Assessment Grievance Process


Formal Grievance Process Begins May 1 (Forms Due by May 28)

The results of informal reviews will not be incorporated in the tentative assessment roll but will be in the final assessment roll, and the formal grievance process has begun. If you have questions or concerns about your assessment, we encourage you to visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance web site for information, instructions and forms for the grievance process.  If you still have questions, call or come in to see the Assessor and her staff well in advance of Grievance Day (May 28). Grievance Day is when the Board of Assessment Review, an independent body of Bethlehem residents with expertise in valuing all type of property, will hear requests for changes in assessments.

The Online Assessment Roll provides 2019 tentative assessments (as of May 1, 2019) for all properties.  Grievance forms and procedures will also be available in the office and through links on the Assessor's Forms page.

Additionally if there is a mistake in your property description or data, we are happy to correct it - you may submit a grievance form with the changes or we can help you fill out the form to get such changes made. You can also turn in your grievance form at the Assessor’s office – you do not necessarily need to appear in person before the Board of Assessment Review.

Assessor’s Office Hours and Grievance Process

The Assessor’s office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

During the grievance period (May 1st-28th) there are two “after hours” opportunities to come in:

May 15, 2019 – Wednesday, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
May 18, 2019 – Saturday, 9:00 am to noon (Saturday hours are by appointment only)

The Board of Assessment Review is the body which reviews all requests for changes in assessments, through the grievance process; it is an independent board composed of five Bethlehem residents with expertise in property valuation. This Board will meet on Tuesday, May 28, 9:00 am – noon, and 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm to hear and examine all complaints in relation to assessments. This is known as Grievance Day and occurs by law every year on the fourth Tuesday of May. All grievances (requests for changes in assessment) must be submitted by close of business on that day, and must be submitted by using the official Grievance form (RP-524), as prescribed by NYS law. However, as noted above, you do not need to appear in person and can either mail the forms or drop them by the Assessor’s Office instead (making sure to do so prior to May 28).

If you are dissatisfied with the determination of the Board of Assessment Review, you may seek judicial review of your assessment pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL).

If you are the owner of a one, two, or three family owner-occupied residence used exclusively for residential purposes, or if you are the owner of an unimproved parcel which is too small, as determined by the building department, to contain a one, two or three family residential structure, you may seek small claims assessment review pursuant to title 1-A of the Article 7 of the RPTL. Petition for judicial review must be filed within thirty (30) days of the final assessment roll (July 1st).  Petitions for Small Claims Assessment Review and instructions may be obtained from Petition forms may also be obtained from the County Clerk’s Office, the Assessor’s Office at Town Hall or through the link from the website. The filing fee with the Albany County Clerk’s office is $30 for an original application and two (2) copies. You will need four (4) additional copies: 1 for the Albany County Division of Finance (regular mail - petition only) , 2 for the Town Clerk (certified mail or in person - with comparables/proof) who will give one copy to the Town Assessor, and 1 for your school district (Guilderland, Bethlehem or RCS - petition only) by mail or in person.

Previous Background Information (reassessments)

In an effort to ensure fair and equitable property assessments, all properties within the Town of Bethlehem were reassessed for the 2014 Assessment Roll. The last town wide reassessment had occurred in 2006, and NYS guidelines recommend reassessment every 3-4 years.