Saturday, December 20, 2014

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NY1 For You: SI Homeowner Says Inflated Assessment a Real Burden

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One Staten Island homeowner says an error made by the city's Department of Finance is costing him way more than his fair share in property taxes. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following "NY1 For You" report.

For two years homeowner Jose Luis Diaz says he has been paying property taxes based on a faulty assessment of his home.

"My house is being assessed for over a hundred thousand dollars more than the actual value and it's costing me an additional thousand dollars in taxes at the end of the calendar year," he says.

It's an error Diaz says he addressed shortly after purchasing his house which he paid a little over $300,000 for but was somehow assessed at over half a million.

"I have paperwork that assesses my property value much lower from them and then for some reason the following year it went back to the wrong value," says Diaz.

That paperwork is a revised property assessment that the city Department of Finance sent to Diaz after he contested the original assessment. But for some unknown reason Diaz says shortly after DOF sent the revision, his property assessment returned to the inflated amount.

"At one point in time they said, 'You know, it's all based off of sales of homes in the area.' Well this is a wonderful area but my house is not equal in property size and value to some of the other homes in the area," says Diaz.

Furthermore, Diaz points out some homes right next to his which are comparable in size and value are listed in the mid $300,000 range - the amount of his revised assessment. Diaz says he also has independent appraisals that value his house even lower than the revised assessment.

"I'm not looking to get out of paying anything, I just want to pay my fair share," says Diaz.

NY1 contacted the city Department of Finance and a spokeswoman said the agency is reviewing Diaz's case.

"NY1 for You" will continue to follow the story.

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