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Your property's assessment is one of the factors used by your local governments and school district to determine the amount of your property taxes.

All real property, commonly known as real estate, is assessed. Real property is defined as land and any permanent structures attached to it.

Examples of real property:

  • houses
  • office buildings
  • farms
  • factories

Personal property (cars, jewelry, etc.) is not subject to property taxes in New York State.

Assessments and market value

A property's assessment is based on its market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for under normal conditions.

Assessments are determined by the assessor, a local official who estimates the value of all real property in a community. Most assessors work for a city or town, though some are employed by a county or village.

All properties in your municipality (except in New York City and Nassau County) are required to be assessed at a uniform percentage of market value each year. In other words, all taxable properties in your city or town must be assessed at market value or at the same percentage of market value.

  • For example, if the market value of your home is $200,000, and assessments in your community are at 30 percent of market value, your assessment should be $60,000.

In communities assessing property at 100 percent of market value, your assessment should equal roughly the price for which you could sell your property. In communities assessing at a percentage of market value, the estimated market value of each property is listed on the assessment roll.

Check your assessment annually

You should check your assessment on the tentative assessment roll each year. (In most communities, the tentative roll is made public on May 1, but you should check with your assessor for the specific date for your municipality.)

If your assessment or the estimated market value for your property is higher than the price for which you can sell your home, you should discuss it with your assessor. See How to estimate the market value of your home.

If the assessor does not reduce your assessment, you can contest your assessment.