New York State Tax

New York Property Taxes

New York property tax is a complicated issue due to the fact that there are 1,116 jurisdictions assessing property and each school district, county and town can determine its own tax rate and filing dates. The dates cited in this article are the most widely used dates in the state.

Municipalities report assessed values of properties every July 1; these become public knowledge on May 1 of the following year. The homeowner has until the fourth Tuesday in May - Grievance Day - to file a protest.

Property assessors determine the assessed value using standard appraisal methods - sales comparison, depreciation and income - or through a mass appraisal software analysis of general neighbor trends. The resulting value reflects the fair market value of the home; a house should sell for this price in an arm-length's transaction where both the buyer and seller are equally motivated. However, some towns conduct annual reassessments, while other areas haven't been reassessed since before the Civil War. Towns adjust for this discrepancy when determining tax rates, but the adjustment doesn't affect the assessed value.

New York allows for a reduction in assessed values when eligible owners of primary, owner-occupied residences file for an exemption before the March 1 deadline. There are three types of exemptions - the disabled, the Star program based on age and income, and various levels of exemptions for veterans based on type of service. For example, the Star program allows a homeowner a $30,000 reduction in assessed value for school taxes if the combined spousal income is less than $500,000.

New Yorkers generally receive property tax bills twice a year. School tax bills arrive in September and the bill for city, town and other special charges comes in January. An annual budget meeting determines the tax rate for the year. If the town needs more money, tax rates are likely to increase. Effective 2012, government and school district tax increases are capped at two percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. This applies to the entire state, except for New York City. Tax rates are generally expressed as millage rates where a 2 mill rate is .002 or $2 per $1000. Use the following formula to calculate property tax: (assessed value - exemptions) x tax rate (expressed as a decimal) x 1000.

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