THE TAX GRIEVANCE PROCESS – EASY AS 1, 2, 3
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
SIGN the application to Empire Tax Reductions.
SUBMIT additional documentation if needed. Your county or town assessor’s office may request additional documentation such as a copy of your deed, etc.
SIT BACK and wait for the good news! Should a reduction in your case be granted, your upcoming tax bills for that tax year will be adjusted down to now reflect your new assessment. Empire will bill you for services rendered only after the tax rates for that tax year have been published by your town and we can determine the exact amount of your savings.
WHAT EMPIRE WILL DO
We will send you a confirmation within 2 – 3 weeks after receiving your application. This confirmation acknowledges that we will be filing your tax grievance during grievance time (official filing time in your County).
We will represent you and your grievance for the Board of Assessment Review (B.A.R.).
We will prepare and file all of the documentation, market analyses and appropriate forms.
We will appear before the board as needed.
The B.A.R. may request copies of various documents that they will use to review your case such as fire policy, copy of deed, etc. It is important that we try to comply with the boards’ requests to the best of our ability and in a timely fashion. We will notify you if your board asks for any documents and ask that you send them to us as quickly as possible.
You are NOT required to submit to an inspection of your home even if “requested” by the B.A.R. or the Assessor. Empire has challenged this practice and won! The practice of demanding an interior inspection of your home was found to be unconstitutional and against your 4th Amendment rights. See a copy of this landmark decision here.
The B.A.R. has 3 to 5 months (depending upon your Township/County) to review your grievance and render a decision. They will either reduce your assessment or deny relief. Remember – your assessment cannot be increased because you filed a grievance.
Keep in mind that many cases are denied at the B.A.R. level.
We have the option of filing an appeal or Small Claims Assessment Review (S.C.A.R.) if your case is denied or if you received a reduction but your case warrants a further reduction.
S.C.A.R. appeals have proven to be extremely successful. In many instances, it is the only means of obtaining a reduction.
There is a Court-imposed Filing Fee of $30 required for S.C.A.R. The $30 fee enables the purchase of an index number and guarantees that your case will have its “day in court”.
Should your case merit an appeal, we will request that you send us the $30 filing fee so that we can purchase your index number.
We will purchase an index number on your behalf and submit the appropriate forms with required jurisdictions (i.e., Town Assessor, School Board, Town Clerk, County Finance Dept, etc.).
We will prepare a comparable market analysis to be used in negotiations with your local assessor and/or presented in court.
We will appear in court as required and present your case.
Once your appeal is filed, it is up to your local Supreme Court as to when your case is scheduled for a hearing in front of a Hearing Officer.
Due to the overwhelming number of S.C.A.R. appeals being filed in recent years, and the recent budget cuts by New York State, it may be some time before your case is actually heard. Rest assured, once an appeal is filed IT WILL BE HEARD. We just need to patiently wait for your (index) number to come up.
Empire Tax Reductions is committed to making this process pain-free and productive for each of our customers and we encourage you to call us if you have questions.