Property taxes too high? File an appeal

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

It's the time of year when you always wonder why you didn't pay your property taxes along with your monthly mortgage payment. The idea of keeping the money in the bank and earning interest sounds great, but actually doing it is another matter. That huge figure at the bottom of the assessor's coupon statement adjacent to the bold-face words "KEEP THIS PORTION" could have been chopped into 12 pieces that now sound affordable, and whisked away each month with your principal and interest, taxes and insurance payment, commonly known as "PITI." While I was mulling over the thought of how I was going to produce my first-half tax payment, we were contacted by a real estate appraiser who said our property valuation was too high. He offered to represent us before the County Board of Equalization, said he had a good track record in previous appeal cases, and stated he could get the valuation significantly reduced. The charge for this was 50 percent of the tax savin...