Reclassifying Real Property For Tax Purposes In New York
Reclassifying real property can be a major strategy for reducing your property tax burden. At Brandt, Steinberg, Lewis & Blond LLP, we help clients pursue reclassification for both residential and commercial properties. Our attorneys are experienced at obtaining reclassification of properties in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and across the state.
We draw on a wealth of experience and knowledge to help reduce our clients’ property tax bills.
Understanding Property Tax Classification (And Its Impact On Your Tax Bill)
New York law establishes four classes of real property for purposes of property taxation. Your assessment includes a determination of the property’s tax classification. The tax class determines which tax rate will be applied to your bill. An erroneous tax class can result in not only the wrong tax rate being applied but also an artificially high assessment.
In some cases, a municipality classifies property incorrectly, which frequently leads to burdensome tax assessments for those owners. However, pursuing a reclassification of your property can also prove dangerous: If you succeed in getting a reclassification that later turns out to be erroneous, you could end up paying artificially low taxes, which could come back to haunt you later. For that reason, you should seek knowledgeable legal advice before doing any construction or alteration work to your property with the expectation that your real estate taxes will decline.
Why A Detailed Approach Is Essential To Avoiding Missteps
We take a thorough approach to researching and analyzing your property to determine whether a “re-class” application is possible. Through tax assessment protests and other legal routes, we have secured favorable reclassifications for many of our clients, including both residential and commercial properties.
Sometimes the municipality cannot properly distinguish what buildings should be in which tax class. This is common with mixed-use buildings – for example, a two-story building where the first story is a store or office and the second floor is residential. Such buildings could easily be misclassified. Even a subtle difference in square footage or one apartment vs. two apartments can dramatically impact proper classification. We can sort out these issues to ensure accurate classification.