Frequently Asked Questions
At the request of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, ARC has agreed to provide a grace period for filing a grievance until Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Your share of the taxes that will be raised for school and general municipal purposes in your community is based on an annual property assessment. The Nassau County Department of Assessment determines a tentative assessment for every property as of January 2, 2020.
If you believe the assessment is inaccurate, you may appeal by filing an application for correction with the Assessment Review Commission by March 2, 2020. You can appeal online from this site from January 2, 2020 to March 2, 2020. File online.
The following answers to frequently asked questions may help you decide whether you should appeal your property's assessment and will guide you on how to do it:
How can I find out what my property's assessment is? You can get this information from the Department of Assessment web site.
How often is property assessed? Annually. A new tentative assessment is published on the first business day in January of each year.
What is a property tax assessment? An annual determination by the Department of Assessment, which consists of a total assessed value, taxable assessed values for school and general tax purposes, and a tax class designation.
When will the latest assessment affect my tax bills? Assessments tentatively published in January become final on the first business day in April of the following year and are used for school tax bills in October of that year and for general tax bills in January of the next following year.
How does the assessment affect my tax bills? Your school district and other tax districts set annual budgets. The tax revenue required is divided by the assessed value of all property in the district to determine the tax rate. In most districts separate rates are determined for each class of property. The tax receiver multiplies the rates for the districts in which your property is located by the assessed value of your property to determine your bills for school and general taxes.
Will I get a notice of the new assessment by mail? You may receive a notice in some years from The Department of Assessment. But failure to receive a notice does not extend your time to file an appeal.
If I did not get a notice can I assume that next year's assessment is the same as this year's? No. Almost all assessments change every year. Every property owner should look up his or her property's assessment every year in January or February on the Department of Assessment web site.
Are the values on the notices subject to change? Yes. The Department of Assessment may change values on the January tentative assessment roll. Check your property's assessment in January on the Department of Assessment web site.
Can the Department of Assessment make any changes to the tentative assessment after January? Yes, for limited purposes. Before the roll becomes final in the following year, the Department of Assessment may petition ARC to increase or decrease the total assessment or taxable assessment or change the property's tax class if there are changes in eligibility for exemptions or construction, expansion or destruction of improvements. Any increase due to new improvements will appear on next year's January roll. Changes in exemptions may appear then or on the April final roll. How else may the tentative assessment change? If you file an appeal, the Assessment Review Commission may reduce your assessment.
How does the Department of Assessment's market value estimate affect what I pay in taxes? If your property's assessment grows faster than the average assessment of property in the same tax class and tax district, your share of the total tax bill will increase even if there is no change in the district's budget. But not every assessment increase will produce a higher tax; if the assessments of other properties grow faster than yours, your share of the tax burden will decline.
Does the tax class and taxable assessed value affect my tax bill? Yes, the tax class determines which rates are applied to your property's taxable assessed value. A change in your property's eligibility for exemption may affect the taxable assessed value.
What else affects how much tax I pay? The budgets set by your school district, town, special districts and the County.
Does the County get more tax revenue when the Department of Assessment increases assessments? No. The County gets the same amount of revenue, which is set by the County's budget. Can I look at the Department of Assessment's information on my property? Yes. It is available from the Department of Assessment web site. If there are substantial errors in the information about your property, write to the Department of Assessment, 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, NY 11501.
I received a reduction from the Assessment Review Commission last year, why did the assessment go back up? The Department of Assessment receives notice of all reductions granted by the Assessment Review Commission as they are made and considers them when it establishes its values for following years. However, the Department of Assessment is required to make an independent determination as part of its annual revaluation of all property; must bring values up to date with the current market and apply a consistent methodology that treats like properties alike.
Why did I get a new assessment before I received a determination on an appeal filed last year? The Department of Assessment is required to revalue all property at the same time even if there is a pending appeal. The assessment review process takes a full year to review all of the appeals and overlaps with the legal deadline for publishing the new assessments. If you disagree with the new assessment as well, you should file an appeal by March 2, 2020 even if you have not received a determination from the Assessment Review Commission on an application you filed last year.
