Some Tips for Challenging Your Assessment

copyright 2023 Gary D. Borek. Reproduction is prohibited without first seeking the author’s permission.

Here is the complete set of posts for completing the RP-524 to challenge your assessment.


RP-524 The Board of Assessment Review PetitIon – Page 1:

Items 1 to 4 are self-explanatory and shouldn’t cause any confusion, Let me know if you have a question on those items.

Item 5 is the SBL number – you can get it from your tax bill or from the assessor’s property “card” which are now stored electronically on the web – go to: and click on the “click here for public access” button, then find your property – the SBL Number is the “Tax ID:” number in the top right corner of the property card.

Item 6 is the assessed values for land and for the total. It is shown in the middle of the property card – use the 2023 values that are in red.

Item 7 is YOUR estimate of the FULL MARKET VALUE on July 1, 2022. How much do you think you would have gotten if you sold your home on July 1, 2022? (caveat – it is the condition of your home on March 1, 2023 – so if you had blizzard damage that wasn’t repaired before March 1, 2023, then put in the FMV you think you could have gotten for your home if you sold it on July 1, 2022 as if the blizzard damage existed on July 1, 2022.)

Form RP-524, Page 2

You only fill in the items that are applicable AND RELEVANT to your property’s July 1, 2022 value.

For example, item 1 purchase price of the property. If your property wasn’t purchased within the last 2 years, then the purchase price is not likely to be very relevant. You can put in the information just to show how long ago you purchased it and the price.

For most people, they only need to fill out item 4 (a description of the property) and then check item 7 and attached the additional supporting documentation.

RP-524 – Page 3, Section A “UNEQUAL ASSESSMENT”

Part A, item 1 – it says “check a or b” but in fact you can and should check both if you are contesting the assessment on your home.

Homeowners can have their assessed value determined by multiplying the full market value by either the equalization rate (item 1a) or the residential assessment ratio (item 1b) – whichever is lower. So check both

Part A, Item 2 – if you don’t have evidence to show that an assessment ratio is less than the assessor’s claimed 91%, then just check items b and c, and put in 91% for both.

If you have evidence of a lower assessment ratio, check item 2d, write in the percentage (even though there is no line for doing so) and attach your evidence.

Part A, Item 3 – enter your claimed FULL MARKET VALUE of your property from line 7 on page 1.

Part A, item 4 – multiply your claimed full market value by the assessment ratio you think you can prove (item 2d) or if no such evidence, use 91%

RP-524 – Page 3, Section B “EXCESSIVE ASSESSMENT”

Part B, item 1 – check this box if the assessor’s ASSESSED VALUE exceeds what you believe is the FMV. For example, if the assessor determined that your FMV was $200,000, and thus the assessed value is $182,000 (i.e., $200,000 x 91%), but you believe the full market value is only $170,000, then the ASSESSED VALUE exceeds what you think the FMV should be, and this section applies.

HOWEVER – be careful – item 2b is misleading – do not enter just your claimed FMV – instead enter what you think is the FMV multiplied by the assessment ratio.

So in the example, you would enter $154,700 (i.e., your claimed FMV of $170,000 x the assessment ratio of 91%).

Item B2 is for exemptions – if you have an issue with exemptions you’ll have to contact me because they are too complex to give a generic instruction here.

Item B3 doesn’t apply to Cheektowaga – it is for transition assessment programs adopted by a municipality.

RP-524 – Page 3, Sections C and D

Section C is not likely to apply to any homeowners, If you think applies to you then you need to contact me or another attorney because the topic of unlawful assessments is more complex than can be explained here. Section D does not apply to Cheektowaga.


You need to fill this out ONLY IF you are going to have someone else represent you before the board of assessment review.


This MUST be completed and signed by either you or the named representative in Part Four.

Part 6 only applies if you and the assessor come to a settlement. It will be completed by the assessor.

That’s it – nothing else to complete