Frequently Asked Questions About the Reassessment

Why Do a Reassessment Now?

A reassessment is needed when the property values that make up the tax base become inconsistent, unfair or too old to reflect current trends and changes in the actual value of real estate. After several years without a reassessment some properties will be over-assessed, others will be under-assessed.If the assessment is out of date, those people who are over-assessed are paying more taxes than they should and those who are under-assessed will pay lower taxes than they should.The last town-wide reassessment was done in 2012 and relied on sales data from 2007-2011, a time when the real estate market was depressed and values were low.

To equalize the tax base and ensure that property owners are only paying their fair share, market values must approximate 100% of true market value and there must be uniformity between all properties with like characteristics and value.The Town’s equalization rate is currently approximately 96.60% which means that there is an 3.4% discrepancy in the relationship between current assessments and market value.

A reassessment restores fairness within a community.It eliminates selective assessing and increases transparency.It creates defensible assessments that are based on a statistical model applied uniformly to all Town properties.State aid is available to municipalities that do a reassessment every four years.

How is my Property Reassessed?

Reassessment involves a “systematic analysis” in which all assessments are compared to the current market and adjusted as necessary to a desired Level of Assessment (LOA) to achieve equity in the levying of taxes.It includes the gathering of data and market information, the grouping of data for further study, the application of accepted analytical techniques (both diagnostic and prescriptive) and the subsequent validation of results before values are entered on a tentative assessment roll.

Statistical analysis is used to draw conclusions about the level and uniformity of the assessments from the previous year’s Assessment Roll as compared to current market conditions.This analysis is done by creating groups with similar properties (in building style, valuation district, square footage, age, lot size, type of heat, number of bedrooms, central air, type of basement, fire place etc), and comparing their current assessed value to actual sales prices.

The Town computes the final estimations of values.

How Can Residents Contest Their Assessment?

In August of 2017 all property owners were mailed a Property Description Report containing the information currently on file for their property.They were asked to review and, if necessary, correct the information.Property Description Reports had to be returned by September 25, 2017.Once changes in the reports were verified, consultants retained by the Town began a grouped analysis of properties in East Greenbush.Commercial properties and residential properties are assessed separately.The results of the analysis were mailed to residents in the 2018 Assessment Notification, a form that contained your 2017 assessed value and a preliminary 2018 assessed value, and indicated the Net Change between the two years.

Once residents have their Assessment Notifications, they may contact the Assessor’s Office for general information and to schedule an informal meeting with one of the consultants.These ten-minute meetings are held at the EG Community Library and present an opportunity for you to ask questions about how your assessment was calculated and to offer reasons why you think it may not be the right figure.

When this process is finished, the Town Assessor takes the updated preliminary assessed values and publishes the results in a Tentative Assessment Roll, which must be completed by May 1st.Residents can then file a formal grievance which will heard on May 22nd by the Board of Assessment Review (BOAR).The Assessor will register changes from the grievance procedure in time to publish the 2018 Final Assessment Roll on July 1, 2018.

If you are still not satisfied after your grievance is heard by BOAR, the final course of appeal is to go to Small Claims Court to contest the tentative assessment.

Does a Reassessment Generate Additional Tax Revenue for the Town?

Reassessment cannot be used as a means to generate increased revenue.After the tax base has been equalized and brought to current market value, the tax rate must be reduced to a value that would yield the same amount of tax revenue as the prior year.In other words, the tax rate is reduced in proportion to the increase in total assessed value.A reassessment is a revenue-neutral process.

Will My Taxes Go Up After My Property is Reassessed?

An increased assessment doesn’t mean that your taxes will increase.In the ideal case, one-third of property owners will see an increase, one-third will stay the same, and one-third will decrease.If your assessment decreases or increases less than the average change, your taxes will decrease.If your assessment increases by more than the overall average, your taxes will go up.

Your taxes will not increase by the same percentage as your assessment.

What is Market Value?

The most probable price that a property would sell for on the open market with both the buyer and seller acting knowledgably and prudently.

Market value is the true value of a property.The assessed value is the portion of that value that you pay taxes on.This is why a 100% equalization rate is ideal.

How is Market Value Different From Assessed Value?

The purpose of an assessment is to ensure equity in the distribution of taxes.In other words, to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes, not more or less.

Assessed values are only used for determining taxes.Data is subjected to a trend analysis that covers several years (ours is based on market analysis of the period of 7/1/2013 – June 30, 2017), and the assessor does not enter the properties.For purposes of this reassessment, our consultants did not incorporate the condition of the home into the analysis.

Appraisals of market value are typically done by lenders and are used to determine current fair market rate. Appraisals are typically based on a list of sales for a six-month period.Appraisers evaluate the inside the house and condition of the building is factored into the calculation.

What is an Equalization Rate?

The Equalization Rate for a municipality is the assessed value of the real property in a town as determined by the local assessor divided by the state's appraised value of that same real property. This ratio is stated as a percentage. At an equalization rate of 100%, assessments are at full market value. An equalization rate is New York State's measure of a municipality's level of assessment.

Each municipality determines its own level of assessment (this is in contrast to most states that require one level of assessment statewide).Hundreds of taxing jurisdictions - including most school districts and counties - do not share the same taxing boundaries as the cities and towns that are responsible for assessing properties.In order to distribute school district or county taxes among multiple municipalities, the level of assessment of each municipality must be equalized to full market value.