Why did my assessment increase more than 6% over last year? If your residential property is designated as Class 1 property, its assessment will not be increased more than 6% over the prior year's assessment or more than 20% within a five-year period. The limit applies to the total assessed value, not to the appraised value. Value added by new construction or renovation is not limited. If your assessed value increased by more than 6%, the reasons may be:
- Your property is not designated as a Class 1 property.
- The assessment reflects construction or renovation or improvements.
- Last year's assessment was reduced by the Assessment Review Commission after the new tentative assessment was calculated.
- In some of these situations you may want to file an appeal.
What if I live in an incorporated village? Most villages set their own assessments for village taxes. Contact your village assessor or clerk for more information. The County assessment is used for school, town, County and special district purposes.
What is market value?
The most probable price at which a property would sell if offered for sale under ordinary circumstances. For private homes and Class 1 condominium units, value is usually estimated by comparison with similar homes that have been recently sold. For Class 2 condominiums and cooperatives, value is determined as if the property were operated as a rental apartment building. Appraisers estimate the value of commercial property by considering its rental income potential, sales of similar properties or cost to build.
As of what date is value determined?
January 2, 2020 in the year in which the assessment is published. The assessment becomes final in the following year. If new or expanded improvements are built or if the existing improvements are destroyed during the year, the Department of Assessment will issue a revised assessment.
How is the total assessed value determined?
The Department of Assessment estimates the market value of your property and then applies a fractional level of assessment, which is to be uniform for property in the same class.
Are there limitations on how much a residential assessment may increase from one year to the next?
Yes, for residential property in Class 1, the total assessment may not increase more than 6% in one year or more than 20% in five years. The restriction does not apply to increases resulting from construction or renovation.
Do any limitations apply to other classes of property?
Yes, for Class 2 and 4 properties. Although there is no restriction on increases of the total assessment, any increase not attributable to construction or renovation is subject to a five-year transition assessment.
How is taxable assessed value determined?
The Department of Assessment calculates the Class 1 limitation or transition assessment, where applicable, and then deducts any exempt assessed value. The amount remaining is the taxable assessed value, which is used to compute the tax bills. Since some exemptions apply only to school taxes and others only to general taxes, there may be different taxable assessed values for each tax.
How is the exempt value determined?
The Department of Assessment rules on any applications for exemption that you filed by the first business day in January, determines whether to continue exemptions granted in prior years and calculates the amount of the exemption. Many of the state laws granting exemptions provide that the exempt value is adjusted when the total assessed value is increased or decreased.
What is the uniform level of assessment? The law requires that taxes be based on each property's market value but allows assessed values to be set at a fraction of market value, provided that the fraction is uniform for each property in the same tax class. The Department of Assessment states the uniform level used on each assessment roll. For 2020/21 the Assessor has published residential properties at a level of assessment of .1% and class 2 & 4 at 1%
For 20/21 filings the level of assessment at ARC is:
-Residential filings- at ARC will be .1%
-Class 2 & 4 – .935%
Is the uniform level subject to appeal?
Yes. The Department of Assessment converts the estimated market value into an assessed value by selecting and applying a uniform level for each tax class. In response to appeals filed by taxpayers, the Assessment Review Commission (ARC) may determine that the actual level of assessment is different than that stated by the Department of Assessment. If ARC determines that the actual level is different than that stated by the Department of Assessment, it will apply this finding to all protested assessments for that year and tax class.
Does any other office review the level of assessment?
Yes. The New York State Office of Real Property Services determines Class Ratios for each tax class after the publication of the final assessment roll. Taxpayers may use these ratios as evidence of the actual level of assessment achieved on the roll. However, they are not available until after the time for filing an appeal.
Is there a Residential Assessment Ratio for Nassau County?
This ratio is computed by New York State for each assessing jurisdiction including Nassau County.
Did the low assessments keep taxes low?
