Our firm has been handling Real Estate Tax Grievances and Certioraris for over 40 years. We represent both individuals and companies who seek to have their real estate taxes appropriately reflect the value of their real estate and not be in excess of that value. We do this by filing the grievance with the municipality, and if denied, a Certiorari proceeding or Small Claims Proceeding if it is a home. Our fee is contingent so that the client will only pay our out-of-pocket disbursements and a percentage of the reduction that we obtain. If there is no reduction, there is no fee. Over the years we have been able to obtain reductions for our clients in approximately 90% of our cases.
In small claims cases, we will have an appraiser or real estate broker testify that the home is over-assessed based on comparable sales in the area. We do much of the preliminary research to determine that the client has a viable case, but bring in the expert to show the judge, based on sales of similar homes, that their home is over-assessed. If we prevail at that hearing, the court will order a refund for the years filed for and that new appraisal will remain unless there is an addition or improvement to the home or there is a town wide re-assessment, a rare occurrence.
In dealing with commercial property, we also do our preliminary investigation to establish that our claim has merit. Since we only get paid if we recover for the client, we make certain that we believe we can prove an over-assessment. In commercial property, the value is usually determined based upon a fair return for the property owner. We rely on the client’s input as to the income and expenses of the property, as well as the appraiser’s evaluation. Since these cases involve more substantial real estate taxes, they often take longer than residential cases.
The savings to our client can be quite substantial. We have recovered millions of dollars in tax refunds for our clients and also stabilized their taxes. Once a case is settled, the assessment remains in effect for three years unless there is a change at the property, such as an addition or new construction. Sometimes we unfortunately have to advise clients that we will not take their case, as we believe they are fairly assessed. In those instances, there is no fee to the client, but at least the client knows that they have had the property value reviewed and that it will probably not be worth spending money or time to obtain a tax reduction, which would probably not occur.
Based on the above, we would be happy to give a free consultation should you be interested in pursuing a real estate tax reduction. If your case has merit, we will use our best efforts and strengths to obtain same for you and stabilize your taxes. It’s worth a call.