Grievance Checklist

Steps to Take in Appealing Your Suffolk County Town Assessment

  • Checklist​Make sure all deductions to which you are entitled were granted.
  • Determine any deadlines or legal requirements for filing the appeal or for claiming any deductions. Comply with the legal requirements and don’t miss the deadlines.  Filing after the deadline is not permitted.
  • Check the accuracy of the assessor’s math, the description of your property, any work papers, and the record card for your property. Some Towns provide the information online, but in most cases you’ll need to visit Town Hall.
  • Consult with any experts who might be of assistance. Real estate brokers, attorneys, and appraisers can often provide data and suggestions.  Hire an appraiser if you can.
  • Locate at least five nearby comparable properties, preferably ones that have recently sold.
  • Make adjustments for physical differences between your property and the comparables.
  • Check your property’s assessment against the assessments of the comparables.
  • If your assessment is unfair, make an informal appeal to the assessor first. If the assessor doesn’t agree, file your appeal (also called a grievance, complaint, or petition).  The Board of Assessment Review (BAR) will render a decision. This is an Administrative Review.
  • If you are unhappy with the Bar decision, you can file a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) petition, requesting a Judicial Review.  The fee is $30.  Virtually all home owners chose a SCAR appeal rather than an Article 7 or Article 78 proceeding, which can only be filed by an attorney and may be time consuming and expensive.
  • Attend a SCAR hearing to get a feel for the process.
  • Prepare a written summary of your case and rehearse your presentation.