FREQUENTLY

ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. I see there are no fees unless I save money, but what do you charge if I do save money?

A. We charge a percentage* of your savings.

               *For privacy reasons, please call or email for further details.

 

Q. What is the difference between Assessed Value (AV) and Market Value (MV)?

A. Assessed value is simply a legal/technical term used by the Government. Market Value is defined as what your home would sell for under normal market conditions.

 

Q. Should my assessment by the Town be the same as “Market Value”?

A. Yes, your AV should be very close to true Market Value, understanding of course that your Town Assessor cannot set an exact figure. The market is ever-changing and can be very subjective.

           NOTE: In the Town of Webster, your AV is 77% of Market Value.

For example: If your Assessed Value set by the town is $300,000,

then the Assessor is declaring your home to be worth $389,600.

If your home is not worth $389,600 then your AV is wrong.

 

Q. What can I do if I think my assessment is too high?

A. You have already taken the first step by reading this! Call or email us today and we will review your case for FREE. You will only pay if you decide to file a grievance and we win your case.

 

Q. Will I have to go to court or appear before a judge?

A. No, if you decide to hire The Tax Opposer we will handle every aspect of your case from start to finish, including preparing and filing all necessary paperwork and personally appearing on your behalf at all required hearings. You are welcome to attend any/all of your hearings but it’s not necessary.

 

Q. Do I have to the let the Assessor in my home?

A. No! At times the Assessor may request to inspect your home, but you have the option to deny an inspection. If The Tax Opposer is handling your case, we will help you determine whether a town inspection is appropriate.

 

Q. Can I get in trouble if I do not have certain permits? (Example, finished basement)

A. Certainly, if your town discovers that you did not obtain a required permit prior to making a home improvement, it could be cause for concern. Please do NOT let this deter you from contacting us. We will evaluate your circumstances with you and help you decide the best course of action to help you address your assessment if it is too high. The failure to have obtained a necessary permit cannot negate your right to have a fair assessment.

 

Q. Do I need an appraisal or hire an appraiser to get my assessment lowered?

A. No, not necessarily. However, if you hire The Tax Opposer, we will obtain one for you and no cost to you.  If you already have a recent appraisal, you should let us know so we can determine its usefulness for this process.

Q. How are my taxes affected by my assessment?

A. Your annual property taxes (typically a combination of your 2 tax bills: School and Town/County) are generally calculated using two factors:

           1. Your assessed property value

           2. Your tax rate

Example: If your AV is $300,000 and your tax rate for your Town/School District is $40 per $1000, then your annual property taxes will be $12,000. So of course if your AV is too high because your actual Market Value is only $275,000, then your annual out of pocket cost for taxes is $1000 too high.

Q. I have filed a grievance in the past with little or no success. Is there anything you can do for me?

A. Yes! We will review any case absolutely FREE. If we feel your assessment is too high, we will prepare a case on your behalf and fight for a reduction. For cases we have prepared and filed, we have a success rate above 95%. If we feel you do not have a case, we will advise you of this at no charge.

Q. Why not just handle this myself?

A. You can. However, you will likely need to hire an appraiser (typical cost of $350), then prepare all the forms on your own, file them on your own and then appear before the Town Board of Assessment Review to present your case. One of the risks with this approach is you may pay for a certified appraisal only to find out that your assessment is accurate. In the event that your claim is denied, your only option is to file a claim with small claims court against your town and follow all legislative rules and procedures.

 

The Tax Opposer will not charge you for reviewing your case in the event that your assessment is accurate. This saves you money, time and effort! If we feel you do have a case, we will handle every aspect of the case on your behalf. There truly is NO RISK, as you only pay if we save you money.

Q. Can I file a grievance if I do not live at the property?

A. Yes, however depending on the very technical circumstances you may not qualify for small claims should the Board of Assessment Review deny our reduction request.

Q. What is the “catch”?

A. Since we formed our business in 2009, this has been the most common question asked. Our answer has always been a steadfast “There is none!” Our business model is simply that we will save you money so that we can make money. If you do not save money, we do not make money.

(That is our incentive to win on your behalf!)

We have researched many other companies in NYS that provide similar services and we have yet to find one that provides a full service challenge of your assessment and only charges if you succeed in saving money. Many companies have a fancy, intricate website and programs that produce a complex report for you to use on your own. They require your credit card and hundreds of dollars up front with no assurances that the report will even support your case. We will NEVER ask you for money up front. We can do this, because we only take your case if we are confident you have a case. Our confidence is proven to be over 95% accurate!