No. The school districts, towns and the County raised tax rates as needed to produce the revenue they required from the property tax.
What is the practical significance of the level of assessment?
In order to evaluate the accuracy of your property's assessment you should look at the Department of Assessment's adjusted market value, which is calculated by dividing your assessed value by the stated level of assessment.
You should consider appealing the assessment if the Department of Assessment's adjusted market value exceeds your own estimate of your property's current market value. If the Department of Assessment's adjusted market value is approximately correct you may nonetheless obtain a reduced assessment if ARC or a court determines that the Department of Assessment has, on average, under-valued property in the same class throughout the County. If the Department of Assessment's adjusted market value is substantially less than your property's actual value, you probably will be unable to establish the right to a lower assessment even if other, more valuable homes are assessed for less.
TAX CLASSES What are the tax classes?
State law requires the Department of Assessment to designate each property as belonging to one of four tax classes. Classes 1 and 2 include properties that are used primarily for residential purposes and vacant land zoned for residential or mixed use. Class 3 consists of utility company equipment and special franchises. Class 4 contains all other property, including commercial, industrial and institutional buildings and vacant land.
Why does it matter to which class my property is assigned?
Tax rates are typically much lower for Class 1 than for the other three classes. In most taxing districts the Class 2 tax rate is less than the Class 4 tax rate.
Which properties are in Class 1?
One, two and three family homes. Any other properties lawfully and actually used primarily for residential purposes if there are no more than three units on the tax lot. Residential condominium units in buildings not exceeding 3 stories that were not converted from rental or cooperative use. Vacant land zoned for residential or mixed use. An extra lot used as part of an adjacent home's yard, even if zoned for commercial use, if both properties have the same ownership.
Which properties are in Class 2?
Residential rental and cooperative apartment properties and residential units in condominiums that are more than three stories in height or that were converted from rental or cooperative use. Class 2 also includes any other properties lawfully and actually used primarily for residential purposes if there are four or more units on the tax lot. Assessments of cooperatives and Class 2 condominiums are based on the market value of the property as a whole as if it were operated as a rental.
EXEMPTION AND ABATEMENT BENEFITS Are there any tax breaks for homeowners?
Yes. All resident owners may qualify for the Basic STAR school tax exemption. The Enhanced STAR exemption and other partial exemptions are available based on age, income, disability and military or volunteer service. Contact the Department of Assessment for application procedures if you are newly qualified or did not apply before.
How can I find out more information about exemption benefits?
Visit the Department of Assessment web site.
USING AROW: ASSESSMENT REVIEW ON THE WEB
What is AROW? A free e-government service provided by the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission for use by homeowners, commercial taxpayers and real estate tax practitioners.
How can I use AROW?
You can file an appeal between January 2, 2020 and March 2, 2020, track your appeal, search residential sales, and query public information on past and pending assessment appeals.
Is there any advantage to filing on paper instead of filing online? No. If you have an e-mail account, filing online is easier.
Must I register to use AROW? You must register to file an appeal but can use the sale locator and public inquiry functions without registering.
Will the Assessment Review Commission sell my e-mail address or other personal information? No. But some information about assessment appeals is public whether you file online or on paper.
Can I use fake information on the registration form?
No. This is illegal and will prevent you from receiving important notices.
Why are the sales listed different from those on the Department of Assessment site
The sales listed on the Department of Assessment site were used to value your home prior to January. The sales on the AROW site are the most recently available for homes that are similar to your home in location and size – but it is up to you to decide if they are similar in value to your home.
Why don't I see the sale of a house I know sold near my home? The sale may be too old or so recent that it is not recorded, the house may be much different in size than yours, or may have been listed as a sale between related parties. Does the average price listed represent the County's opinion of the value of my house? NO! The average is based on the sales you select.
Are the adjustments for time, size and amenities subject to change?
Yes. These adjustments are recommended and are consistent with typical adjustments made by Assessment Review Commission's appraisers. But they are not binding on either you or the County. You can override them by using the custom adjustment feature.
