By Susan Miele
Feb. 7, 2018: The Village of Bronxville Board of Assessment Review will hear property tax appeals at the annual grievance night, scheduled for Tuesday, February 20, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at Bronxville Village Hall.
Owners of single-family homes, condominiums, and commercial properties, as well as co-op boards, can present their case for consideration.
Property taxes are calculated using two factors: the village tax rate set by the village trustees (non-negotiable) and the more debatable property's assessed value. As Mayor Mary Marvin explained, the grievance process is dictated by the State of New York.
Each year on February 1, Bronxville’s assessor, Gerry Iagallo, must publish a “tentative assessment roll,” which represents his determination of fair market value for each of the approximately 1,700 parcels of real estate within the village. After the assessment review board reviews grievances on February 20, verdicts are communicated via letters to those who appeal during the first week of April, with the village’s final assessment roll published on April 1.
Those who are dissatisfied with the assessment board’s ruling may appeal at the county level but face a more laborious process than at the village level.
Owners of single-family homes seeking a property tax reduction must prove that recent sale prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood have decreased substantially. Grievances should include recent sales data as evidence. Conversely, rising prices of nearby homes could undermine a grievance for a lower assessment.
Taxpayers have the option of representing themselves before the assessment review board or having a third party, such as an attorney, present their case. Attendance by the property owner at the hearing is not a requirement. Of the 37 grievances before the board last year, 15 were self-represented and 22 were represented by third parties. In 2017, residential tax relief totaled $11,600, while commercial tax relief amounted to $22,600.
The assessment review board has seen the number of grievances decline significantly in recent years. Iagallo attributes this decrease to the village's adoption of a revaluation policy of randomly selecting one-third of the village's properties for revaluation each year, plus revaluing properties sold and modified with building permits during the year. This random selection process for properties involves only the section, block, and lot number and not the property address or owner's name.
Instructions for filing a grievance may be obtained from Gerry Iagallo at 914-337-6500, ext. 122, or by visiting Bronxville Village Hall (weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm) or the Village of Bronxville’s website. Grievance applications, along with supporting documentation, must be submitted no later than February 20. The State of New York offers guidance to taxpayers for this procedure.
Serving on the assessment review board this year are Robert Shearer, Lisa Connors, John Hill, David Harris, and Gene Piper.
Photo by N. Bower