How does the process work...

What Happens Before Grievance Day?

Once the professionals at GrieveTax have completed our review to determine what we believe is your property's Fair Market Value, we will discuss our findings with you. If we believe that you have a good case to made for reducing your Assessment we'll prepare the appropriate paperwork. With that in hand we will go about setting up a time with the Assessor to review the paperwork before submitting it officially.

There are a couple of reasons to do this. First it is good to see if the Assessor will voluntarily recognize that the Assessment is too high and that they should make an appropriate adjustment without having to go through the full Grievance Day process. This happens in many cases and is worth the effort. Additionally by having a pre-submission meeting, the Assessor has an opportunity to request additional information before we officially submit the grievance complaint. If the Assessor does request additional information, we will compile what ever additional detail he (or she) requests and then make the official submission before Grievance Day.

What Happens on Grievance Day?

Grievance Day is actually a specific day where tax payers, or their representative like a professional from GrieveTax, get an opportunity to present their case to a committee of other members in the town in hope that their appeal for a correction of their Assessment Value. Every town publishes it's Grievance Day. We'll make sure that your complaint is filed before that day so that it can be reviewed by the Grievance Committee or Board. We will address any questions that the Committee has before making its decision. You are encouraged to attend, (it's your application) but it is not a requirement so long as you have authorized us to work on your behalf.

In some cases the Committee will make a determination at that time, but more often then not they will make their decision in the coming weeks. It is important to the Town Clerk that the Committee make an expedited decision as all property owners taxes are effected by the final and comprehensive decision of what everyone's Assessment is so that the Town Clerk can send out everyone's tax bills.

Once our opportunity to present your case is heard, we wait for their decision…

What happens next - A Positive Response from the Grievance Committee

A few weeks after Grievance Day you should receive a letter in the mail detailing what the Grievance Committee's findings are. If we are fortunate, the Committee will recognize the work we've provided and your property will have a new Assessment resulting in a lowering of your Taxes.

Once you have that notification in hand we'll work out what your savings are and what to expect moving forward….

What happens next - A Negative Response from the Grievance Committee

Sometimes the Committee will respond with a negative response to your grievance complaint. This does happen and is not something to be disheartened about. There are many reasons why Committees do this. But be assured we shall press on….

Should we receive a negative response on your case, but still feel that there is merit to the grievance complain, then we will refer your case to one of our experience attorneys. They will recommend one of two options.

They may recommend in residential cases that you file a proceeding called a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR). SCAR was developed to provide homeowners with a simple way to challenge their assessments. It is only available to property owners who's properties are owner-occupies and are either one, two or three family dwellings that are used exclusively for residential purposes.

If your property does not qualify for a SCAR action (i.e. commercial properties), then the Attorney may recommend a Tax Certiorari
(Article 7) action on your behalf. Real estate tax certiorari is the legal process by which a property owner (and their representatives) can challenge the real estate tax assessment on a given property in court in attempt to reduce the property’s assessment and real estate taxes. There is much to discuss about this type of action, but suffice it to say that the process is normal and our experienced attorneys will take on good cases at no out of pocket expense to you.

When is Grievance Day?

Grievance Day is the deadline for submitting your grievance complaint and the day that the Committee or Board of Assessment Review (BAR) meets to hear complaints. In most communities, Grievance Day generally around the fourth Tuesday in May.