Does a real person look at my appeal?
Yes. Professional appraisers at the Assessment Review Commission review your submission.
Can I appeal without using the Sale Locator?
Yes. The Sale Locator is optional. You can go directly to the "File an Appeal" feature.
Can I appeal a commercial property online?
Yes. The sale locator is available only for residential property but you can file an appeal online for any type of property.
What is the deadline for grieving my assessment with the Assessment Review Commission (ARC)?
The deadline for grieving your assessment with ARC is March 2, 2020 Remember, you always have the right to grieve if you disagree with the home value on your notice of tentative assessment.
Should I file online or on a paper form?
If you have email, filing online is recommended. Filing online is faster and more accurate. You can file online for any type of property and any type of claim. Click here to file online
Which application form should I use?
Use one of ARC's three application forms. Use form AR1 to contest the value of an exclusively residential one, two, or three family house or Class 1 condominium unit. Use AR2 to contest the value of all other property types. Use AR3 if you disagree with the property's tax class or exemptions.
Can I attach documents to my application form?
Yes. The instructions for each application form list required documents for specific property types and claims. You may attach any other information you believe is relevant. If you file online, you can attach word documents, spreadsheets, digital photographs and scanned images. If you are unable to attach your documents electronically, you may submit them separately by mail with a cover sheet that references your application and the parcel number of your property or you may contact customer service (516) 571-3214 for help with attaching documents electronically.
If I appeal now, can I reduce the taxes on my next bill?
No. Tax bills are based on assessments that are already final. Appeal if you disagree with the new assessment – if you wait until you get the tax bill the appeal period will be passed for that assessment.
I did not receive a notice from the Department of Assessment; can I still file an appeal with the Assessment Review Commission?
Can the Assessment Review Commission increase the assessment?
No. It will either reduce your assessment or leave it unchanged.
Should I hire a lawyer or other representative?
The choice is yours. You are not required to use a representative. Avoid duplicate applications. Do not give authorization to more than one representative for any one roll-year. Make sure you understand the fee agreement.
If I used a representative to appeal my assessment last year, must I use the same representative again this year?
No. Your authorization is valid for only one filing. You can use another representative or file for yourself.
What will it cost?
Nothing if you represent yourself. The County does not charge any fee for filing an appeal.
Will the County contact me if I designate a representative?
Not ordinarily. If there is a refund, the Treasurer may mail the refund check to the representative.
I filed last year and have not received a final determination yet. Should I file again?
Yes, if you disagree with the new assessment. The assessment for each year is a separate determination. It takes a full year to review all the appeals. Final determinations are issued by April of the year after you file your appeal.
Can I appeal the market value estimate?
No. You may appeal the assessed value. Base your decision to appeal on your own estimate of your property's market value and the Department of Assessment's adjusted market value, which reflects the impact of the 6% limit on annual increases. Although you may disagree with the Department of Assessment's higher appraised fair market value that number does not affect your tax bill and cannot be changed by an appeal.
Should I appeal my assessment if I own a private home and think the adjusted market value is too high?
Yes. Review sales of similar houses in your neighborhood to determine what your house would sell for if you put it on the market. The sales should be as recent as possible and not more than two years old. Adjust the sales prices for time so that they reflect what the price would be in January in the year in which the assessment is issued. The sold houses should be similar to yours in location, size, and amenities.
What if I own investment or business property?
If the Department of Assessment's market value estimate is too high, your taxes will be too high as well. Appraisers estimate the value of commercial property by considering its rental income potential, sales of similar properties or cost to build.
What if I own a condominium unit?
Condominium boards may appeal assessments on behalf of the unit owners. If you own a condominium, you may appeal your unit's assessment individually but should contact the property management first to avoid filing duplicate applications.
How is market value determined for purposes of a condominium assessment?
Assessments of Class 2 condominiums are based on the market value of the property as a whole as if it were operated as a rental. The total value is allocated among the units according to their value. In Class 1 condominiums, sales prices of units in the same complex are often the best indicator of value.
