Ask the Lawyer

Real Estate Law


Q: I live and work on the South Shore and our home and business were both severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Since both were deemed partially uninhabitable for some time, does that mean I will automatically get a tax reduction?

A: While many residential properties and businesses were physically damaged by Sandy, the answer is probably not. If your business or home has sustained physical damage, it should be reported by you directly to the Nassau County Department of Assessment at one of the following numbers: (516) 571-2002; 2003; 2008; 2016; 2025 or 2028.

Since real estate tax assessments are based on market value, everyone should carefully evaluate any physical damage. Simple concise reports should be made directly to the Assessor and hopefully appropriate adjustments will be made to the tax assessments. However, these reports do not take the place of formal complaints/grievances that must be filed in January for Nassau and New York City and in May for Suffolk properties. Separate complaints must be made for property that is also taxed by a Village. If the assessment is not lowered or a formal complaint is not filed in a timely manner, the taxes will not be reduced regardless of the damage to the property. Good luck with the recovery and rebuilding of your home and business and remember to speak with an attorney when in doubt about the tax grievance filing process.

Richard G. Fromewick is the Chair of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.’s Tax Certiorari and Condemnation practice located in Garden City, Long Island, N.Y. which centers on providing a full range of real estate tax assessment services.

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