In early 2017, the Town Board passed a resolution supporting the Assessor in completing a town-wide reassessment for the 2018 Assessment roll. The Town is committed in informing residents about the process by which the revaluation will occur.
A town-wide reassessment has not occurred in Irondequoit since 2008, and because the real estate market is always changing, the assessments need to be reviewed for equity. At present, the State of New York has determined Irondequoit is assessed at 94% of its overall market value. With that information, it has been determined that a town-wide reassessment is warranted, to re-establish equity between properties and put the Town’s assessments at 100% of market value.
LATE 2016 - DATA VERIFICATION FORM MAILED TO RESIDENTS. Every property owner received a data verification form to fill out and return to the assessor’s office. This allows the town to have accurate baseline information about each property.
FALL / WINTER 2017 – FIELD WORK. Technology has changed our ability to review properties, however, some properties still require a field review to best determine the value. The Town will conduct field reviews of certain properties, using qualified appraisers.
WINTER 2017 / SPRING 2018 – NEW ASSESSMENT ESTABLISHED / INFORMAL HEARINGS. After comparing the data and information collected with recent property sales, the Assessor will establish an assessed value for each property. Every property owner will receive an Impact Notice from the Town, which will have their property preliminary assessed value.
The Impact Notice will outline a process by which a property owner can talk over their assessment. The first opportunity to discuss this assessment will be through informal hearings with representative for the Assessor’s office. The number to call to schedule an appointment will be on your Impact Notice.
While these hearings are informal, we do ask that resident come prepared with applicable information about their property and any comparable sales in their neighborhood. The hearing officer will then determine if a review of the property is warranted. If the value is amended, the property owner will receive a Change Notice, after the informal hearings have been completed.
MAY 1ST, 2018- TENTATIVE ROLL IS FILED. At this point, the process reverts back to the annual process by which the Town sets its assessment roll. The Tentative Roll is filed on May 1st of every year, which allows for another opportunity to be heard through the annual assessment challenge process, also known as the Grievance Process. Residents may meet with the Board of Assessment Review upon an application being filed with the Town before the fourth Tuesday in May to discuss their tentative assessment. The Board of Assessment Review is an independent board and not part of the Assessor’s Office.
IRONDEQUOIT’S FIRST REASSESSMENT IN A DECADE ENTERS FINAL PHASES
Supervisor Dave Seeley announced that the Irondequoit Assessor’s Office has completed much of the work required for the Town wide property reassessment and will soon be mailing impact notices to all property owners in Irondequoit, outlining any increases or decreases to the assessed value of their property.
Irondequoit has gone nearly a decade without a full reassessment, which has caused the assessment of all property in town to not keep pace with the modest increase in the market value of properties over the past ten years, as most homes in Irondequoit have had the same assessed value since 2008.
Of all the Irondequoit property sales recorded in 2017 on the Monroe County Real Property website, the average sale price was $124,274, while the average assessed value of those homes was $115,807 (7% underassessed). In 2017, the Town received notice from the State of New York that it’s equalization rate had fallen to 94 percent, necessitating a thorough canvass of the Town.
Just last year (2017), home values in Irondequoit continued to increase, as was the case throughout Monroe County. According to data provided by the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, as of December 15th, 2017, the median 2017 sale price of a single-family home in Irondequoit was $118,000. At that point in time in 2016, the median sale value was $112,500.
“The assessment of real property is one of the core functions of Town government,” said Supervisor Seeley. “Our goal has been to provide transparency to what is a very nuanced and complex process, in the interest of having our property assessed at its fair market value.”
Reassessments and Property Taxes
The Towng has received many inquiries regarding the impact to property taxes in Irondequoit. Supervisor Seeley has been quick to point out that just because the assessed value of a home increases, it doesn’t automatically mean the taxes will increase, especially now that the state property tax cap has been put into effect.
Furthermore, in many instances, if the change in assessed value of a property is exceeded by the change in overall Town wide assessment, there is a chance that property taxes may decrease. Ultimately, the impact will be determined when the school districts, fire districts, County and Town set their tax rates, all of whom are subject to the property tax cap. Again, the property tax cap has effectively put downward pressure on tax levy increases, since its inception, with Irondequoit being no exception as the town tax rate has not increased since 2010.
Upon receiving their impact notice in the second or third week of February, property owners will have the option of appealing their initial assessment. The first opportunity to do this will come via an informal review with the Assessor’s office, which may be scheduled by calling: 336-6055, online at www.irondequoit.org or visiting the Assessor’s office in person on the first floor of Town Hall. The impact notice will also have additional information about the reassessment process.
