Minden property revaluation planned

The town of Minden is planning a townwide revaluation with hopes of evening out the tax burden for 2
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The town of Minden is planning a townwide revaluation with hopes of evening out the tax burden for 2009, town Supervisor Thomas Quackenbush said Monday.

The Town Board on Thursday is scheduled to authorize a request for proposals seeking a company to assess the value of town properties and collect data that could bring the town’s state-based equalization rate up to 100 percent, Quackenbush said.

The town started a revaluation in 1997 and since then, the equalization rate has been dropped to about 70 percent, he said.

So for now, a home worth $100,000 is assessed at $70,000.

The equalization rate is set by the state.

Quackenbush said revaluations typically increase taxes for about a third of those involved while leaving another third unchanged and decreasing taxes for the remaining third.

In order for the new tax roll to be in effect for 2009, the project has to be done by July 1, Quackenbush said.

When the town in December agreed to the revaluation, officials sent a notice to the state which, once the equalization rate is at 100 percent, offers $5 per parcel for maintaining the 100 percent rate.

“With 2,500 or so parcels, it adds up,” Quackenbush said.

The town recently hired Robert Harris, the assessor in the towns of Charleston and Root, to coordinate the revaluation while training new assessors taking the position starting this year, Quackenbush said.

Quackenbush said buying activity in the town’s housing market over the past decade had an impact on the equalization rate for town properties.

“In the last 10 years, people came in and paid above and beyond the assessed value of the house,” he said.

A couple of homes in the village of Fort Plain, which is within the town of Minden, sold at about $250,000 but were assessed at between $70,000 and $80,000, Quackenbush said.

With a revaluation, Quackenbush said, taxpayers will be paying a more accurate share of the levy.

“I don’t know that people are going to see an increase in taxes. What they’re going to see is a difference in the tax rate,” Quackenbush said.

Following a response to bids, Quackenbush said he expects the revaluation to get started but residents will get a chance to learn what they can about the process in a public hearing to be scheduled for February, Quackenbush said.

Only two towns in Montgomery County, Root and Charleston, are currently assessing properties at 100 percent of market value, according to the state Office of Real Property Services.

The towns of Amsterdam and St. Johnsville are on the other end of the spectrum. Amsterdam has a state equalization rate of 10 percent, so properties are considered to be assessed well below market value. The last time the town was at or near a 100 percent was in 1958, according to the state.

The town of St. Johnsville has a state equalization rate of 39.66. The last time St. Johnsville’s state equalization rate was near 100 percent was in 1982.

Categories: Schenectady County

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