The assessor is a local government official who estimates the value of real property within a city, town, or village's boundaries. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of real property tax bills.
The assessor performs many other administrative functions, such as inspecting new construction and major improvements to existing structures. This ensures that the record of each property's physical inventory is current and that the appropriate improvements are assessed.
The assessor also approves and keeps track of property tax exemptions. Among the most common are the senior citizen, School Tax Relief (STAR), veterans, agricultural, and business exemptions. 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 your tax bill still seems too high, the assessor cannot change that.
Complaints to the assessor must be about how property is assessed.
Taxpayers unhappy with growing property tax bills should not be concerned only with assessments. They should also examine the scope of budgets and expenditures of the taxing jurisdictions (counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, etc.) and address those issues in appropriate and available public forums.
Myth# 1 -Assessors determine property taxes
Typically property tax rates are set by school boards, town boards, village boards, and county legislatures, but not by assessors. Each board determines the total amount of taxes it needs to raise, and then divides that number by the total taxable assessed value of the jurisdiction to determine the tax rate. Your share of the tax is calculated by multiplying the tax rate by your property’s assessed value minus exemptions, such as STAR.
Assessors are responsible for determining your property’s assessed value. In order to do this, the assessor estimates your property’s market value (the price it would sell for in the real estate market) and then applies the municipal level of assessment (LOA) to that market value. In many communities, the level of assessment is 100 percent, so a home with a market value of $90,000 has an assessed value of $90,000. In a town with a level of assessment of 50 percent, the assessed value of the same home is $45,000.
The assessor also performs other functions, such as processing exemption applications and keeping track of the local real estate market, but the assessor does not determine your tax rate.
Myth #2 -Revaluations are for increasing revenue collected by Municipalities and Schools.
The amount of money that needs to be collected is determined by the budget process. The governing bodies determine how much money they need to collect. A revaluation simply redistributes the taxes to make sure everyone pays their fair share. Without the redistribution from a revaluation, houses that have sold higher do not pay their fair share of the tax burden.
Myth #3 -Taxes are high because of assessments
It’s important to distinguish between taxes and assessments. If you feel your taxes are too high, you should take that up with the town board, school board, or other governing authority that is determining tax levies and setting the tax rates. If you feel your assessment is too high, there are administrative and judicial processes where you can seek to have your assessment lowered.
Assessments should be based on market value, and if you feel your assessment is too high, your first step in confirming that is to determine your property’s market value. The best way to do this is to look at the sale prices of similar properties in similar neighborhoods.
If you still feel that your assessment is too high, we recommend that you informally discuss your concerns with your Assessor. More information on the grievance process is available from your Assessor’s Office and online at http://www.tax.ny.gov.
1. March 1st- Taxable Status Date .
2. May 1st- The Tentative Roll is filed.
3. Fourth Tuesday in May- Grievance Day
4. July 1st- The Final Assessment roll is filed
Dates Tax Bills Become Due:
***The Assessor does not handle tax bills.***