The reasons for performing a townwide revaluation in Elbridge are many, like creating equity among taxpayers, developing an annual reval program, and even developing an inter-municipal cap to save costs and increase efficiency.
But, as the group of more than 40 residents pointed out Wednesday April 15, there is one reason not to go through with the reval that trumps all the benefits: the economy.
The Elbridge Town Board meeting was moved to the community center last week to make room for the unusually large group in attendance, virtually all of whom sought an explanation as to they their assessments were so high.
Supervisor Ken Bush began the meeting by offering a point of clarification.
"Laws are set up to keep politics out of assessments," Bush said. "This should not be a political process." As he would several times throughout the meeting, Bush explained that the town board is responsible for appointing an assessor, but the rest of the process and the results are out of the board's hands.
Joe Van Lieu, president of the Dodier Drive Homeowner's Association, represented his neighborhood as one with some of the highest assessments in the town.
"It's the responsibility of the board to look at the process and police the process. As a town board, you have to be responsible for who the board appoints," Van Lieu argued.
Many residents echoed his sentiments, calling for a review of Assessor Larry Fitts' methods, citing the number of residents whose assessments' seemed ridiculously high.
Hundreds of residents claiming inaccurate assessments is the sign of a larger problem, the audience agreed.
Penny Ceratt confirmed Friday that there were between 550 and 600 informal hearing appointments made with the assessor or a representative, where residents had 10 minutes to present information to the assessor that could modify his findings and change their assessments.