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Five Essential Considerations when lowering your Real Property Taxes

The City of Newburgh Council voted recently to increase property taxes for 2017.  This means City of Newburgh homeowners and commercial property owners will pay more in taxes in 2017, with commercial property owners paying double the increase of residential property owners.

Want to lower your real property taxes?  Here are five important things to consider: 

  1. Real property taxes are a function of property market value, multiplied by a concept called the “equalization rate (ER).” The equalization rate is a percentage that is unique to the municipality where your property is located.  This is then multiplied by the tax rate.  The formula is:  market value x ER% x tax rate = your tax.  The National Tax Payers Union estimates that 30-60% of properties are over assessed.
  2. There are two standards for determining if your taxes are too high:
    1. Over Assessment – your tax assessment reflects the assessor’s opinion and the assessor may assign a property value greater than its market value
    2. Unequal Assessment – your tax assessment is out of line in comparison to assessments for similar properties
  3. If you want to lower your assessment, you must first file a grievance with the Board of Assessment in the municipality where your property is located. You must commence a tax certiorari action within thirty (30) days of the filing of the final tax roll.  This ensures the preservation of your rights.  Failure to commence a proceeding within the thirty (30) days will prevent you from moving forward.
  4. The deadline to file is typically the fourth Tuesday in May (May 23rd, 2017) for most Orange County towns and cities. Many villages have their own tax roll created separately from the Town.  To protect your rights, a grievance must be filed with the Village as well.  The Village deadline dates vary.
  5. If you need assistance filing a grievance to ensure you meet compliance with technical paperwork, filing procedures and deadlines, then an attorney can help. It’s best if you are prepared to provide these four things:
    1. Your assessed value (the amount of the assessment on your tax bill)
    2. The total taxes you paid
    3. The town, city, village in which the property is located
    4. The tax map section, block and lot of the property

Allison G. Cappella, Jacobowitz and GubitsAllison G. Cappella  is an Associate Attorney with the firm and practices Tax Certiorari, Matrimonial and Family Law. She can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email

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