting question?… Do you have any idea what the answer is? Personally, I find this to be a very interesting question and I find the answer to be absolutely sobering.

Just in case you did not know property taxes are calculated by applying the property tax rates to your assessment.  In most towns in Westchester County the assessments are represented as a percentage of the property’s market value.  The point is that the assessments do not change from year to year, unless they go down through a grievance or up through an improvement.

In order to illustrate tax rate changes since 2002 I am going to use as an example a hypothetical property located in the town of Cortlandt, which utilizes the Lakeland School System.  I am also going to assume that this house had an assessment of $10,000 in 2002.  I am also going to assume that the assessment is still fair in 2013 and is still $10,000. This is completely possible and will allow us to focus on the increase of property tax rates since 2002.

All of the figures I am using for this example have been taken from the Westchester County website  I invite you to take a look at this site and figure out how much rates have increased in your town, when we are finished here.

If you lived in Cortlandt and utilized the Lakeland School system in 2002 your overall tax rate would have been $894.76/thousand dollars of assessed value.  This reflects the 3 major Property tax rates, namely, Town, County, and School.

If you lived in Cortlandt and utilized the Lakeland School system in 2013 your overall tax rate would have been $1,642.06/thousand dollars of assessed value.  This reflects the 3 major Property tax rates, namely, Town, County, and School.

If you do the math you will see that the tax rate, for this particular town with this particular school district, increased by 83% over that 11 year period.  Now, I don’t mean to pick on this particular town.  Please be my guest and go to the Westchester County website I referenced earlier and take a look at the change in your own Town and School district.  I am confident you will be shocked!

What this means is that assuming the assessment has stayed the same, which is a fair assumption, if it was fair and no improvements were made.  What this means is that your taxes would have increased by 83% during that 11 year period, and that is truly sobering. What would you do if your property taxes go up 83% in the next 11 years?  Is it possible?  If you have any questions regarding whether you are eligible for a property tax reduction please feel free to contact me directly.