Elderly Little Neck homeowner gets $18K refund following property tax overcharge

Little Neck resident, Livia Boyadjian with Senator John Liu displays the Department of Finance confirmation for her refund amounting to $18,051.71 and corrected property value assessment. Photo courtesy of Liu’s office

A Little Neck homeowner recently received an $18,000 refund following a year-long battle against a property tax overcharge.

In July 2020, senior resident Livia Boyadjian learned that her property tax bill on Annadale Lane had jumped from $2,492 to $4,802, due to the city erroneously combining her lot with construction on the vacant lot next door. The Little Neck resident was unable to address this error while simultaneously caring for her late husband’s critical illness at the time.

Boyadhian reached out to the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate in February 2021 after receiving inflated property tax bills for over 10 months but the issue was not resolved. She also requested to meet with a Department of Finance (DOF) inspector, which was deemed “unnecessary.”

“Property taxes are already high enough but imagine the frustration of having your taxes double out of nowhere and through no fault of your own, only to have the city ignore your pleas for help,” said Senator John Liu, who helped the Little Neck resident secure the refund. “When Ms. Boyadjian reached out to my office, she was at her wit’s end because for months nobody from the city was helping her.”

Months after attempting to resolve the matter on her own, Boyadjian reached out to Liu’s office in November 2021. The lawmaker experienced a “substantial back and forth” with city agencies and was eventually contacted by DOF Commissioner Preston Niblack on New Year’s Day. By Jan. 2, 2022, Boyadjian received an $18,051.71 refund and a corrected property value assessment.

“Mistakes can happen, but when taxpayers ask for a correction, government must respond promptly. It should not have taken this long to correct what was ultimately just a simple clerical error. We are impressed that Commissioner Niblack quickly corrected this blunder on literally his first day in office, and are hopeful that the new administration will focus on rooting out inefficiencies and improving taxpayer services,” Liu said.

Boyadjian expressed her gratitude for the lawmaker’s work in securing months of lost money and for correcting her property value assessment to avoid overcharges from happening again.

“I just want to thank Senator Liu and his entire office for helping me because they were the ones who really got this fixed very quickly,” said Livia Boyadjian. “After John got involved, I got my refund the very next day, and my assessed value was corrected, so I’m very grateful and thrilled that I’m starting the New Year the right way!”