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Challenging Your Property Tax Assessment, Part 2

Prepare before you file your grievance.

Property taxes have become a hot topic this year. People in the area are upset about their taxes and how they are effecting their pocketbook and their home values.

Don Clavin, Town of Hempstead's receiver of taxes, is holding a series of property taxpayer rights forums at libraries across the town. These forums explain our property taxes, exemptions, assessments and how to challenge your assessment.

I attended the one at the other day and want to share some valuable information for those who were not able to attend.

The biggest topic was challenging your assessment, how to do it, and what does it mean.

If you feel your home is over-assessed compared to other homes with similar characteristics in your neighborhood, you should challenge your assessment. In early January, you should have received a letter with your assessed value — if not, you can view it online at mynassauproperty.com, or you can call the assessor's office at 516-571-1500. This number is not your home's current assessed value, it is the assessed value for the 2013-2014 school year, and the 2014 general tax year.

Grievances can be filed between Jan. 1 and March 3. Your taxes CANNOT go up because of a grievance, they can only go down or stay the same.

How do you know if your home is over-assessed? You need to go to mynassauproperty.com and see what your house is assessed for as well as what similar homes in the neighborhood are assessed for. There are other positive and negative factors that come into play as well. For example, if you are on the water, your assessment will be higher than a similar house that is not on the water. If you are on a busy street or near commercial property your assessment should be lower than similar homes in better areas. When you submit your challenge, include photos to back up your grievance.

You can file online or in person. Mr. Clavin recommended doing it in person. You have to hand in your grievance before March 3 to the Nassau County Department of Assessment at 240 Old Country Road in Mineola.

If you need help in finding comparable values in the area to support your grievance, contact me and I will help you to locate comparable sold listings in the area. Or you can search to see sold listings at my website The Five Towns Real Estate Guide.

­One thing to remember: A lower assessment does not necessarily mean lower property taxes. A certain amount of money is needed for the budget each year. If the budget is not covered, the tax formula will be raised to cover the budgets as needed.

Here are some other related articles about our Property Taxes:

If I can be of any help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Donna Galinsky
Pugatch Realty Corp
FiveTownsRealEstateGuide.com

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