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You are over assessed when the Fair/Full Market Value  of your property (the value that your municipality has assigned to your property) is greater than your actual market value (what your house would sell for in a transaction in which no one is under duress to buy or sell).

You can find the Fair/Full Market Value (otherwise known as the Total Assessment or Equalized Value) by viewing the tentative roll put out by your assessor at the beginning of the grievance period (call your assessor’s office to find out when it comes out for your municipality). These days some municipalities are mailing notifications of tentative assessments to homeowners before the grievance process.

If you want to determine the Fair/Full Market Value yourself, you will need the assessed value of your property from your tax bill and the Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR) which you can obtain from your assessor’s office (make sure that you are given the RAR and not mistakenly given the Equalization Rate for commercial properties). You can also obtain the RAR from the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services website.

Caution! Most tax bills use the Equalization Rate for commercial properties to perform this calculation and that typically results in a seemingly lower Fair/Full Market Value.  As an owner occupied residential property, you are entitled to use the Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR) which is typically favorable.

 If you don’t use the RAR you could be over assessed and not know it.  USE THE RAR!

Divide your assessed value by the RAR.  Since the RAR is expressed as a percentage, first convert it to a decimal by dividing by 100.  So, if the RAR is 2.50% it becomes .0250.  Then divide the assessed value by the RAR.

Assessed Value        RAR (converted into a decimal) = Fair/Full Market Value

   $10,000        /                   .0250                                     =          $400,000

You are most likely assessed correctly if you believe the figure you calculated to be the accurate market value of your home. If, however, you believe this number is too high, you could have  cause to grieve your assessment.

If you have any questions, Vergara Fox & Associates offers a free, no-obligation phone consultation at (914) 610-0951 to help you determine whether you are over assessed.

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