Unequal Assessment Grieving Process for Informal Hearing or BAR Review

I am grieving my property tax assessment by way of Unequal Assessment. 

According to Real Property Tax Laws, RP-524,  RP-522 and Volume 9 Opinions of Council SBEA #11, the only requirement to be proven is an estimated full market value lower than the one provide by the assessor or a higher percentage of value than others on the same assessment roll.

The assessor has my property located at___________________ assessed at an estimated full market value of $_________________. I believe the full market value of my property should be $_________________. I also believe my property is assessed at a ___________ higher percentage of value than others on the same assessment roll.       

·     Give each member a copy of the "How to Estimate the Market Value of your Home" Pamphlet   Printable PDF version

·     Give each member a copy of your completed Comparable Property Analysis Approach spreadsheet and also a copy of the Recent Sales Analysis if you have one.

The full market value that I am proving is from the average full market value of ten comparison properties using a recommended approach by the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance and the Office of Real Property Tax Services.

This approach uses comparable sales or comparable properties to reach an estimated full market value. 

The differences in the properties are adjusted up or down in value to make each property virtually the same. Once the adjustments have been made, the values of all the comparison properties are totaled together and then divided by the number of comparison properties. The average value of the comparison properties then becomes the estimated full market value of the property that is being grieved.  

This spreadsheet with ten comparable properties is more than three times the suggested amount by the NewYork State Department of Taxation & Finance and the Office of Real PropertyTax Services.

Market Value is defined as:  How much a home would sell for under normal conditions.  This excludes sales where the buyer or seller is under pressure to act, perhaps due to career relocation, death of a family member, or divorce.  Market value is basically an educated guess, but it can be fairly accurate if you apply the right method and consider all the important details.

We have all been told the assessor is always presumed to be correct. New York State law requires the assessor to list the current estimated full market value of all properties on the  tentative and final tax roll as well as the taxpayer's tax bill. (RP-524 Instructions, Part 3, A #3) The full market values for all properties on the tax roll have already been established and determined according to recent sales by the assessor.

Therefore, all one, two or three family residences on the same assessment roll meet the requirements to be used as comparison properties to prove Unequal Assessment using the Comparable Sales Analysis Approach recommended by New York State Department of Taxation & Finance and the Office of Real Property Tax Services. This is confirmed by the Real Property Opinions of Council.  (Volume 9, SBEA #11) All information pertaining to the Property Identification of each property on the County website is provided by the assessor and can also be presumed to be correct.  

The values used for comparison purposes in this grievance are more accurate than the values suggested by New York State and Real Property. For example: The sample chart provided in the pamphlet allows a $12,000.00 adjustment for a bathroom. The bathroom is already figured into the square footage of the residence. The only adjustment should be the fixtures such as faucets, shower,  vanity,  tub & toilet. ($1,250.00) Not the entire room.

·     Provide a copy of the Comparable Property Analysis Formula "Resources - Grieving by Unequal Assessment"

·     Offer the binder with the comparable property information if they wish to see additional information.

Also include these laws for reference.

·     Form RP-524    Part 3 Section A: Unequal Assessment 1a  

·     [PDF]  Form RP-524-Ins:3/09:General Information and Instructions for Filing ...  A. Last paragraph

·     New York Consolidated Laws, Real Property Tax Law - RPT §522 ...  Section 9

·     Volume 9 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 11  Next to last paragraph

In conclusion, all information on comparison properties including the current Full Market Values were provided by the assessor, who is always presumed to be correct, via the County Real Property Tax website. The Comparable Sales Analysis Approach used is recommended by both the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance and the Office of Real Property Tax Services. The final totals show the new estimated full market value to be $______________. The higher percentage of value is $________________.

Unequal Assessment does not happen overnight or just by one factor. It is the accumulation of many factors over many years. When brought to the assessor or Board of Assessment Review's attention it is their job to correct the error. In this grievance the Unequal Assessment has been proven not by one of the criteria but both.

The assessment should be lower to the asking amount of $________________.