Filing a Tax Grievance

Understanding The Property Tax Grievance Process

The property tax grievance process is complicated. You need to complete research, fill out the appropriate forms correctly and write a supporting letter. You also need to get all your paperwork submitted by deadline to your town court. 

The Assessment

Your municipality’s assessor does not determine your property taxes, the assessor’s role is to determine what the market value is for your property. The assor performs a comparable sales analysis, similar to a real estate agent or appraiser, when determining the value of your home.

The Assessment Roll

Your tax assessor will determin the assessed value of all the properties in a municipality and publish the tax roll. The roll is a comprehensive listing of all properties, including market value and assessed value. For most municipalities, the roll is published in the first week of May, a few weeks before grievance applications are due.  The purpose of the roll is to provide property owners with fair notice to see the assessor’s determination of their market and assessed value. The tax roll provides the market value and assessed value upon which taxes will be based.

Researching Grounds for a Grievance

A property owners can make a distinct claims for a grievance. Most Grievance Day filings are for Improperly classification or Unequal Assessment.  A claim of “Unequal Assessment” is the most common. It is a contest against the over-estimated the market value of your property, resulting in a higher assessment than other comparable properties. 

If the review of your property’s market value compated to the comparable properties demonstrates that your market value was too highly assessed, then you may have grounds for filing a grievance petition.

Grievance Day

To file a complaint grieving your property taxes you must submit appropriate paperwork and supporting documentation by the deadline established by your municipality. The deadline is usually a few weeks after the roll is published in May. This is “Grievance Day” for the Greater Capital Region.   On Grievance Day a Board of Assessment Review (“BAR”) will meet to start the process of evaluating grievance petitions.