Thursday, June 22, 2017

Real Estate Tax Reductions Can’t Be Won if Authorizations Aren’t Signed & Submitted

This year as in every other year for the past 36 years; I have filed real estate tax protests a/k/a grievances a/k/a complaints to the dozens of assessor’s offices in the metropolitan area.
The authorization to file for tax assessment reduction must be signed by an aggrieved party. Every year some of the firm’s clients do not send back to us a timely signed authorization. It isunintentional, in most cases, but still surprisingly neglectful for a taxpayer to not timely authorize the filing of the protest to the tax assessment.
In those cases, the attorney in charge of the proceeding typically signs the authorization, as the attorney, in order for the protest to be filed. Failure to timely file the protest is fatal; no assessment reduction or refund can be obtained that year. In most assessing jurisdictions there is a grace period to file an authorization when signed by the aggrieved taxpayer.
I stress every year that all of our clients that seek assessment reduction timely send us the signed authorization – remember failure is fatal.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Annual Survey of Income and Expense (ASIE) Penalties in Nassau County

The saga of Nassau’s exorbitant and probably illegal ASIE penalties imposed on commercial taxpayers continues.  As of now, only Plaintiffs specifically named in the current lawsuits are expected to be entitled to evidentiary hearings.  Attorneys at Meyer Suozzi are preparing an additional lawsuit to add taxpayers faced with the ASIE penalties.  Previous attempts by the County to impose penalties were limited to $500, so we believe that all the taxpayers who now oppose their penalties will be granted hearings.

Friday, April 28, 2017

ASIE Penalty Hearings

The court has made an interim decision staying the collection of ASIE penalties for those taxpayers that started a lawsuit against Nassau County.
Hundreds of other taxpayers who have not started a lawsuit might be entitled to hearings if they start a lawsuit. We are now preparing a lawsuit for taxpayers who want to present evidence at a hearing to modify or nullify the ASIE penalty.
The ASIE penalties are separate and apart from any tax certiorari proceeding to reduce the real estate tax.
ASIE financial statements must be answered each year that they are requested by the Nassau Assessor or penalties are imposed.
The court is still waiting for a decision from the Appellate Division before making a final decision.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Suffolk County Real Estate Taxes

The new tax assessments for ten towns in Suffolk County: Huntington, Babylon, Smithtown, Islip, Brookhaven, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southold, East Hampton, Southampton, will be published on May 1, 2017 and must be protested by May 16, 2017- a very short window.

Although the assessment might remain the same as last year, the ratio of assessment to market value changes each year. Therefore, the assessor’s estimate of market value might increase without any assessment increase. Of course, the taxes will almost certainly increase this year. Therefore, it is prudent to have each property tax assessment reviewed each year.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Nassau Real Estate Tax ASIE Penalty

Meyer Suozzi, along with several other law firms, won a further extension of the temporary restraining order preventing Nassau County from collecting the penalties. The County is asking for a guarantee of payment, undertaking (bond) until the issues are finally decided. That hearing will be held on April 20. 2017. The court is considering appointing a special master/referee to conduct hearings and determine the penalties, if any.

It is important to complete any ASIE information requests to prevent new penalties from being imposed. It does not appear, from my perspective, that the ASIE requests are illegal or unconstitutional; however, I believe the current method of enforcing penalties is illegal and unconstitutional.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nassau Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF)

Many commercial properties in Nassau County have seen their January 2017 general tax bill increase.  The claim is that the October 2016 school tax bill had a decrease for the DAF.  However, there was a substantial tax rate increase on the school and general tax bills.  We have protested the DAF for all of our commercial clients with our complaints to reduce the tax assessment.  With only a few days left until the March 10th deadline, everyone should have their assessment checked.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nassau County Assessor’s Income & Expense Statement (ASIE)

Justice Marano of the Nassau County Supreme Court, after hearing arguments from commercial taxpayers’ attorneys, and County lawyers continued the restraining order which prevents the County from collecting ASIE Penalties until further notice. The next court date is scheduled for March 30, 2017.

The Assessor is still entitled to send out new ASIE requests and, if not returned, there will be penalties. If you received a notice of penalties, gather documentation to produce at a hearing. I suspect the Court will either cancel the penalties or order the County to conduct evidentiary hearings before penalties can be collected.