By: Daniel Tartaglia, Esq.
First and foremost, before doing anything else you need to determine where you live so you can figure out which taxing jurisdiction sets and controls your assessed valuation. While this may seem simple, it can actually be quite tricky. Many people confuse their Post Office Address with their taxing jurisdiction. For example, there are neighborhoods and post office locations throughout Westchester that don't correspond to taxing jurisdictions.
Below we've listed a few:
Post Office Addresses and Corresponding Tax Jurisdictions:
(Crestwood - Yonkers),(Katonah - Bedford), (Edgemont - Greenburgh) and (Purchase - Harrison).
Then there is the complication of Villages. Some Villages in Westchester maintain separate tax assessing unit status, while others have relinquished it. And for those Villages that continue to maintain separate assessing unit status, some maintain their own tax roll which may be different from the tax roll of the Town where the Village is located. And some just adopt the Town's roll as the Village roll so that the two rolls match. What this means is that if you live in a Village that still maintains separate tax assessing unit status and maintains a separate tax roll from the Town it is located in, in order to lower your Village taxes as well as your Town taxes you must file a grievance twice and go through the process twice. Examples of this would be the Village of Buchanan and the Town of Cortlandt, and the Village of Mamaroneck and Town of Mamaroneck.
If all of this is making your head spin, we suggest that you start by first calling your Village (if you live in one) and asking for the Assessor's Office. Most Village Clerks will know whether to send you directly to the Town Assessor or not.
If you still can't get a straight answer, or would like to check what you've been told, feel free to call us at 914-462-3889 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.