Friday, February 10, 2017

Annual Survey of Income and Expense (ASIE) forms - A Reprieve From Penalties

Nassau County commercial property taxpayers won a reprieve from the penalties for failing to file the Annual Survey of Income and Expense (ASIE) forms with the Assessor.

The Court extended a restraining order barring Nassau County from enforcing hundreds of thousands of dollars of penalties against County businesses that were fined for allegedly not filing required financial reports with the County Assessor.

Nassau had warned commercial property owners in December that it would turn the fines into liens, accruing 12 percent interest annually.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Newsday Article Hits the Nail on The Head

The Newsday article featured on February 2, 2017, “Mangano’s Overhaul Created $1.7B Property Tax Shift in Nassau,” is right on the money. The article, which discusses residential and commercial real estate tax assessments in Nassau County, accurately explains that your taxes go up when anyone else receives an assessment decrease. The County website,, understates the market value the assessor uses to compute your taxes by 40%.

Monday, January 30, 2017

ASIE Penalties Held in Abeyance

The Nassau Supreme Court has stopped Nassau County from collecting the penalties for failure of commercial properties to provide income and expense information.  There will be a further hearing on February 8, 2017. 
It is clear to me, that many of our firm’s clients have documentation that the Annual Survey of Income and Expense (ASIE) forms were sent to the County.  Other property owners never received the requests.  Still other were not the owner of the property during the years the ASIE forms were to be filed. The ASIE penalty is based on a percentage of the property’s market value.  That value has, in many cases, been reduced by settlement.

New York City also requests commercial properties to file a Real Property Income and Expense form (RPIE).

However, that procedure is much simpler and fairer to the property owners. 

Bottom line – if you receive a request from the Assessor to report your property (not business) income, the failure to comply can be costly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF)

Nassau County commercial real estate taxpayers received a very expensive tax bill this year.  New York State allowed Nassau County to create a special additional DAF tax to create millions of dollars to be available for refunds when the Nassau assessor over assesses commercial real estate.  Property owners are being over-taxed to correct the over assessment of their property.

The only way to have this extra tax removed is to file a complaint by March 1, 2017, or that onerous and possibly illegal tax will remain.  Adding insult to injury, the tax rate was dramatically increased for most properties.  This extra tax is a devastating blow to many commercial taxpayers – more taxes means less profits.  The DAF lowers the market value of your property and adds to the burden of conducting business in Nassau County.

The time is now to have your assessment reviewed

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why Do My Nassau Property Taxes Go Up, Up, Up

Why were the Nassau School Tax bills higher than ever?

There are three reasons:
  1. School budgets continue to increase, higher than the 2% NYS cap;
  2. There are precious few properties being built, therefore, virtually no new assessments are being added to the tax roll; and
  3. If there are assessment reductions in the district and no new assessments added, then it’s simple math that tax rates have to increase.

For example: If the total assessments in a district decreased from $1,000,000 to $900,000 because some properties received assessment reductions, the tax rate has to increase by 11% just to get the same money. And, on top of that the budget has to increase.

In fact, in the town of Hempstead School District 27 the commercial taxes increased over 13%.  The residential tax rate increases averaged 5%. The (DAF) Disputed Assessment Fund which affects only commercial properties was on this October’s school tax bill and unexpectedly decreased the taxes payable.  Be prepared, there will be an increase for the DAF on the general tax bill.

The next protest period in Nassau and New York City is in January and the Suffolk protests are in May.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nassau Commercial Tax Bills (DAF)

If you own commercial property, your new October school tax bill probably has a lower tax then last year because the Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF) reduced the taxes payable.  Everybody thought the DAF was to be an additional tax to build up a refund bucket. However, the Disputed Assessment Fund charge was a reduction on the tax bills.  The Assessment Department has not explained why a charge resulted in reducing the tax payable.  What will happen on the January 2017 general tax bill is anybody’s guess. As a Tax Certiorari lawyer who files for commercial clients, I am mindful of real estate taxes. This unexpected decrease in school taxes might be welcome in the short run but I am concerned that there will be a large increase in commercial property taxes in the coming year. I will continue to reach out for information on the DAF taxes.  Of course, the school taxes increased for Nassau residential properties.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Proposed New Licensing Requirements for Non-Attorney Tax Reduction Firms in Nassau

Nassau County’s program to license non-attorney tax assessment firms has already started – if not voted in yet. There are many firms that have sprouted up in the past few years, some of whom may not be as knowledgeable about the business as they should be. These firms will now be licensed and, hopefully, regulated. In a Newsday article published on September 20th entitled, “Edward Mangano’s budget would hike small business license fees,” it states, “In documents filed with the county legislature, officials contend a license for tax assessment reduction firms is needed to ensure “senior citizens are not victimized by unscrupulous” firms not run by practicing attorneys.”

As of now, there are already licensing requirements in Suffolk County for non-attorney tax grievance firms, which are regulated by the Suffolk County Consumer Affairs Department.

We all get many, many, many solicitations to reduce the taxes on our homes. Tax certiorari for small claims assessment review (SCAR) has become a cottage industry. Most cases in Nassau are settled without cash refunds as the assessments are lowered at hearings before the tax bills are sent. Too many flyers come with outlandish claims of reductions on other properties in the area. However, there is no accountability of whether those reductions were even close to what the property should have received as a reduction. There is no rule-of-thumb percentage reduction. Every property must be individually analyzed, and Suffolk cases are even more complicated because of the 10 different town procedures that require a more rigorous analysis and hearing representation.

Tis the season where we will all be bombarded with mailers – let the buyer beware!