Assessor's Office FAQs
Please see below for different categories of Frequently Asked Questions received by the Assessor's Office. Should you have further questions or not see an answer to your question on this page, please contact the Assessor's Office at (631) 957-3014.
- What is the Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR)?
The Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR) is defined as a value equal to the level of assessment of residential property. The RAR is used by the Assessor as a general measure of assessment equity and by taxpayers to determine the market value based on the assessed value that the Assessor has placed on the property.
- What is the Equalization Rate (ER)?
The Equalization Rate (ER) is the State of New York’s measure of a municipality’s level of assessment – it is a multiplier used to equalize assessed value into market value. In other words, by applying the equalization rate to the assessed value you will get an estimate, based on the Town's records, of the current market value of the property. Note that this is not necessarily what your house would sell for in a particular housing market.
- What is my assessed value and/or land value?
All assessed and land values are on the tax bill. Any questions, call the Assessor's Office, (631) 957-3014.
- How can I convert my assessed value to market value?
You can calculate the Assessor’s estimate of your property’s market value by dividing the assessed value by the Equalization Rate (ER)/Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR). Most of that information can be found on the property tax bill or by calling the Town Assessor's Office at (631) 957-3014.
- How are property assessments calculated?
There are many variables that help to calculate a property's value: location, size, square footage, condition and any amenities. A property owner should contact the Town Assessor's Office to discuss their current assessment.
- How does a property get a house number assigned?
The Town Assessor's Office works in unison with the local United States Postal Service Office to assign property address numbers.
- How do I file a grievance?
If you feel your property is over assessed, you can file a grievance to challenge your assessed value. You must fill out an application to begin the process, sometime in mid-April through the third Tuesday in May (Grievance Day). Application forms can be obtained from the Town Assessor’s office or the New York State website @ www.tax.ny.gov/forms. All grievances must be submitted by the third Tuesday in May. If you wish, you may appear before the Board of Assessment Review (BOAR), an independent board, to have your complaint heard. Regardless of whether or not you appear, you must still file a written grievance form. All Assessment Reviews are held in the Town Board Room on Grievance Day. Meeting times are from 10:00 am to noon and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It is not necessary for a grievant to appear before the Board in order to submit their grievance. Grievance forms can be mailed or brought in personally. If it is mailed, it is the applicant’s responsibility to be certain that the application is received in time by this office. The Board of Assessment Review (BOAR) is responsible for making a determination on a grievance complaint. The grievant is usually notified of the BOAR’s determination by July. If the applicant disagrees with the Board’s decision, they may seek judicial review by proceeding to the next step; filing a small claims petition with the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office in Riverhead, NY.
- What can I do if my grievance is denied?
If your grievance is denied by the Town of Babylon, you may file a small claims petition with the Suffolk County Clerk's Office. They can be contacted at (631) 852-2000.
- How do I obtain a copy of my property deed?
Property deeds are recorded in the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office in Riverhead, NY. The direct phone number is (631) 852-2000. If the property was purchased prior to 2005, a copy may be on file in the Town Assessor’s Office. Property owners must complete a FOIL request and provide proof of ownership to obtain information on their property. The Town Assessor’s Office can be reached at (631) 957-3014.
- How do I obtain a copy of my property survey?
Copies of property surveys may be obtained from the Department of Planning and Development's Building Division, (631) 957-3058. Proof of ownership and a small fee is required.
- How can I find out the square footage of my home and when it was built?
Information regarding a property's square footage can be obtained from the Assessor's Office, (631) 957-3014.
- How can I find out the market value of my home?
The market value of your property, based on the Town Assessor’s estimate, can be located on your property tax bill. It should be noted that market value is an estimate of your property’s value; it may also be advisable to obtain an appraisal of your home’s market value from a real estate or bank appraiser.
- What are Babylon's various tax exemptions?
Below is the exemption listing with some general descriptions. For more detailed information, call the Town Assessor’s Office, (631) 957-3014. Available Exemptions include:
STAR (a school tax exemption only):
- Basic STAR – New STAR applicants will receive a credit in the form of a check directly from New York State instead of receiving a school property tax exemption. Visit New York State Department of Taxation and Finance or call (518) 457-2036 to register.
