In Nassau County, the tax certiorari process commences with the filing of a grievance with the County Assessment Review Commission (“ARC”). If the matter is not resolved at ARC, an appeal can be filed in small claims court, which is called a Small Claims Assessment Review (“SCAR”) proceeding. In Nassau County, the homeowner is challenging the tentative assessment sent to each homeowner in January which doesn’t take effect until the following year. So in January and February 2019, you are challenging the assessment for the 2020/21 school year and the 2021 general tax.
Assessments in Nassau County are established by the County Assessor. The tentative assessment for each year is set by January of the prior year (i.e., January 2, 2019 tentative assessment is finalized April 2020 for the 2020/21 school tax roll and the 2021 general tax). Since Nassau County has frozen assessments since 2010, the assessments have generally not been updated. Therefore, most assessments date back to 2009.
The deadline to file a grievance in Nassau County is the first business day in March, which is April 30, 2019.
Nassau County assesses property at a percentage of full market value. In recent years that percentage has varied from .25% to .15%, depending on whether a challenge was filed. In recent years, as much as 90% of the challenges have been successful. Therefore, it is to your advantage to challenge your assessment. Once again, you do this by challenging the full equalized market value represented by the total assessment and if that exceeds the actual market value, the property is over-assessed. For residential properties, an evaluation of comparable sales must be prepared and then submitted in support of your challenge.
In Nassau County, when you timely file your challenge by March, ARC will typically advise you of the result and/or seek a conference to discuss a settlement before the end of the year, but certainly no later than March of the following year. If a reduction is obtained, the reduction is reflected in the final tax role set for April 1st of the following year. As such, the reduced assessment will be reflected on your tax bills. No tax refund is necessary because you will not have over-paid. On the other hand, if the ARC decision is appealed through a SCAR proceeding, and that decision is not made before the role is finalized, a refund could be owed to the homeowner. In recent years, ARC has made most decisions prior to the tax role being finalized.