Spafford assessments earn office state award

There's satisfaction in knowing the job is done and everyone is being treated equally.

Following the recent town-wide revaluation in the town of Spafford, which caused many residents to storm Town Hall in anger over their assessments, Assessor Kim Stone-Gridley said she is satisfied with the results.

"Everyone pays accordingly," she said.

With the revaluation, the town equalization rate is now 100 percent and offers a level playing field for all residents despite the criticism the town board received from those very residents.

"One-hundred percent makes everyone know this is what my home is worth," Stone-Gridley said.

Since completing the revaluation, the town has been notified by the New York State Office of Real Property Services it has been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Equity award.

The award is given out to municipalities who complete a revaluation and follow certain guidelines in the process, Stone-Gridley said. It is the second time Spafford has received the award.

"We did a fair and equitable job and we did bring people into a fair line with what their property is worth," Supervisor Webb Stevens said. "To determine and do a revaluation is not something you do lightly."

According to Stevens, doing a revaluation of the town is the same as playing with someone else's pocketbook and emotions because to bring everyone to the 100 percent equalization rate could mean drastic increases in tax rates for some residents.

The board's plan now is to complete assessments every three years, but will explore all avenues. If more frequent assessments works more to the residents advantage, it will be taken under careful consideration.

"We have an assessor that's working for us now," Stevens said of Stone-Gridley. "[She can] keep us on track."

Stone-Gridley said she wants to keep current assessments current.

"We thank all the townspeople for their patience through the process and helping us achieve this award," she said.

If Spafford residents have questions concerning their assessments or property, Stone-Gridley is available from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays at Spafford Town Hall, 1984 Route 174, Skaneateles. She can be reached at 673-9559 on those mornings, or leave her a message at 673-4144.

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