Using Tax Certiorari to Challenge New York City Tax Assessments
By Wiss Associate
Do you feel that your latest New York City real estate tax assessment was unjustified?
If so, you have a strong tool for challenging unfair assessments: a Tax Certiorari. The Certiorari is a classification of challenges that property owners can make before the city’s Tax Commission as the aggrieved party in an assessment. Parties can include real estate developers, landlords and individuals with a financial or other specified interest in the property.
There are several grounds for petitioning a Certiorari, including the following.
- Unequal assessment. This describes conditions under which a building owner feels that the assessment is at a higher percentage of full market value than other properties of the same class. This represents the most common type of challenge.
- Excessive assessment. This occurs when the real estate owner feels that the assessment exceeds fair market value.
- Unlawful assessment. The challenge is that the property should be wholly exempt from taxation. A property owner might claim that the property is outside of the geographic boundaries of the taxing authority or that an individual who doesn’t hold the legal authority to make the entry has made the assessment.
- Misclassified assessment. Here, the building owner challenges the assessment as a misclassification, such as when the property is classified as nonhomestead when it should have qualified for homestead class.
Filing a Tax Certiorari
Most successful Certioraris start with the filing of a Form TC201. Property owners are required to annually submit the form, also known as the Income and Expense Schedule for Rent Producing Property. If the property owner is obligated to submit a TC201 and fails to do so, it can affect the Tax Commission’s acceptance of the Certiorari. Your accountant should also submit a TC309 form with the TC201 to begin proceedings.
It’s very important that these forms are complete, accurate and submitted on time. Consult a tax accountant who is familiar with New York City tax property tax laws for assistance to take advantage of this valuable tool.
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