SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – The the local real estate market has been white-hot, pushing up home values in many parts of CNY. That means you could be in for a heck of a surprise when your latest property assessment opens.
“I’ve seen marketplaces go up and marketplaces go down, but I’ve never seen it go up in double digits,” said Manlius City Assessor Pat Duffy.
Duffy said the reviews will be sent to City of Manlius inhabitants at the beginning of May. He said the average homeowner sees an increase of around 14% in their valuation.
It’s the same story in the cities of Lysander and VanBuren. Lysander Assessor Theresa Golden says she’s never seen anything like it in her 23-year career. She said some homeowners are seeing their valuation go up by $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 or more.
As for what your property’s new assessed value means for taxes, you’ll have to wait for school, city, and county budgets to pass.
City of Salina Assessor, Denise Trudel sent a letter to the owners reminding them: “The appraiser does not know what each person will pay in taxes. The assessor is responsible for ensuring that the distribution of taxes is fair and equitable.
Duffy pointed out that an average assessment hike of 14% for Manlius owners doesn’t necessarily mean your taxes go up 14%.
“It just means your property value increases by 14%… The only thing appraisal really does, once budgets are established, appraisal establishes your property, what piece of the pie you are responsible for”, Duffy mentioned.
How to challenge your assessment
If you believe your appraisal is inaccurate and wish to dispute it, the first step is to speak to your local appraiser. Golden said his office had about 160 briefings with landowners in Van Buren and 250 in Lysander.
Duffy advises you not to wait until the last minute. He also said landlords should do their homework, find comparable properties in your neighborhood, and bring photos to help make your case.
If this leaves you unsatisfied, you can file a grievance with the Assessment Review Committee. Most cities hold a grievance day on the fourth Tuesday in May or early June. Duffy said you had to complete a complaint form. You must send it with the supporting documents by grievance day.
“I must point out that you must submit this grievance form no later than the fourth Tuesday in May. You arrive on the fourth Wednesday in May and you are already too late,” Duffy said.
You may also attend the grievance review in person. Duffy recommends that you keep your argument simple and direct and focus on facts, not emotions. He suggests that you provide one to five comparable properties.
“Some people will come up with a novel comparable to War and Peace. My personal opinion is that they lose messaging. I think when you come in with too much information, it tends to overwhelm the board,” Duffy said.
If you still disagree on the value of your assessment, you can take your case to a Small Claims Assessment Review. Duffy said the process will cost you a $35 application fee. The court will appoint a hearing officer.