Are You Getting All Your New York Property Tax Breaks?

Check out opportunities for appeals and exemptions that apply to New York property owners.

High property taxes are a favorite thing for New Yorkers to grumble about. So if you are a homeowner, you naturally want to make sure that you’re not overpaying. Fortunately, there are two possible ways to reduce your property tax burden. The first is available to all homeowners. The second depends on whether you meet certain qualifications. If you meet those qualifications, you can seek tax relief using both methods.

Method #1 – Appeal the Taxable Value of Your Home

You may know that the New York taxing authorities compute your property tax by multiplying your home’s taxable value by the tax rate.

Example: The assessor has placed a taxable value of $200,000 on the Giotti’s home. If the tax rate is 1%, they will owe $2,000 in property tax.

If you can reduce the taxable value of your home, you property tax bill will be lower.

Example: The Giottis appeal the $200,000 taxable value of their home. The appeals board reduces that value to $150,000. Now, they owe only $1,500 in property tax.

If you believe that the tax assessor has misjudged the value of your home – or if the taxable value is higher than that of similar homes – you might want to pursue an appeal. For more information, read Should You Challenge Your Property Tax Assessment in New York?, and Procedures for Challenging Your Property Tax Assessment in New York.

Method #2 –Get All the Tax Breaks You’re Entitled To

New York allows for reduced property taxes if you meet certain requirements. The chief programs in New York are summarized here.

  • Disability. In many New York communities, you qualify for a property tax reduction of up to 50% if you’re disabled. This includes disabled veterans who are receiving a disability pension.
  • Primary residence. If a home is your primary residence and your annual income is $500,000 or less, you’re entitled to a partial exemption from school taxes under New York’s STAR program. Some senior citizens may qualify for an enhanced exemption.
  • First-time buyers. In some localities, a first-time homebuyer qualifies for a partial tax exemption for up to five years. This exemption may not apply if you buy your home in 2017 or later.
  • Senior citizens. Some communities allow a partial exemption if you’re 65 or older, and have limited income.
  • Veterans. If you’re a veteran or the spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be entitled to a partial property tax exemption.
  • Quarters for parents or grandparents. In some New York communities, if you construct or reconstruct living quarters in your home for your parents or grandparent, the increase in value may be exempt from property tax. The parent or grandparent must be 62 years old or older.

Contact your local tax assessor for complete details on these and other exemptions, including any required forms you need to complete and the deadline for filing those forms. You can get contact information for the assessor’s office at the Municipal Profiles section of the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Service.

Depending on the complexity of your situation, you may want to seek legal help. To find an experienced real estate lawyer in New York, check out Nolo’s Lawyer Directory.

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