New York State Law requires all properties in your in this process. Revenue from all sources other than Next, keeping values up-to-date each year does not My assessment was adjusted last year, and it’s
municipality (except in New York City and Nassau the property tax is determined. These revenues are necessarily mean that your assessment will been adjusted again this year. Why?
County) to be assessed at a uniform percentage of subtracted from the budget to arrive at the tax levy – increase. Market values of properties may stay the
market value each year. This means that all taxable the total amount to be raised through the property same or go down, which means that some properties Each year, State Law requires your assessor to sign
properties in your city, town or village must be tax. should see a decrease in assessed values. an oath that the assessments in your community
assessed at market value or all at the same uniform represent a uniform percentage of market value.
percentage of market value each year. State Law The tax rate for properties in your community is If your assessment does increase, it doesn’t mean The best way to ensure that assessments are
also requires your assessor to include the estimate of then determined by dividing the tax levy by the total that your taxes will automatically increase. In some consistently fair and uniform is to keep assessments
the market value for each property, the assessment taxable assessed value of taxable real property in cases, a municipality will go from a fractional level up-to-date annually. To encourage compliance with
for each property and the uniform percentage for all your community (tax levy ÷ total taxable assessed of assessment to 100 percent. If the original level of State Law, New York State provides State Aid of up
taxable property on the tentative assessment roll. value = tax rate). assessment was 10 percent, and the current level of to $5 per eligible parcel to municipalities that keep
assessment is 100 percent, your assessed value assessments at 100 percent of market value each
This pamphlet explains how your assessor can What is the difference between the market value could go from $9,000 to $90,000, and you might not year.
comply with the law by keeping assessments up-to- and assessed value of my property? see any increase in taxes.
date and equitable each year. The fairness, or Why does State Aid require 100 percent of
equity, of the real property tax depends on whether The market value of your property is generally In addition, if your assessment increases, but the market value?
similar properties are treated alike. By keeping defined as what your property would sell for under assessments of most other properties increase more,
assessments up-to-date each year, assessors can go a normal conditions. For residential properties, your your share of the taxes could decrease. For It’s much easier for taxpayers to understand
long way toward ensuring that taxpayers do not pay assessor generally determines market values by instance, if your assessment increased by 3 percent, assessments and determine whether they’re
more or less than their fair share of taxes. comparing a property with similar properties that but most other property owners saw increases of 5 overassessed when assessments are kept at market
have sold in similar neighborhoods, giving percent, you’ll likely see a decrease in taxes value. While State law does authorize
Who is responsible for assessments and who is consideration to other factors possibly affecting (assuming your school and municipal budgets municipalities to assess at market value or some
responsible for taxes? market value. remain stable and the tax levy does not increase). uniform percentage thereof, the State Aid program
requires towns and cities to keep their assessments
Assessments are determined by the assessor, an In many communities, where assessments are How does the assessor decide which assessments at market value.
elected or appointed local official, who maintained at a uniform percentage of 100, your to change and by how much?
independently estimates the market value of real assessment is market value. In other words, your Think of it this way, if you estimate your home to
property in your community. Market value is how assessed value would equal market value. If your In order to maintain a uniform LOA, each year your be worth $100,000 but the assessed value is
much your property would sell for under normal community is assessing at a fractional percentage of assessor will need to analyze all of the properties in $90,000, you might think your property is
conditions. Once the assessor estimates the market market value, your assessment should be based the municipality to determine which assessments underassessed. However, if the level of assessment
value of your property, the assessment is calculated. upon the percentage being used throughout the need to be changed. If assessments have been kept is less than 100 percent of market value, you might
community. For instance, if the market value of up-to-date each year, or if the real estate market has be overassessed. If, indeed, your home’s market
As mentioned above, New York State law requires your home is $100,000, and your community is been fairly stable, it is possible that few assessments value is $100,000, but you’re municipality is
all properties to be assessed at a uniform percentage assessing at 30 percent of market value, your will need to be adjusted. assessing at 80% of market value, your assessed
of value within your community. Your assessment assessment should be $30,000. value should be $80,000. ($100,000 * .80 =
is a percentage of market value. That percentage of Where assessments do need to be changed, in some $80,000.) In this case, your property is
market or full value at which properties are assessed Won’t my taxes increase if my assessment is cases, your assessor will be able to increase or overassessed by $10,000.
within a community is called the Level of adjusted? decrease the assessments of a neighborhood or
Assessment (LOA). For example, a LOA of 50 group of properties by applying real estate market It almost goes without saying that it’s very easy to
percent would indicate that assessments are at half First, as noted above, your assessor does not trends to those properties. This is possible only be confused when assessments aren't kept fair and at
of the market value; whereas, an LOA of 100 increase your taxes. Assessors are trained to be when assessments are at a uniform level. In other market value (and it’s also much more difficult to
percent represents a community that is assessing at appraisal professionals; it is their job to make sure cases, the assessor will need to conduct physical explain).
full value. that the assessments are accurate and equitable, reinspections for reappraisals of properties. Every
which provides the basis for fair distribution of assessing unit should be keeping assessments at a
Your taxing jurisdiction (school district, town, taxes among the property owners within the fair and uniform level every year.
county, etc.) is responsible for developing and assessing unit. Keeping assessments up-to-date
adopting a budget. There are several steps involved each year is necessary for fair tax distribution.
