Following the submission of a survey of real property sales data from local Tax Assessors, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is charged with the duty of annually establishing assessment ratios for each of the State’s assessing jurisdictions. An assessment ratio is a measurement of the overall ratio of the total assessed value of real property in a municipality compared to the full market value of those properties. These ratios are used by the assessor to formulate a property’s fair market value for property tax purposes – the “equalized value.” As tentative assessment rolls for most jurisdictions across the State are released on May 1, New York statute requires levels of assessment and residential assessment ratios to be established 60 days prior (March 1).

A review of recently released assessment ratio data yields a clear trend for the upcoming 2023/24 tax year – assessment ratios are dropping. When an assessment ratio decreases, a property’s equalized market value increases. In other words, when the ratios decrease, a property’s taxable fair market value increases in the eye of the Assessor. In Suffolk County, some assessed market values are forecast to spike as high as 18%. This trend continues through the Hudson Valley and across the State to Erie County where equalized values are scheduled to increase by upwards of 12%-17% in some jurisdictions. These market value spikes will be felt across the board in jurisdictions with declining ratios and properties experiencing financial hardships will not be shielded from the increases. For property taxpayers, the best recourse is to engage a property tax attorney who will protect your interests by taking the steps necessary to file a property tax appeal prior to the statutory deadlines. Be mindful, as appeal deadlines are right around the corner for those municipalities that publish their tentative assessment rolls in May and June.

Thank you to Ryan C. Hild for this week’s Tax Tracker post!

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