- Enhanced STAR – you must have had a star exemption on this property for the 2015/2016 tax year. If no, you are not eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption. However, you may be eligible for the Enhanced STAR credit. Register at www.tax.ny.gov or call (518) 457-2036. Available to senior citizens age 65 and over (applicant must be 65 years of age by December 31 of the year in which the application is filed). It must be the primary residence of the owners and there is a maximum income requirement. In order to file for the year 2023 the owners’ incomes (adjusted gross less any IRA distributions) may not have exceeded $93,000 for the 2021 income tax year. The Income Verification Program (IVP) is now mandatory per New York State. The state will automatically verify your eligibility for the exemption yearly.
Available to senior citizens age 65 and over (applicant must be 65 years of age by December 31 of the year in which the application is filed). It must be the primary residence of the owners and there is a maximum income requirement. In order to file for the year 2023, the owners’ incomes total gross including social security and income earned on IRA accounts may not have exceeded $37,400 for 2021. This exemption must be renewed annually.
Available to honorably discharged veterans (or their unremarried surviving spouse) that have served on active duty during a specified war period or a congressionally approved conflict period with combat status. Property must serve as the primary residence. A service connected disability may entitle the veteran to a larger exemption. Does not renew annually.
COLD WAR VETERANS
Available to honorably discharged veterans (or their unremarried surviving spouse) that have served on active duty for any length of period between September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991. Property must serve as the primary residence. A service connected disability may entitle the veteran to a larger exemption. A veteran may not have a Cold War vet, an Alternative vet. Does not renew annually.
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER AND AMBULANCE SERVICE WORKER
Available to those members who have served at least five years in the same department (name must appear on the chief’s certification list) and must primarily reside in the Town of Babylon. Members who have served for twenty years or more are eligible for the exemption on their primary residence anywhere in Suffolk County – again, their name must appear on the list of eligibles provided by the chief of each Fire Department in the Town of Babylon. In addition, THE APPLICANT MUST FILE AN APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION AND RENEW ANNUALLY IN ORDER TO RETAIN THE EXEMPTION. Must renew annually and be certified annually.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND LIMITED INCOME
Available to persons with disabilities whose total gross income for 2020 or 2021 (including social security and income earned on IRA accounts) did not exceed $37,400. The applicant must own and primarily reside on the premises. In addition, the applicant must provide a letter of certification of disability from any one of the following:
- SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BOARD
- RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD
- UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
- STATE COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY HANDICAPPED
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN’S AFFAIRS
Only one of the owners must qualify if the property is owned by a husband and wife or by siblings (e.g. brother and a brother; brother and a sister or a sister and a sister), otherwise all owners must meet the eligibility requirements. Must renew annually.
Available to all one and two family homes, at least five years of age. Does not require annual renewal.
FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS - NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HOME
Available to 1st time home buyers of a newly constructed home. Applies to houses, townhouses and condos that serve as the primary residence of the owner. Does not require annual renewal.
- How do I apply for tax exemption?
First-time applications for the most common exemptions are available online or may be obtained from the Assessor’s Office in Town Hall. For renewing exemption applicants, please call the Assessor’s Office, (631) 957-3014.
- What is the deadline to file an application for property tax exemptions?
Applications must be received by the Department of Assessment by the close of business (4:30 pm) on March 1 or post-marked by the United States Post Office on March 1. If March 1st falls on a weekend, the application must be received by the following Monday. If the application is received on time and the exemption is approved, it will appear on the December tax bill. Determination letters should be received by the applicant by May 1st.
- Does my property lose the exemption if I transfer it into a life estate?
If the property is transferred into an unconditional Life Estate for the holder of the exemption, the exemption should remain in effect. However, for more specific information, call the Assessor’s Office, (631) 957-3014.
- Why isn't my exemption reflected on my tax bill?
Exemptions should always be reflected on the tax bill of the year that the exemption is in effect. If applications are received by the due date, and approved, the exemption will appear on the December tax bill. All applications for tax exemptions will receive a determination letter either of approval or denial by May 1st of that year. If the exemption is denied, the applicant will have sufficient time to file for a grievance by Grievance Day (third Tuesday of May). If your exemption does not appear on the tax bill, contact the Assessor's Office, (631) 957-3014, to inquire as to the specific reason why it does not appear.
- How can I find out what exemptions I already have or applied for?
Contact the Town Assessor's Office, (631) 957-3014.
- What is the Capital Improvement Residential Tax Exemption?
