Receiver of Taxes for the Town of Hempstead gives tips on how residents can challenge their tax bills.
Story by Steven Nicastro
If you’re like many residents in Nassau County, you may feel like your
property taxes are too high. But do you know how to potentially get them
Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin gave advice on how to challenge property tax assessments at a recent meeting in Levittown.
“Ninety-nine percent of residents feel their assessments are too
high,” Clavin said. “You know it’s too high, you’ve made up your mind. Now you
have to challenge it.”
Clavin said there are two ways residents can challenge their
assessments: by either hiring an attorney to do it or by doing it themselves, which Clavin suggested was the better option.
“You sign up for the attorney, a 50 percent split is the
norm and a $35 fee,” he said. “Every person here is capable of doing it
themselves. Does it involve some legwork? Yes.”
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"legwork" involves getting the application - a five-page document with
general questions about your home, your assessment and recent sales of
comparable homes in your neighborhood. The application
can be obtained by contacting the Assessment Review Commission (ARC) at
516-571-2391 or visiting the Nassau County ARC website.
Because of Hurricane Sandy, the deadline to challenge your
assessment has been extended from Jan. 1 to May 1.
“They want information about you and your house - beds, baths,
square footage," Clavin said. "Nassau County wants you to prove that your assessment is too
To find comparable home sales, residents can use online resources like the MLSLI
or search Nassau County property records online.
"Minimum of three sales is always the best," he said.
What Clavin said you should do next is
make a photo copy of the application and the three
houses you’ve found and go down to the County Assessor's Office
at 240 Old Country Rd. in Mineola, and have them date stamp it prior to May 1.
You will hear a response in about 9-13 months, saying either it's been lowered or that you've been denied.
Even if you get denied, Clavin said there's still a chance for you in small claims court, where the decision will be reviewed
by an independent third party. You have 30 days to file after the decision.
Homeowners may also be eligible to receive a STAR, senior
citizen, veteran, volunteer firefighter, home improvement or disability tax
exemption. Applications may now be filed year round with the Department of
For more info., call the DOA at 516-571-1500 or visit their website.
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