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Step One: Establish Your Market Value

Before pursuing a review of your assessment, you should first determine if you are assessed fairly. Review the assessor’s estimate of the market value of your property.

Develop an estimate of the market value of your property. You can learn how to estimate the value of your home or contact an appraiser or other real estate professional. You can also find comparable sales using the view property information link on the Assessor’s website. You’ll want to look for closed sales that have occurred between 1/1/2019 and 12/31/2021.

If the assessor’s estimate of the market value of your property reflects roughly the amount for which you could sell your property, then your assessment if fair. Without establishing a market value the odds of a successful assessment challenge decrease dramatically.

There are a few options available to anyone who wishes to challenge their assessment. All of the options require you to submit information to support your determination of the property’s market value. So, it is important that you do the work of determining your market value prior to filing a challenge. The challenge you will pursue is determined by the time of year. New York State set the property tax cycle (PDF) the Assessor’s Office is required to follow.

If you are assessed fairly, but you feel that your taxes are too high

Assessors do not determine your property taxes. If you feel as though your assessment accurately reflects the market value of your property, but you still feel that your property taxes are too high, you may wish to address this matter with the taxing jurisdictions that impose taxes in your community – school board, county legislature, city council, town board, fire district and other special districts. The Assessor can explain how property taxes are calculated, including what property tax exemptions are offered in the Town of Cheektowaga.

Step Two: Small Claims Assessment Review

The Small Claims Assessment Review is a procedure that provides property owners with an opportunity to challenge the assessment on their real property as determined by the Board of Assessment Review. You must have filed a complaint with the Board of Assessment Review to proceed with a Small Claims Assessment Review.

Filing a Petition

  • Petitions can be obtained from the Erie County Clerks Office or online at NY Courts SCAR homepage.
  • A SCAR petition may be filed by any property owner who:
    • was aggrieved by an assessment;
    • owns and occupies a one-, two-, or three-family, residence that is used exclusively for residential purposes or owns an unimproved lot that is not of sufficient size as determined by the assessing unit to contain a one-, two-, or three-family residential structure; and
    • has filed a written complaint with the Board of Assessment Review (Board)
  • The only condominiums that qualify as property subject to a SCAR proceeding are:
    • owner-occupied condominiums used exclusively for residential purposes that have been designated in the “homestead” class in jurisdictions outside Nassau County and New York City.
  • Petitions may be completed by the property owner or by a hired representative. If a representative files the petition, the property owner must complete the “Designation of Representative” section of the petition.
  • There is a filing fee of $30.
  • Applications must be filed by July 31, 2022.
  • The original petition and two copies must be filed with the Erie County Clerk and should include supporting statements, records, and other relevant information to support your petition.
    • Additional copies must be provided to the following
      • County Treasurer
      • Town Clerk
      • Assessor (filed with Town Clerk)
      • School District

THE COURT WILL ASSIGN YOUR PETITION TO A HEARING OFFICER WHO WILL ADVISE YOU OF THE HEARING DATE, TIME AND LOCATION.


Additional Information

GAR Appraisal Podcasts

Median Residential Sales Price by County

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