Apr 02, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
All property owners in the town of Elbridge will this month find a letter in their mailboxes from the Assessor’s office as part of the townwide revaluation scheduled for this year.
Elbridge Supervisor Ken Bush Jr. said the last revaluation was completed in 2003.
“There’s been significant appreciation of the home values in the town … part of it has to do with the increasing positive reputation of the school district, the rural nature of the community and the affordable price of housing,” Bush said.
Bush said he expects the perception of the still struggling housing market and crippled economy will affect homeowners’ reactions to the revaluation, but pointed out that the Elbridge area and Central New York in general were relatively untouched by the collapse in the market.
“Our area has not been hit anywhere near as hard as some parts of the country,” Bush said. “People have to be honest in their valuation.”
Those property owners who will probably experience the most drastic changes in their assessments – and taxes – are those who owned their homes prior to the 2003 revaluation, because their homes were most likely not reassessed in the last five years.
And though the move may not be a popular one with all homeowners, it is both necessary and fair.
“The concept is that it keeps the value of houses accurate with trending,” Bush said. Enacting an annual revaluation system, which is the town’s goal, would prevent a house from being sold at an unfair market price.
“We just feel that if we think we can afford to get accurate values on an annual basis, that is the fairest way to do it,” Bush added.
Penny Ceratt at the Assessor’s Office said the process for a town-wide revaluation was similar to the regular assessment system.
Town residents should receive a letter in the next week or two that will tell them what their tentative new assessment will be and what kind of increase or decrease to their property taxes they can expect.
They will then have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with Assessor Larry Fitz to discuss the changes, a process known as “sitting with the assessment roll.”
Ceratt said in a revaluation year, the assessor would probably sit longer with the roll, allowing more people to meet with him.
Following the meeting, property owners will receive a second letter noting any changes that have occurred as a result of their meeting with the assessor. Then, grievance day will allow them a second chance to “grieve” their assessment.
Two weeks later, homeowners will receive notice of their final assessment. Their last option to argue the figure would be small claims court, Ceratt said.
Grievance Day has not yet been set, but cannot take place before the fourth Tuesday of May, Ceratt said.
The final assessment roll must be completed by July 1.
For more information on real property taxes and revaluations, visit the New York State Office of Real Property Services online at orps.state.ny.us.