These informal reviews provide an opportunity for the property owner to engage the Assessor, ask questions and present data about their property or comparable sales that might trigger an amendment to the assessment.
Residents are encouraged to use a variety of resources available. This includes an organized list of all recent sales in Irondequoit, which can be viewed at Town offices, the Town library or on the Assessor’s page on the Town website. Additionally, residents may conduct queries of recent comparable sales in their neighborhood on the Monroe County Real Property Tax page at: https://www.monroecounty.gov/etc/rp/.
The informal hearing may result in a change to the assessed value. These hearings are not negotiations but serve the purpose of providing the Assessor with additional information that may have altered the initial assessment. Regardless, all residents partaking in an informal review will receive correspondence from the Town as a follow-up by May 1st.
After these informal hearings, the process reverts to the annual sequence of events, with the tentative roll being set on May 1st, followed by grievance challenges which take place before the Board of Assessment review.
“The purpose of reassessment is to provide equity within our tax roll. Above all, we want to get it right, and our Assessor’s office is committed to working with every resident to do so,” said Seeley. “Our goal is to conduct this in a transparent manner, and live up to our mission of setting an accurate tax roll.”
WHAT IS A REASSESSMENT?
As defined in Section 102 of NYS Real Property Tax Law, a reassessment is a: “systematic analysis of all locally assessed parcels to assure that all assessments are at a stated uniform percentage of value as of the valuation date of the assessment roll upon which the assessment appears.”
A Re-assessment, sometimes called a revaluation, is the process of collecting and verifying property data from all properties in a town and reviewing Market Analysis. This allows the town to equalize of all properties within a municipality for the purpose of a fair distribution of the tax burden.
WHY DO WE NEED A REASSESSMENT?
The goal is equity. If we assume that everyone is consistently assessed at 100%, then the assessments would be fair and equitable. Since, the last reassessment in 2008, the real estate market has seen some dramatic activity, not only in the number of sales, but in the price of real estate. However, not all properties will appreciate in value at the same rate. After a period of time without a revaluation and systematic analysis of property values, the equity is no longer present.
HOW IS MARKET VALUE DETERMINED?
Market value is determined by analyzing valid real estate sales in the Town. These sales are used to determine the value of other properties in the Town that have not recently sold. The Assessor does not set market value, but uses market value to assess a property.
KNOWING YOUR MARKET VALUE
Property owners are encouraged to educate themselves on the market value of their own property. Tips to do so include: obtaining a reasonable estimate of the market value of the property. A book of recent sales with photos is available in the Assessor’s office, on the Town’s website and at the Town Library. Furthermore, you may also look at the Saturday real estate section of the D&C, and the internet has made research much simpler to help property owners obtain information about comparable sales in their neighborhood.
HOW WILL THE HOMEOWNER BE NOTIFIED OF THE NEW ASSESSMENT?
Each property owner will be sent an Impact Notice in early 2018 that will have the preliminary assessed value of their home. An opportunity for an informal review is available to any property owner who would like to discuss their value with the team assigned to the informal review hearings. The hearing scheduling process will also be detailed in the notice you receive from the town.
At a hearing, the property owner can voice concerns and provide the Assessor’s Office additional information about their property. The hearing officer will then determine if a review of the property is warranted. If the value is amended, the property owner will be informed in a Change Notice, to be sent after all the informal hearings are complete. At this point, the process will revert back to its annual form, with a tentative assessment roll being filed on May 1st, and an opportunity to have a formal hearings with the Board of Assessment Review, taking place on the fourth Tuesday in May of 2018.
NOTE: An application must be file with the Assessor’s, Office before the fourth Tuesday in May in order to have a hearing with the Board of Assessment Review. These hearings will be held at the Irondequoit Public Library.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON TAXES?
The goal of any reassessment it to ensure equity in assessment, which helps fairly distribute the property tax burden, which then funds the property tax levy. The property tax levy is the amount of money that the Town Board determined annually is needed to fund town services, such as police, road repair and sewer maintenance. You might be thinking, “How can my assessment increase and my taxes not go up?” Remember, assessments are merely a base used to apportion the tax burden. The tax burden is the amount that your municipality collects for the operation of all the taxing jurisdictions, School, County and Town and special districts. Some might say that if the Town’s assessed value increased, then this will allow the Board to increase the tax levy, proportionately, while not increasing the tax rate. Even if any Town Board desired to do this, residents should be reminded that the NYS Property Tax cap now prevents large increases to the tax levy.