Nassau County’s program to license non-attorney tax assessment firms has already started – if not voted in yet. There are many firms that have sprouted up in the past few years, some of whom may not be as knowledgeable about the business as they should be. These firms will now be licensed and, hopefully, regulated. In a Newsday article published on September 20th entitled, “Edward Mangano’s budget would hike small business license fees,” it states, “In documents filed with the county legislature, officials contend a license for tax assessment reduction firms is needed to ensure “senior citizens are not victimized by unscrupulous” firms not run by practicing attorneys.”
As of now, there are already licensing requirements in Suffolk County for non-attorney tax grievance firms, which are regulated by the Suffolk County Consumer Affairs Department.
We all get many, many, many solicitations to reduce the taxes on our homes. Tax certiorari for small claims assessment review (SCAR) has become a cottage industry. Most cases in Nassau are settled without cash refunds as the assessments are lowered at hearings before the tax bills are sent. Too many flyers come with outlandish claims of reductions on other properties in the area. However, there is no accountability of whether those reductions were even close to what the property should have received as a reduction. There is no rule-of-thumb percentage reduction. Every property must be individually analyzed, and Suffolk cases are even more complicated because of the 10 different town procedures that require a more rigorous analysis and hearing representation.
Tis the season where we will all be bombarded with mailers – let the buyer beware!