Real property owners in the Town of Greenwich should by now have received a new municipal real estate tax assessment, mailed out in December 2015. Because tax valuation law offers property owners a limited time to review these assessments and request adjustments, those who are considering filing a tax appeal should be aware that strict timelines apply — and time is running short.
Town of Greenwich deadline for real estate tax appeals
By statute, an aggrieved party may challenge a municipal real estate tax assessment on the October 1 Grand List of a given year by filing an appeal with the Board of Assessment Appeals on or before February 20 of the next year. This year, due to the revaluation, the Town of Greenwich has extended the deadline to March 21, 2016.
If real property owners believe an assessment is excessive and the issue cannot be resolved through an informal meeting with the assessor, filing a written appeal with the Board of Assessment Appeals is a critical next step. If a timely appeal to the Board is not filed, in the vast majority of cases property owners will lose the ability to challenge the assessment in the current tax year. Read more about the municipal tax valuation cycle.
When should real property owners file a property tax appeal?
Carefully review municipal real property tax assessment notices to determine whether the new assessment for ad valorem tax accurately reflects fair market values as of the October 1, 2015 revaluation date.
For those who have reason to believe that an assessment is excessive, filing an appeal with the Greenwich Board of Assessment Appeals by March 21, 2016 is necessary to preserve the right to pursue an adjustment through higher channels. In the ordinary case, filing an appeal with the Board is a prerequisite for filing a later tax appeal with the Superior Court. But note that after the Board of Assessment Appeals issues its decision, property owners have a short, two-month window for filing an appeal of the Board’s decision to Superior Court. (Those who own real property in New York State may be familiar with the New York’s corresponding tax certiorari process.)
Because the potential tax savings of a valuation appeal are different in every circumstance, it can be extremely valuable to collaborate with an experienced real estate appraiser and competent counsel. This is true for both owners of high-end residential property, including waterfront and estate properties, and for those who hold title to commercial property such as retail space, office buildings and multi-unit residential property that is rented by tenants. Read more about protecting your rights as a commercial property owner during property tax appeals.
The key first step: look at the new assessment, and decide whether action is needed before the March 21, 2016 appeal deadline.