Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nassau County School Tax Increase



The Nassau County school tax rates, as of October 1, 2017, increased an average of 5% for residences. A typical $10,000 school tax bill from last year will be $10,500 this year. The Nassau school tax rates for commercial properties had a big increase last year, averaging 11%. This year, another 5% increase on average is expected. Therefore, a typical $25,000 commercial tax bill from last year will be $26,250 this year.

The tax rate increases are due, in part, because school budgets increased and many residential and commercial properties received assessment reductions. Having less total assessments in the school district causes the tax rate to increase to meet the budget.

The reason for the substantial commercial tax rate increase is in great measure due to the now 2 year old Disputed Assessment Fund (DAF). Every commercial property received the increase and those properties that protested have part of their taxes set aside for possible refunds.


The expectation is that the general taxes will increase at least the same in January.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Higher Nassau County Taxes on the Way




Be on the lookout: October 1, 2017 is the date for the first half 2017/18 school tax bill in Nassau County.  If a protest, grievance, or complaint to the real estate tax assessment was filed in January 2016 (that’s right, 22 months ago), you might see a lower assessment on the tax bill.  Of course, you might also see a higher tax rate.

If you do not receive the tax bill directly, go to: http://www.mynassauproperty.com,  and check it out.
In Suffolk County, you will need to visit or call the individual town for your current assessment. Those higher taxes will come in the December bill.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Real Property Valuation – Artificial Intelligence


It’s coming… Actually, it’s already here.  Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to value properties for tax assessment of real property taxes.  If sales in your neighborhood are going up, chances are that when re-assessment comes, your taxes will go up.  Computer software is precise when analyzing real property data, taking hundreds of sales prices and making comparisons that include number of bedrooms and bathrooms and land sizes.

What AI cannot do however, is identify old kitchen or bathroom appliances or 1960’s room colors or landscaping. It takes a human being, and really a land valuation appraiser or attorney, to determine traffic and parking problems or access to schools, shopping and public transportation.  There is a reason why so many commercial and residential properties receive real estate tax assessment reductions – AI alone does not do a good job of valuing real property.

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.

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, mynassauproperty.com, 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