Understanding Real Property Assessments
The amount of the real property assessment of a parcel of property directly impacts the amount of taxes payable on the parcel. In order to lower the taxes on a parcel of property, you must obtain a reduction in the assessment of the parcel.
Real property assessments represent a percentage of the “market value” of a parcel of property. Market value is defined as the most probable price a parcel of property would sell for in a competitive and open market.
The first step in the process of challenging your real property assessment is to determine the market value indicated by the assessment, bearing in mind that the assessment is a percentage, or fraction, of the market value.
This market value is determined by dividing the real property assessment by the Town’s Equalization Rate. The Equalization Rate is adjusted by New York State annually. The valuation date used for the current tax year is July 1.
The next step in attempting to lower the taxes on a parcel of property is to determine the actual market value, as of July 1. The actual market value of a parcel of real property can be determined in a variety of ways, one of which is an arms length transaction. Another way to determine market value is an appraisal using sales at the time of evaluation date. In the absence of a recent sale price, a real property appraisal is the next best way to determine actual market value.
Once you have determined that the actual market value of a parcel of real property is lower than the market value indicated by the assessment, you must file a complaint (often termed a “Grievance”) with the Assessor’s Office during the general complaint period, which is within a very specific and defined time-frame. The fourth Tuesday of May each year is the date on which the Town Board of Assessment Review considers reducing assessments and is the deadline to file a complaint. Failure to file the complaint by the deadline forecloses any review or consideration of the complaint by the Board of Assessment Review. A late filed complaint requires immediate dismissal.
No faxed or emailed copies of the grievance complaint will be accepted by the Assessor’s Office during the complaint filing period. Original copies of the grievance complaint must be mailed or personally delivered to the Assessor’s Office during any complaint period so as to arrive at the Assessor’s Office on or before the applicable deadline which is the meeting date of the Board of Assessment Review. Proof of receipt by the Assessor’s Office will only be acknowledged by presenting a copy of the complaint date-stamped by the Assessor’s Office.
The function of the Assessor’s office is to maintain a fair and equitable tax value on all real property within the Town. We administer this function by following New York State Real Property Law under the auspices of the Broome County Real Property Tax Service and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. To maintain a fair and equitable assessment we constantly review our records, updating inventory when necessary. We continue this process by visiting new construction and recording physical changes to existing properties on our property record cards. Our reference to inventory includes changes to square feet living area (additions), decks, porches, sheds, in-ground swimming pools, garages, etc.
Tax rates are applied to Taxable Value (Assessed Value minus exemptions) and are set by the various taxing jurisdictions. which results in your property and school tax bill. School tax bills are sent by and paid to the school tax collector. Property tax bills are sent by and are paid to the Receiver of Taxes for the Town of Binghamton. Please direct questions regarding taxes to the applicable person.
Please call for answers to your questions during office hours or leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday:
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
SUMMER HOURS: July & August
Closed Monday & Friday
Wednesday: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
(607) 772-0357 ext. 13