What if I own a cooperative apartment?
In cooperatives there is only one assessment, which the corporation's board of directors may appeal. Individual shareholders cannot appeal the assessment.
Can I appeal the level of assessment? Yes. If you believe that your property is assessed at a higher percentage of its full value than other property in the same tax class on the Nassau County roll, you may claim and provide evidence of a lower level of assessment than that stated by the Department of Assessment.
Can I appeal the assessed value, taxable assessed value or tax class designation?
Yes. Even if you agree with the adjusted market value, you may appeal the tax class designation, exemption determinations and calculation of assessment limitations or transition assessments. Other grounds for relief include unauthorized entries on the assessment roll or incorrect designation of the tax districts applicable to a parcel. Use form AR 3 for these grounds.
Should I appeal if my residential property's assessed value increased by more than 6%?
Yes if you own property that qualifies as Class 1 property, unless the increase above 6% is due to an appropriate increase for new construction or renovation. Note that the 6% limit applies to the total assessed value, not the appraised fair market value.
Will the appeal apply to my village or city assessment?
No. If your property is assessed by the City of Long Beach, City of Glen Cove or a village, you may appeal that assessment with the local Board of Assessment Review. Filing with ARC will not preserve your rights to review of the city or village assessment and the filing dates and procedures are different.
Can I appeal my tax bill at the Assessment Review Commission?
No. The tax rates are set by each tax district's budget approval process. The tax receiver calculates the tax bill by simply multiplying the rates by the taxable assessed value.
Do I need to know how much my taxes will change before I decide to appeal them?
No. If the Assessment Department's assessed value is too high, you may want to appeal the assessment even if you believe your tax bill will go down.
Should I appeal the assessment even though my bank pays the taxes?
Yes. If the assessment is too high, the taxes will be too high, but your bank cannot and will not appeal the assessment
Can I appeal a prior year's assessment?
No. You can no longer contest the assessment published in January of last year or prior assessments if you did not file an appeal during the filing period for that year.
When is the first day that I can file to appeal the new assessment?
January 2, 2020.
When is the last day to file?
March 2, 2020.
How do I file an appeal?
File online or complete and submit the appropriate paper form. You can file online for any type of property and any type of claim.
Which form should I use?
There are three application forms: AR 1, AR2 and AR3. Use only one. Use form AR 1 if you appeal the value of a 1, 2 or 3 family home, which is used exclusively for residential purposes, or a single Class 1 condominium unit. For all other types of property use form AR 2 for value-only claims.
If I own more than one lot, must I file a separate form for each?
No. File only one appeal listing all of the parcel numbers for adjacent tax lots that are used as a single property, such as a home and an extra yard, or a store and its parking lot. Also file a single appeal for multiple units in the same condominium development if you file for the board of managers. If you own two lots that you use for different purposes or which are on different blocks, file a separate appeal for each
I own tax lots that are part of a lot grouping; do I need to list all the parcel numbers?
No. If the lots are grouped and you get a single tax bill, list only the first parcel number.
What if my appeal relates to classification, exemption, or other aspects of the assessment?
File on form AR 3 if your appeal relates to classification, exemption or other non-value issues. Your appeal on form AR 3 must include a specific non-value claim and may also include a value claim. If you file form AR 3, do not also file form AR 1 or AR 2 for the same property.
Can I get an extension of time to file after March 2, 2020?
Who can appeal an assessment?
Usually the owner or one of the owners if there is more than one. A lessee of an entire property who pays all the taxes is also qualified. A person with a written contract to buy a property may file but will not qualify if the sale does not go through, so it is best to arrange to have the seller file. In unusual cases other persons may qualify.
Who may certify the application form?
The owner or other applicant-taxpayer, or a representative who has the applicant's written authorization.
Who may sign an authorization for representation?
Only the applicant-taxpayer may authorize an application.
Who can authorize an appeal for a business entity?
A corporate officer, partner, or member or manager of a limited liability company.