If my home is physically reinspected, do I have to your assessor's office to review the information on What are the benefits to keeping assessments up-
let the assessor in? which the value is based. If the assessment to-date each year?
official(s) feel that a mistake was made (or there is
While you are not required to let the assessor or data any other reason to question the accuracy of the More than 250 municipalities across New York are
collector in your home, your cooperation, along
with that of all other property owners in your
assessment), the assessment will be amended. now enjoying the benefits of consistent market
value assessments. Aside from State Aid now
community, helps assure that your assessment will Only when your assessor is convinced that all the totaling more than $4.8 million each year, the
be fair and based on complete and accurate
information. Without such cooperation, data
property assessments are as accurate as possible will
they be placed on the tentative assessment roll.
Assessment Equity for Taxpayers - The
collectors are forced to estimate how many longer it has been since a municipality has
bedrooms, bathrooms, etc., there are in your home. What information is on the tentative assessment updated assessments, the more likely it is that
Later, if you disagree with the assessment for your
property and ask that it be lowered, assessment
roll? some taxpayers are paying more than their fair
share in taxes. Up-to-date assessments A Guide For
officials will need precisely the information you You will not find the physical inventory of your eliminate unfair assessments and the “sticker
refused to provide in order to rule on your request
for a lower assessment.
property on the tentative assessment roll, but you
will find your assessment, your assessor’s estimate
shock” that taxpayers experience when
assessments are adjusted after years of neglect.
of the market value of your property, and the Local Control over the Equalization Rate –
If it is really inconvenient to allow an inspection at exemptions you will be receiving. In most By maintaining assessments at market value
that time, tell the data collector that and try to make communities, tentative rolls are published on each year, municipalities can consistently
an appointment for some other date. However, if May 1, but you should check with your assessor for receive an equalization rate of 100. This
you can spare the ten minutes or so that will usually the details in your community. eliminates shifts in school and county tax
be required, we urge that you allow it to proceed so apportionment due to fluctuating equalization
that the information necessary for equitable What if I disagree with the assessment on the rates.
assessment can be gathered. tentative roll? Improved Bond Ratings – In addition to State
Aid, many municipalities are receiving
Property owners are cautioned not to allow anyone While the roll is tentative, you still have the ability improved bond ratings as a result of their
into their homes without proper identification, to meet informally with your assessor about your efforts to keep assessments current. These
preferably I.D. cards with photographs signed by an assessment. If at the end of such a conversation, municipalities are saving tens of thousand of
authorized town or city official. "No identification, you still feel you are over-assessed based upon the dollars each year (and, in some cases, much
no entry!" market value of your home, you have the right to more than that).
file for formal review of your assessment. More Fewer Court Challenges to Assessments - By
How do I know that the assessor has the correct information about the assessment review process, keeping assessments up-to-date, municipalities
information about my property? including application deadlines and instructions, can are likely to have fewer tax certiorari cases.
be found in “How to Contest Your Assessment”, Increased State Land Assessments – Because
Because the information about your property will be published by this agency and available online at State land assessments are frozen at the year of
used to determine your assessment, it is in your best www.orps.state.ny.us or by calling 518-486-5446. the last municipal-wide reassessment, annual
interest to make sure that your assessor’s data is assessments allow municipalities to make
correct for your property. You can check with your Where can I learn more? changes in market value that they could not
assessor’s office to receive a listing of the otherwise capture.
information pertaining to your property. Your best source for information about assessment
practices in your community is your assessor. The STATE OF NEW YORK
When will I know my new assessment? county director of real property tax services is David A. Paterson, Governor
another good source of information. Contact
Based upon the available information about your information for local and county officials, as well as
property, your assessor will estimate the market additional information about assessments, property NYS Office of Real Property Services
value of your property. A notice then will be sent taxes and exemptions, is available online at 16 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210-2714
informing you of your new assessment. If you have www.orps.state.ny.us Phone: 518-474-2982
any questions or disagree with the new assessment, www.orps.state.ny.us December 2009
you should arrange for an informal conference at