WELCOME TO THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE PAGE
Richard Tollner, Assessor
Ila M. Oby-Mead, Clerk to the Assessor
Hours are Tuesday 9-4 & 5-7:30, and Wednesdays 9-4 PM
KEY DATES TO THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE
Taxable Status Date March 1
Exemption Filing Date March 1
Tentative Roll Filed May 1
Grievance Day 4 th Tuesday in May
Final Roll July 1
The assessor maintains the assessment roll - the document that contains every property's assessment. To do this, the physical description, or inventory, and value estimate of every parcel of real property in the municipality is kept up-to-date. The property inventory is available for inspection by appointment before the filing of the tentative assessment roll. The assessment roll shows assessments and appropriate exemptions. Every year the roll, with tentative assessments is made available for public inspection. After the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has acted on assessment reviews and ordered any changes, the tentative assessment roll is made final.
Before assessing any parcel of property, the assessor estimates its market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for, in an open market, under normal conditions. To estimate market values, the assessor must be familiar will all aspects of the local real estate market.
A property's value can be estimated in three different ways. First, property is compared to others similar to it that have sold recently, using only sales where the buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. This method is called the market approach and is normally used to value residential, vacant, and farm properties.
Second is to calculate what it would cost, using today's labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. If the structure is not new, the assessor determines how much it has depreciated since it was built. The resulting value is added to an estimate of the market value of the land. This method is used to value special purpose and utility properties, ad is called the cost approach.
Third is to analyze how much income a property, like an apartment building or a store will produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, financing terms, and how much money owners expect to make on this type of property, are considered. This is the income approach.
Once the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated. New York State law provides that all property within a municipality be assessed at a uniform percentage of market value. The percentage can be five percent, 20 percent, 50 percent, or any other percentage, up to 100 percent.
Everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes as long as every property in a locality is assessed at the same percentage of value.
For example, a house with a market value of $100,000, located in a town that assesses at 15 percent of value, would have an assessment of $15,000. The assessment is multiplied by the tax rate for each taxing jurisdiction-NYS and Federal mandates (county), town, school district, fire, special districts ,etc. - to determine the tax bills.
The assessor's office also inspects and inventories new construction and major improvements in order to ensure the record of each property's physical inventory is current and appropriate improvements are assessed.
The assessor also approves, and keeps track of, property tax exemptions. STAR, senior citizen, veterans, and agricultural are among the most common.
The assessor reviews every transfer of real property in a municipality. The basic information on the buyer, seller, and sale price is reviewed for accuracy. Unusual conditions that may have affected the transfer, such as a sale between relatives, are also verified. This information is recorded on form EA-5217 at the real estate closing. Corrections to this form are made by the assessor.
The assessor is required to file an annual report on assessment changes. The NYS Office of Real Property also periodically appraises selected properties in each municipality for use in developing equalization rates. Assessors review these appraisals and submit evidence to support any disagreements on appraised values or property inventories.
The assessor, by law, must be present at all public hearings of the Board of Assessment Review (BAR). The BAR may request the assessor to present evidence in support of tentative assessments being grieved by taxpayers. After meeting in private without the assessor, the BAR makes its decisions and orders any appropriate changes to the assessment roll before it becomes final. If assessment reductions are denied by the BAR, property owners may appeal to Small Claims Assessment Review, the assessor prepares evidence for those hearings.
The assessor is continually communicating with the public, answering questions, and dealing with concerns raised by taxpayers. Anyone can examine the assessment roll at any time. However, between Taxable Status Day and the filing of the tentative roll, it should be done by appointment.
It is up to individual property owners to monitor their own assessments. Taxpayers who feel they are not being fairly assessed should meet with their assessor before the tentative assessment roll is established. In an informal setting the assessor can explain how the assessment was determined and the rationale behind it.
Assessors are interested only in fairly assessing property in their assessing unit. If your assessment is correct and you tax bill still seems too high, the assessor cannot change that. Complaints to the assessor must be about the propertys assessment.
Further information regarding real property in New York State is available at http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/default.htm .