How can an appeal be brought if the owner has died or is unable to sign?
A qualified fiduciary may authorize the appeal, such as an executor of an estate or a person designated in a notarized power of attorney to manage the affairs of the taxpayer.
How can I find out what information to provide to prove my case?
Read the instructions for the application form.
Can I prove my case without knowing how the Department of Assessment valued my property?
Yes. The Assessment Review Commission will consider your claimed value and any evidence you provide to support it. It does not require you to show why the Department of Assessment's estimate was in error.
Will I receive a response from the Assessment Review Commission?
Yes. If you represent yourself, you will receive an acknowledgement of your application.
Must I appear in person?
No. You may make your case through the information you supply with your application.
Will I receive a determination?
Yes, but it may not be until March/April of the following year.
Who reviews my application?
Professional appraisers and other qualified professionals who are members or employees of the Assessment Review Commission.
How long does it take?
Up to 15 months. The Assessment Review Commission works full-time, year round. It reviews applications that it receives by March 2, 2020 until March of the following year. The final determination appears on the final roll, which is published on the first business day of April. Notices are mailed at the same time.
If offered a reduction, must I accept it? If the Assessment Review Commission sends you a proposed reduction, it may ask you to sign a stipulation accepting it within a specified time. Accept the offer unless you will file for judicial review of the assessment.
How can I be sure my acceptance was received and implemented?
Check the final assessment after April 1 on the Department of Assessment website. The final assessment is published in the year after the tentative assessment. For example, if you appealed an assessment published in January 2020, look for the reduction on the April 2020 final roll.
If I do not accept ARC's offer of reduction, how do I preserve my rights to further review? You may file a Small Claims proceeding, if you qualify, or a regular judicial proceeding no later than the last business day in April the year after you filed the Application for Correction.
If I receive a reduction, will I receive a refund of taxes paid?
In most cases the reduction will affect future payments only.
If ARC reduces my assessment does the County lose revenue?
No. A reduction based on your administrative appeal does not cost the County anything.
If the assessment is reduced, will it stay the same next year?
Probably not. The Department of Assessment receives notification of the Assessment Review Commission's determinations and considers them when it sets values for the following year. However, the Department of Assessment is required to conduct an annual revaluation of all property based on the current market.
Will the 6% limit apply to the reduced assessment?
Yes. If you accept an offer of reduction from the Assessment Review Commission, the reduced assessment will be the base for the 6% limitation in the following year. However, in some cases the new tentative assessment will be set before the revised assessment information is available. You will be entitled to a correction if this is the reason why the new assessment increases more than 6%; you may preserve your right to the correction by appealing the new assessment.
JUDICIAL REVIEW INCLUDING SMALL CLAIMS Is there another level where I can appeal the determination?
Yes. You may start a lawsuit against the County in the State Supreme Court if you do not receive a reduction or do not accept a proposed reduction.
What is Small Claims Assessment Review?
SCAR is an optional form of judicial review, which most homeowners may pursue on their own, without an attorney. Judicial review is available only if you applied to the Assessment Review Commission and did not accept a reduction.
Which properties qualify for Small Claims review?
You qualify for Small Claims review if you own and reside in a one, two or three family home or Class 1 condominium unit that is used exclusively for residential purposes. Property used in part for commercial purposes and vacant lots do not qualify.
Is there a fee for filing a Small Claims petition?
Yes. The County Clerk collects a $30 fee for New York State.
Are there restrictions on the relief requested in Small Claims?
You may not claim a reduction greater than that requested in your Application for Correction. You cannot request a change in the property's tax class designation.
Is there a form for Small Claims review?
Yes. Petition forms are available from the office of the County Clerk.
Is there a form for regular judicial proceedings?
There is no official petition form. Only lawyers can prepare petitions for others. If the taxpayer is a corporation, it must be represented by a lawyer.
Can County employees help me fill out papers for judicial review?
When can Small Claims and other judicial proceedings be filed?
All petitions may be filed within 30 days of the date of the Assessment Review Commission's final determination.