Thursday, May 14, 2009


Around the Albany, NY area it is that time of year that you can have a talk with your local tax department and discuss your taxes.

From May 1-26 you can go through a process known as "grieve your taxes". This is process designed to allow property owners to approach the assessor's office, look at other property owners' taxes and assessments and make a case to have their assessment (taxes) lowered.

Now, don't get the wrong idea here. You aren't going to gouge The Man here. It's a process to promote fairness. So what you are doing is looking at other properties that are similar to yours... think: square footage, number of bedrooms, closeness of proximity to you, improvements such as garages , pools, decks, sheds. Then if you discover that there are many homes assessed less than yours, well, you may have a case. Then the onus is on you to fill out the proper forms and submit them to the assessor's office. Different areas have different procedures. You may be able to meet with a representative from the assessor's office directly to plead your case, or you may just send the form in. I have gone in on a few occasions and met the assesor's rep in person. I like the one on one approach. Although sometimes I felt like the rep was taking it personally!

Anyway, you might look into the tax situation and find out that your tax assessment is fair! Or better yet... you might actually be low! By the way, if you just bought recently you should know about the WELCOME STRANGER ruling. I'll tell you about that later or you can contact me as to how the courts view re-assessing properties that were just acquired!

Bottom line is this... save yourself some money... look at your assessment. May is usually the month to do it!

Peace out!