What do I do if I think the property's assessed value is wrong (that it does not reflect the market value), the property information is incorrect, or the exemption(s) is incorrect? Read below or:
- During Office Hours call (585) 428-7221.
- For Exemption issues call the Exemption Hotline (585) 428-6994.
The BAR Complaint application must be RECEIVED by the Bureau of Assessment by the THIRD TUESDAY IN MARCH, 8:00 p.m. (ET). (see below)
Please contact the Assessment Office during office hours throughout the year.
(Assessments will reflect the disposition of the property on February 1st (Tax Status Date). Any physical changes to the property after this date will affect the next Assessment Roll.
Changing Values or Exemptions
An Informal Review can occur, if you contact Assessment between May to February 1st. Assessment staff can schedule to meet you or a representative at the property to inspect and to correct any data as necessary. Then staff will review and may adjust the value. If you find the resulting value unsatisfactory, pursue the next step listed below (The Board of Assessment Review). During a Reassessment year, when all property values are reviewed, inspections may not be feasible given the number of requests, instead pre-scheduled informal reviews may take place at the Assessment Offices or by phone.
For Exemptions call the Exemption Hotline listed above.
Please note that for all exemptions applications must be submitted by February 1 to take effect on the upcoming tax bill.
The Board of Assessment Review (BAR)
The formal process of seeking to change an Assessed Value or Exemptions is to make an Application to The BAR, on the required form (RP-524).
This application must be RECEIVED by the Bureau of Assessment by the THIRD TUESDAY IN MARCH, 8:00 p.m. (ET).
Click here for the BAR Application form - "Complaint On Real Property Assessment Before The Board Of Assessment Review" RP-524, City Of Rochester
If an application is NOT received the process can NOT go any further for that year, but you can request a review for next year. On the application the owner can designate a representative if desired.
In some cases the application will be reviewed by staff, and after an inspection, the owner (or the representative) and staff may agree to a value and sign a stipulation form. This stipulation will be presented by staff to the BAR for approval, without the owner having to schedule a hearing.
Otherwise the owner will be contacted to schedule an appearance at a Board of Assessment Review Hearing. Sworn testimony will be requested as to what information the owner can present that would lead to an accurate market value for the property, or an accurate exemption determination. The BAR makes a decision after the hearing and typically mails the determination notice a month later. *New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services provides many materials for reviewing Assessments and pursuing this process. Click here for a more in-depth description of the BAR and the BAR process.
- Click here for a link to ORPTS' description of this process.
- Click here for the NYS ORPTS booklet "Contesting Your Assessment"
- Click here for the NYS ORPTS pamphlet "How to Estimate the Market Value of Your Home"
- Click here to search for property data, assessments and comparable sales.
- Click here for the BAR Application form:
"Complaint On Real Property Assessment Before The Board Of Assessment Review" RP-524, City Of Rochester
Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR)
If the owner is dissatisfied with the BAR decision, the owner may seek judicial review by commencing a proceeding for Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR). This hearing process is similar to a Small Claims Court Proceeding which is generally geared towards citizens representing themselves and incurring minimal fees. SCAR is only available to owner-occupants of one, two, or three family dwellings which are used exclusively for residential purposes, or the owner of vacant land that is not of sufficient size to contain a one, two or three family dwelling. File the Small Claims Petition with the Monroe County Clerk's Office (39 West Main St., (585) 753-1600). The SCAR procedures must commence by May 30th (that is within 30 days of the final filing of the assessment roll or notice of such filing, whichever is later).
- Click here for NYS Unified Court System Instructions For A Small Claims Action
- Click here for the form - RPTL 730:
"Petition Small Claims Assessment Review In Counties Outside New York City"
Tax Certiorari Proceeding (Article 7 RPTL)
All others who are dissatisfied with the BAR decision, or those choosing not to use the SCAR procedure, may seek judicial review by commencing a tax certiorari proceeding in New York State Supreme Court pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law. Please consult a legal advisor on how to pursue this action. This procedure must commence by May 30th (that is within 30 days of the final filing of the assessment roll or notice of such filing, whichever is later).