Coronavirus Facts First

Property assessments go on despite COVID-19 pandemic

State News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping the assessment process across New York State.

Letters have been going out to property owners who are seeing a change in value.

In most cases, no letter is sent by an assessor if the value of your property is staying the same.

Warren Wheeler is the Executive Director for the State Assessors Association. He is also Town Assessor for Constantia, Hastings, Richland, Boylston in Oswego County.

“As soon as July 2nd rolls around assessors are already starting on the subsequent roll. These are on-going things so when the whole pandemic started most assessors had those values done and ready, they were just ready to print the roll,” Wheeler tells NewsChannel 9.

Probably the biggest change is that most if not all in-person grievance hearings have been cancelled. it doesn’t mean, however, you still can’t argue your assessment.

Wheeler says, “Even if we don’t have a face to face meeting with the board of assessment review they file that properly submitted RP524, the complaint about the grievance and they will be heard as if they’re in person.”

Whether it’s in writing, over the phone, via zoom Wheeler says come prepared.

He says, “We simply ask the question, why. What is it about your place that you feel the assessment is too high. Because it’s not enough for me to go on your gut reaction, so you’ve got to give something.”

Wheeler adds that it’s hard to know right now what the impact of the pandemic will be on housing values, they just won’t know for another cycle, which will start all over again July 1.

He also says just because your assessment goes up doesn’t mean your taxes automatically will too.

For instance, if your assessment goes up 5 percent and the town valuation overall goes up 10% you shouldn’t see a tax increase. If the reverse happens you should expect a tax increase.

“The assessor is the one who makes sure everybody is getting the appropriate slice of the pie and paying their fair share, that’s all it is,” Wheeler tells NewsChannel 9.

If you do plan on grieving your assessment check with your municipality to see how they’re doing it this year.


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