Significant Savings Can Be Achieved through Protesting Real Estate Tax Assessments

Posted on Friday February 02, 2018

The annual process of protesting real estate tax assessments (called tax certiorari) presents boards with an opportunity to achieve significant savings for their building and owners through reduced real estate taxes, so challenging the assessed value of your property should be an essential part of your building's financial plan each year. 

FirstService Residential clients have saved millions of dollars on legal fees to settle their tax protests as a result of our alliance with a leading tax certiorari firm. Our clients pay a contingent fee equal to nine percent or less of the total tax savings. In most cases, tax certiorari attorneys are paid between 12 percent and 20 percent of the tax savings.

In addition to providing superior service at a discounted rate, boards are kept informed via semi-annual reports that summarize the status of the protest process.
    
While reduced fees are certainly beneficial, they are only of real value if they yield excellent results in reduction of assessments. Here is a sampling of reductions that have been achieved for our clients:

At the Tax Commission:


Brooklyn Co-op: Assessment for 2016/2017 tax year was reduced from over $5,000,000 to $2,500,000 resulting in an immediate tax savings for the current year of almost $300,000. Fees: $27,000 vs. $44,500 industry standard.

Upper East Side Condo: Assessment reduced by $1,600,000 for 2015/2016 and $1,900,000 for 2016/2017 resulting in a total tax savings of over $370,000. Fees: 40% of industry standard.

Upper West Side Condo: Reduced actual assessment for 2016/2017 by 9.4%. Tax savings for the current tax year was in excess of $260,000. Fees: $17,800 vs. $39,320 industry standard.

At the Law Department:


Upper West Side Condo: Assessment for 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 years reduced assessments by over $900,000 and resulted in a refund of over $90,000. Fees: Below industry standard

The window to protest your taxes is short. Please speak with your property manager for more information.

For Fast Facts about the Tax Certiorari Process in New York City, click here.

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