Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Disputed Assessment Fund –Nassau Real Estate Taxes

According to the new Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF) Program, any taxpayer who filed a complaint/grievance/protest on a commercial property to the Assessor in January 2016 will receive two bills on the January 2017 general tax statement. Depending on the amount of the assessment the taxpayer claims is too high that disputed amount will be put into the DAF account. The rest of the assessment will be paid to the school and other taxing districts. So far, so good – now the kicker. If a commercial taxpayer claims a 20% over assessment, the DAF will get 20% of the taxes and the taxing districts will only get 80% of the taxes. Clearly, the tax rate for every commercial taxpayer, whether they claim an over assessment or not, will have to be substantially increased to make the school and other taxing districts whole. The assessor will have to make a decision for each protesting taxpayer how much to put in the DAF, depending on what percentage the taxpayer is disputing. If the taxpayer does not ultimately reduce the assessment by at least that amount that is in dispute, the extra money reverts to the taxing municipalities. There are no rules and regulations available yet as to how much the January 2017 tax rate will increase and what the bill will look like. Rest assured the commercial taxes will be increased to create a fund - a Disputed Assessment Fund - so that there will be money available for the inevitable refunds.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Why is this year different from all other years? That is the commercial taxpayer’s question. The answer is not simple and it might even change. This year, the real estate tax rate will increase for every commercial taxpayer. Each taxpayer that files a protest/complaint/grievance against Nassau commercial real estate tax assessments will pay on two different assessments. The portion of the assessment that the taxpayer is disputing and wants to have reduced, will go into a separate fund called the Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF). Since the school and general tax districts will receive tax payments only on the portion of the assessment not in dispute, the tax rate will have to increase. The plan is for the school and general tax districts to receive full payment albeit on a lower assessment. Therefore, the tax rate on Nassau County commercial, Class 4 properties will increase for every commercial taxpayer whether the taxpayer complains or not. The schools will not suffer, only the commercial taxpayers will suffer. The details of how the January 2017 tax bill will look are still “in dispute”. More to come as the details are worked out.