Progressing through the year 2011 has not come without it many challenges. The Cicero Town Board's commitment to taking on new projects and the strong desire for success requires a lot of time and energy. One of the main concerns on the table is the Full Assessment Project for the town. With the tentative tax roll filed, the formal process for residents to contest their assessments is in full motion. All property owners are eligible for a formal administrative review. There are two levels of formal review: 1. through grievance process, and 2. judicial review in Small Claims Court, although you must go through the grievance process first. Of course, you may meet with the assessor prior to grievance to discuss your concerns, with a possibility of having it resolved then.
What to do if you disagree with your assessment? Go to orps.state.ny.us for more information. This site will provide you with all the information needed to prepare you for a grievance review. The town of Cicero's Grievance Day is June 7.
Be sure to call the Assessor's office 699-1410 to set up your appointment with Brad Brennan, town assessor. You can also pick up the proper paperwork at the assessor's office. The assessment process starts with the assessor. The assessor has the ability to make changes to the tentative tax roll prior to Grievance Day. His or her position is to make sure that "due diligence" has been done. This means that the care of a reasonable person has exercised all means to avoid harm to other persons or their property. Also, total and complete research and analysis has been done and approved by the assessor to reach the final circumstance or transaction of the assessment application.
What is a grievance? A grievance is a process, procedure or formal complaint resulting from a cause of distress or dissatisfaction. It is a formal allegation, protest or public outcry. Taking advantage of this process is important. You may also have representation through your attorney but this is not necessary. The BAR (Board of Assessment Review) in Cicero consists of five members appointed by the town board. The BAR cannot include the assessor or any staff from the assessor's office. Assessors, however, are required to attend all formal hearings of the board and have the right to be heard on any complaint. Some residents are facing a very difficult situation. My office has always been open to assist during this assessment process. I am opening up my office to all residents who need help regarding the grievance process. With a better understanding of the grievance process, I feel that many will be more comfortable going to grieve their properties. Feel free to contact my office at 699-1414 with questions or to set up an appointment with me.