The Capital Improvement Residential tax exemption requires improvements to have a minimum of $3,000 in expenditures with a maximum exemption of $80,000 to be applied towards the increase in value. In order to qualify for this tax exemption, applicants must:
- Provide copies of at least $3000 in expenditures
- The renovation cannot be more than double the size of the dwelling
- Must provide a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) which cannot be more than a year old
The tax exemption applies to the increase in value due to the improvements. The first year the exemption is applied, there will be a zero increase on the first $80,000 of increase in value. Thereafter, the tax on the improvement increases each year by 12.5%; with the full tax on the improvement phased in over an 8 year period. The Capital Improvement Exemption Application is available online or can be obtained from the Assessor’s Office. Any questions, please call the Assessor’s Office at (631) 957-3014.
- What is a Basic STAR Tax Exemption?
Basic STAR tax exemptions are school tax exemptions only and are for all residents (regardless of age) who own and primarily reside in the subject premises.
Beginning in 2011, any resident owner and/or spouse of an owner residing in the premises earning more than $250,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) will no longer be eligible for the Basic Star exemption. Income eligibility will be automatically verified each year by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) through income tax returns on file.
If, for any reason, NYS DTF is unable to determine income eligibility, the applicant will be notified by the Department of Assessment and will be required to prove eligibility.
Basic STAR is available to owners of one, two and three family homes provided that it is the primary residence of at least one of the owners
- How do I apply for a Basic STAR tax exemption?
New STAR applicants will receive a credit in the form of a check directly from New York State instead of receiving a school property tax exemption. Visit New York State Department of Taxation and Finance or call (518) 457-2036 to register.
- Can I apply for multiple Basic STAR exemptions?
No. If an applicant owns several properties, they may only have the STAR exemption on one of those properties: the property that serves as the main primary residence.
- I co-own a property, do both owners have to apply for STAR exemption?
If several people own one property, only one person needs to meet the residency requirement and make the application for the exemption.
- How long do I need to own a property to apply for STAR exemption?
There is no minimum or maximum required time of ownership in order to apply for STAR exemption. However, if you are a new owner within the last year, you should submit a copy of your deed with the application.
- Can a tenant of a mobile home or co-op apartment apply for a STAR exemption?
Yes. They need to meet the residency requirement.
- Can STAR Exemptions be granted for vacant land property owners?
No. STAR Exemptions are not granted to owners of vacant land.
- Can corporations apply for STAR Exemption?
No. Corporations and/or business partnerships are not eligible for the STAR Exemption.
- Can married couples who live in separate residences apply for individual STAR exemptions?
No. A married couple who live in two separate homes may not receive two separate STAR exemptions unless they are legally separated.
- Who can I call about more specific STAR exemption questions?
Please call the Town Assessor's Office at (631) 957-3014.
- What is an Enhanced STAR exemption?
Enhanced STAR exemptions are for senior residents (65 years of age or over) who own and primarily reside on the premises and meet the income requirements for a specific year.
- What are the requirements to apply for Enhanced STAR exemption?
Requirements to apply for Enhanced STAR exemption include: You must have had a STAR exemption on this property for the 2015/2016 tax year. If no, you are not eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption. However, you may be eligible for the Enhanced STAR credit (contact NYS @ http://www.tax.ny.gov or call (518) 457-2036).
- Applicants must be 65 years of age or over. The applicant may file an application by the March 1 deadline provided they will turn 65 sometime during that year.
- Applications must be received by March 1st of that year.
- All owners of the property must meet the age requirement except for the spouse or sibling of an owner who is 65 years old.
- The income of a spouse or former spouse who does not reside on the premises, is still counted as income if he/she is listed as an owner of the property.
- The income requirement is based on the owner’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) less any IRA distributions.
- The combined income (adjusted gross income) of all owners or spouses of owners who reside on the premises must be included and may not exceed $93,000 less any IRA distributions for the applicable income tax year return. This refers to the Federal adjusted gross income.
- What is the Income Verification Program (IVP)?
The Income Verification Program (IVP) is a State program mandatory for Seniors filing for the Enhanced STAR exemption. The IVP form is the yellow form that is usually attached to and sent out with the first time STAR application packet.
The applicant must fill out the yellow IVP form precisely and in its entirety (with the signature of all owners) and return it to the Department of Assessment with the Enhanced STAR application, which must also be fully completed and submitted with the required supporting documentation.
Automatic renewal will go into effect the following year. Each year the applicant will receive notification as to the State’s determination. If the State was unable to verify their income (for any reason) the applicant will be notified by mail by New York State.
- Who can I call about more specific STAR exemption questions?
For more detailed or complicated questions regarding the Basic or Enhanced STAR tax exemption programs, call the Assessor's Office, (631) 957-3014.