Q. How does the grievance process work?
Every May is the grievance filing period for Suffolk County. During that time we file an application for you with the Board of Assessment Review to review and reduce your assessment. If the application gets denied, we then have the right to file a petition on your behalf. We then obtain a Small Claims Assessment Review hearing date where we will represent your case in front of a hearing officer, who will (then) make the final decision as to whether or not your property will obtain a reduction in the assessed valuation.
Q. If Tax Hammer receives a reduction, how long will it take before I actually see any savings or receive my refund check?
If you receive a reduction at application level, your savings will be reflected on your December tax bill. If the application is denied, and we have to go to Small Claims Court, you can see the savings (which can be reduced tax bills or refunds for the over-payment of taxes) between six to twelve months after the petition is filed.
Q. What is my assessment and what does that mean?
Your assessment is the "assessed value" that's on your tax bill, also written as the "AV". That number, when divided by the RAR (residential assessment ratio) will give you the fair market value, or the value that the town thinks your property is worth. So if your assessed value is 4,200 and you live in Brookhaven Township your RAR is .70 (divide 4,200 by .0070) then your fair market value is $600,000 If you purchased this property for less within the last two years, that is an example of adequate proof that it's over-assessed. The same goes for comparable sales in the area if they sold for below $600,000.The AV gets multiplied by your tax rates to provide you with the amount of taxes you will pay. We cannot protest the tax rates but we can protest the assessment, which in turn will lower your taxes.