After a year trial with the Shared Assessment Agreement, Van Buren and Lysander have joined a Coordinated Assessment Program.
Since last November, both towns have been sharing assessor Theresa Golden, an arrangement that has proven successful, said Lysander Supervisor Barry Bullis.
Lysander originally approached Van Buren about creating a CAP agreement after Lysander's assessor, Don Long, announced his resignation last summer. In an effort to work out the kinks of the CAP before formally entering into it, Van Buren officials suggested the Shared Assessor Agreement. The only difference between a CAP and Shared Assessor Agreement is a $7 payment per parcel with a 10-year commitment.
Since approving the Shared Assessor's Agreement, Theresa Golden has served as the assessor for both towns, each with a supporting staff.
"I applaud Terri for getting Lysander in shape when it was certainly a mess, which [Lysander] admitted to," said Van Buren Councilor Pat Dickman. "It certainly speaks for her efficiency."
Not only has Golden proved capable working for both towns (three days a week in Lysander and two days a week in Van Buren), but her salary is also split between the two municipalities.
"We've realized the savings in her salary sharing it with Lysander," said Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes.
While the Van Buren board approved the CAP unanimously, Lysander's board approved it with a 3-2 vote.
"Our property tax system is a mess and I don't want to sign anything endorsing it," said Councilor Brian May, who voted against the CAP along with Councilor Jack Krisanda. Both Lysander councilors also voted against the CAP last year when it was originally proposed.
Bullis disagreed with May. He said the towns are already doing it besides the formal agreement and either municipality can opt out of the program at anytime.
"I don't share your sentiments," Bullis said.