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What role does the annual assessment of my property play in determining my property taxes?

Your assessment represents the proportionate share of the total value of all assessments in a taxing jurisdiction in which you own property, such as a school district.  Your proportionate share of the total assessed value determines the share of taxes you will pay to the school district.  The same principle holds true for taxes to the County, Town, and special taxing districts.  Assessments simply determine how the tax levy will be apportioned among all of the property owners in a taxing jurisdiction.

Is my property assessment a tax?

No, it is not. The assessment notice is the estimated market value of your property. Assessed values are used along with the tax levy to calculate a tax rate. The taxes you pay are calculated by multiplying the tax rate by the assessed value of your property.

Won’t my property taxes go down if my assessment goes down?

Not necessarily. To demonstrate the relationship between assessments and taxes, consider the make-believe hamlet of Any Village, which is a community of two homes. Each resident owns a house valued at $100,000. Any Village’s property tax levy is $2,000 which is the amount needed to cover its expenses. Since each resident owns 50% of the total property value, they each pay 50% of the levy giving them each a tax bill of $1,000.

If property values in Any Village go down 10%, then each property is assessed at $90,000. The amount they pay in taxes, however, remains the same because the tax levy amount has not changed, even though the assessment has declined. Each resident still owns 50% of the total property in Any Village and must pay 50% of the $2,000 tax levy, which is $1,000. Even if the properties’ assessments increase to $110,000 each, the taxes stay exactly the same. They each still own 50% of the total property and Any Village still needs to collect $2,000, therefore they will continue to see a $1,000 property tax bill.

An increase or decrease in the assessment of an individual property is not an indicator of whether the tax bill for a property will go up, down, or remain the same.

How do I check to see if my property’s inventory records are correct?

When reviewing your records on the Department of Assessment website www.mynassauproperty.com, you should select the “Property Description” and “Property Sketch” links to make sure that the information posted is accurate.  For example, homeowners should check whether or not the architectural style, living area (i.e. number of bathrooms, finished basement and/or attic, presence of garage, etc.), lot size, and condition of the house are correct.  If you discover an error, you should contact the Department of Assessment by e-mail:  ncassessor@nassaucountyny.gov or by calling (516) 571-1500.

What is the STAR exemption program?

STAR is New York State's School Tax Relief Program provides a partial property tax exemption from school taxes. All New Yorkers who own and live in their home - whether it's a condominium, cooperative apartment, manufactured home, farm dwelling, apartment building or mixed-use property - are eligible for the STAR exemption on their primary residence.

There are two parts to the STAR property tax exemption:

  • The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences with an annual household income of $500,000 or less.
  • The Enhanced STAR exemption is available for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with yearly household incomes not exceeding the statewide standard ($83,300 for the 2013 tax year.)  For property owned by a husband and wife, or by siblings, only one of them must be at least 65 years of age as of December 31 of the year in which the exemption is being applied. The combined annual income, however, must not exceed the STAR income standard.

Did the NYS end the STAR exemption program?

No.  The Basic and Enhanced STAR exemption program is still in effect.  The special “STAR Rebate Check” program was terminated after two years because of State budget cuts.

Other than the Basic and Enhanced STAR programs, does Nassau County offer any other exemptions to homeowners?

Yes. In addition to the Basic and Enhanced STAR programs, qualifying homeowners can apply for a Veterans, Senior Citizen, Cold War Veterans, Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers, Limited Income Disability, or Home Improvement exemptions.  Exemptions brochures and applications can be accessed on the Department of Assessment homepage www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Assessor/index.html.

In general, what documents will I need to file for a property tax exemption?

There are two categories of property tax exemptions:  Income-Based and Non-Income-Based. 

Income-Based property tax exemptions include Basic STAR (For owner-occupied homes with an annual income of $500,000 or less) and Enhanced STAR (For seniors 65 years and older with an annual household income under $83,300); Low Income Senior Citizens and Limited Income Disability exemptions (Under $37,400); and the Eligible Funds Veterans exemption (see brochure for details.) 

To file for the Basic and Enhanced STAR exemptions, homeowners will be required to provide copies of their latest recorded Deed, Federal or State Income Tax Return and Proof of Residency (Drivers License/Vehicle Registration).

To file for the Low Income Seniors or Limited Income Disability exemptions, homeowners are required to provide copies of their latest recorded Deed, Federal or State Income Tax Return, Proof of Residency (Drivers License/Vehicle Registration), and all supporting income documentation used to file Income Tax Returns (1099’s, Interest and Dividend Statements, etc.)

Non-Income-Based property tax exemptions include the Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Worker, Cold War Veterans, and Alternative Funds Veterans exemptions.

To file for the Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Worker, Cold War Veterans, and Alternative Funds Veterans exemptions, homeowners are required to provide copies of their recorded Deed, Proof of Residency (Drivers License/Vehicle Registration), Copy of Discharge Papers (DD214), and a Letter from Chief of Department listing years of service (when applying for the Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Worker exemption only.)