Home values raise concern

Gloversville homeowners, new tentative assessments in hand, were lining up Monday outside the city a
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Gloversville homeowners, new tentative assessments in hand, were lining up Monday outside the city assessor’s office.

The assessments, the product of a three-year property revaluation designed to achieve current market valuations, may have shocked some homeowners.

But, the new assessments are accompanied with a projection that the city tax rate could drop from the current $23.75 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $19 or less.

Assistant Assessor Joan Dennie said Monday she welcomes residents who have questions about the new assessments.

“We want everyone to understand how we came up with the values,” said Dennie. The numbers, she said, are the result of a “lot of hard work” over the past three years.

Though many residents may be dismayed to see the large increases in assessments, she said, in many cases the new assessments are still below market values.

As an example, she said, one woman questioned an increase from $89,000 to $134,000. But, it was immediately evident the woman had just paid $143,000 for the home. “There’s nothing we can do for her,” said Dennie, noting “she is still underassessed.”

It is the first revaluation in the city since the early ’90s. There were instances, Dennie said, where a homeowner had enjoyed an assessment of $69,000 for many years, while neighbors’ houses had sold for as much as $175,000.

There were many other cases in which $50,000 assessments were raised to $65,000 or $70,000. About half the city’s 6,000 parcels were raised and the other half reduced, she said.

Those receiving an increase should consider that the city tax rate is also declining significantly as the tax base increases from $290 million to $378 million, she said.

City Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen said taxpayers must recognize that the city has been collecting $6.5 million annually in property taxes and that will not change significantly.

If there were no revaluation, Van Genderen said, the city tax rate would probably drop in 2009 to about $23.50.

Instead, he said, it could be as low as $18.50.

Categories: Schenectady County

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