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Many people understandably think that “tax season” ends on April 15.  While that may be mostly true for income taxes, this is the time of year when real property tax issues are hot-hot-hot!  You heard that right:  property taxes are a key concern for property owners (and often commercial industrial tenants/lessees), municipalities and school districts throughout New York State.

Real property assessment and valuation is a highly technical, niche legal area with many traps for the unwary or inexperienced.  This blog post is thus not intended to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions but rather, a helpful overview. Typically, those wishing to challenge their taxes must make an administrative filing (often called a “Grievance”) if they wish to protect their rights to file a formal lawsuit.  Deadlines vary by municipality but for towns, Grievances usually must be filed by the fourth Tuesday in May – this year, May 26, 2015.  With sufficient preparation, presentations to Boards of Assessment Review can often achieve good results and potentially eliminate the need for any future legal action.  From a municipal perspective, the stakes are also very high, particularly when multiple years of litigation have accrued, exposing them to many thousands of dollars of refunds with interest and potentially jeopardizing important school and municipal programs or services.  As with other areas of litigation, early case evaluation is crucial.

From strategic planning, case evaluation, negotiations, appraisal or property valuation and methodology consulting all the way to trial and appeals, Lacy Katzen has substantial experience representing diverse parties in real property tax matters.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact John Refermat for a no-obligation telephone consultation.

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