Tag Archive for westchester county property tax reduction

Attention! Property Taxes Demystified

Calculation of property taxes though often misunderstood are really quite simple.  There are only two components to calculation your taxes, these are the assessment and the tax rates.  Once you have a better understanding of your property taxes, what they represent, and how they are calculated I think you will be empowered to get them as low as possible.

The Assessment:

Your assessment represents a percentage of the overall value of your home this percentage can vary from .01 percent to 100% depending on your municipality.  This percentage is known as the Residential Assessment Ratio, or RAR.  If you want to see a list of RAR’s in New York State you can go to www.orps.state.ny.us/Munipro.

You can locate your assessment on your tax bill or by consulting with your local assessor, or the tax rolls located in the Tax Assessor’s office.  The tax roll is also typically available on line through your local town’s website.

The Tax Rates:

The tax rates represents the rate per thousand dollars of assessed value of your property. This rate is applied to your assessment to determine your property taxes.  The tax rates are a function of the budget.

Calculation of Property Taxes:

In order to calculate your taxes you simply multiply your assessment by your tax rates.  Just remember that the tax rate is represented as per thousand dollars of assessment.  So the easiest way to do the calculation is to divide the assessment by 1,000 and then simply multiply that figure against the tax rates.  You can see an example of this if you review any of your tax bills.  The tax bill will list your assessment, the tax rate, and the resulting property tax.  This is broken down line by line for each and every taxing district including Town, County, School & Special districts, so take a look for yourself.

In order to calculate your savings simply subtract your new assessment, after I have successfully reduced it for you, : ) from your old assessment and multiply that number by your tax rates.

When people see how much they save and how easy I make the process, they often feel bad that they did not take action earlier, but don’t, just take action and focus on your future savings.  If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact me.

All property tax appraisals are not created equally!

This is an important point if you or your clients are thinking about challenging your property taxes, and using an appraisal to support your value.  Many times homeowners filing a Tax Grievance on their own behalf will use an appraisal that they obtained during a refinance. This may be fine, but keep in mind that appraisals are performed for specific purposes.  The result is that some appraisals will be more conservative and some more aggressive depending on the situation.  For example, if a homeower owns a house worth $500,000 with no mortgage and is looking to refi and take $50,000 out there is a lot of room to work with and the appraisal may come in lower than the $500,000 value.  Where as if the same house is being purchased for $500,000 it is more likely to appraise for the full $500,000, assuming it is actually worth $500,000.

The point is appraisals are performed for different purposes, some are performed more conservatively than others.  As a result, if you are using an appraisal to demonstrate Fair Market Value then, in my opinion, that should be the purpose of the appraisal.  Often times homeowners will go before the assessor with their appraisal performed for the purposes of a refi and find out that the Assessor has a whole list of comparables that support a higher value.  So if you are not going to use an appraisal specifically perfomed for the purposes of determining Fair Market Value of the property, as of the specified valuation date for the specific town, make sure that you are at least familiar with the other comparables that are available as of that date.  Please feel free to contact me at TaxGrievanceSpecialist.com