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March 1 deadline nears for tax protest filing.

Certiorari attorneys are counting down the days until Monday, March 1, when applications to protest tentative assessments have to be filed by most residential, utility and commercial properties. Small homes of three units or less have until Monday, March 15, to protest their assessments.

Certiorari attorneys charge a contingency fee -- based on the amount of assessment reduced -- to represent owners in the challenge to their property tax assessment. Tentative assessments have been sent to all property owners by the Department of Finance and final assessments will be determined in May. If owners receive a hearing after that time, they will pay on the old amount and receive a refund.

Owners pay property taxes in July based on the new tax rate that will be set by the City Council in June. While the average tax rate is frozen by Mayoral decree, they are expected to change somewhat from last year due to legislative adjustments.

Attorney Roy M. Sparbet, a certiorari partner with Brauner, Baron, Rosenzweig & Klein said owners should definitely file. "They don't know what the relationship is between the assessment and the market value," he explained, "so even if [the assessment] went down, it doesn't mean it is correct."

Paul Korngold, a certiorari expert with Tuchman, Katz, Schwartz, Gellis & Korngold, said, "Every year we get phone calls from people who say, 'My assessment went up or down.' If it went up or down is irrelevant," Korngold noted, "and the past history is no indication of the present value."

Sparber explained it takes time for the attorney to speak with the prospective client and to investigate the property. "It might require the owner to look at their files to provide more detailed information," he said. "If it's income producing, they also have to provide income and expense statements."

With time running out, owners should be aware that documents also have to be signed, notarized and sent back and forth.

"All the attorneys who do the work want the papers in before hand to review them," Korngold agreed. "Clients omit key data and sometimes the papers have to be returned. So those clients who return them at the last minute don't get the attention provided to those who turn them in early," he added.

With February being a short month, the attorneys observed owners have not yet realized there is only one full week left before the March 1 deadline.

Dinkins heads for Tokyo

A ride on a bullet train, a visit to Barneys New York-Isetan, and lunch with junior high school students are on Mayor David N. Dinkins' itinerary as he visits Japan next week.

The mayor, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Barry Sullivan and a 25-member contingent of business leaders take off on Friday and will return on Feb. 27 after visiting Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

The mayor is being joined by, among others, Lewis Rudin and Edward S. Gordon. ESG is already operating a joint venture with Mitsui Real Estate Sales of Japan.

Also on board is Ronald K. Shelp, president and CEO of the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is footing the bill for the mayor and some of his staffers. Other CEO's are paying for the excursion themselves.

Executives from banking, accounting and advertising firms will be along as will Robert B. Catell, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Union Gas Company; Shaun F. O'Malley, chairman and senior partner of Price Waterhouse and William H. Luers, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One reception will be held at the Ueno Museum to view a Museum of Modern Art exhibit.

The mayor will be meeting with government, banking and business leaders while in Japan and will visit various municipal projects. He will also sign a Communique to expand exchange between New York City and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
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Title Annotation:applications to protest tentative tax assessments on residential, utility and commercial properties due March 1, 1993
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 17, 1993
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