Home News Albany should demand consistency, fairness in property tax assessments (Editorial Board Opinion)

Albany should demand consistency, fairness in property tax assessments (Editorial Board Opinion)

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Property tax assessments are complex but important. They are one of the biggest costs of the family. They fund important public services such as schools, roads, police and fire protection. Our property tax is one of the highest in the country. For all these reasons, they need to be fair.

Longtime readers of Syracuse.com/The Post-Standard know that they have put a huge amount of reporting power into this issue to help them understand how the system works.

For the past few years, our reporters have been A wide range of injustice documented in Syracuse’s tax assessment From neighborhood to neighborhood; Exposed a loophole in the law This allowed condominium owners to pay lower taxes than comparable homeowners.And recently Emphasizes the possibility of “discounts” for large property taxes For homeowners in towns who do not value real estate at full market value.

Reporter Tim Naus compared Clay’s home sales and property tax assessments with his neighbors, Rizander and Salina. The clay’s properties are rated at 3.3% of its full market value. The properties of Lysander and Salina are valued at 100% of their full market value. Even after applying state formulas to “equalize” rates between towns, some clay homeowners pay far less school and property taxes than their neighbors. increase.

It’s unfair.

These houses were bought at the same price but pay different taxes. Taxes do not include any exemptions that may apply. Clay evaluation is done with equalized full value.

Clay Assessor Robbic makes excuses for the delay in valuing his town’s assets, but does not apologize. He argues that it is impossible for the town to accurately value all assets with very few staff. The entire property tax system is full of inequality, “you need to get out of the window,” he says.

We agree, it’s a terrible system. But that’s the system we have. Let’s fix it.

New York State should stop giving the town too much room when deciding how and how often the town will value its assets. The legislature must pass a law that requires towns to value assets at 100% of their value and keep them up to date by updating their valuations at specified intervals. This mission should involve some state funding to help the town pay for it.

This may not be able to reduce your property tax, but it will make them more equitable. Fairness and consistency should be the goal of every tax authority at every level of government. You should request it from your government officials.

Change happens slowly, but it is possible. A good example: tax cuts on condominiums.

Staff writer Michelle Breidenbach goes through this loophole A series of stories released in May 2018, I will explain it like this. “Knowledgeable builders across New York are taking advantage of state law loopholes that allow all types of homes to be called condominiums, which require a lower value than traditional single-family homes. “

Breidenbach analyzed thousands of real estate records and showed that luxury condominium owners discounted property taxes by 36% compared to similar homes. It allowed them to avoid at least $ 330 million a year in taxes — and left their neighbors to receive invoices.

legislation He has been suffering in the legislature for over a decade to correct this inequality. Breidenbach’s report ignited under Congressman Albany. Senator Elijah Reichlin Melnick, D-Nyack, said he used an article on Syracuse.com to explain a complex issue to his colleagues.

The bill passed both homes We are waiting for action from Governor Kathy Hochul on June 2nd. A spokesperson for the governor said she would consider legislation on Thursday. She recommends signing Hochul.

About the Syracuse.com editorial

The editorial represents the collective opinion of the Advance Media New York Editorial Board. Our opinion has nothing to do with news coverage.Read us Mission statement. The members of the editorial board are Tim Kennedy, Trish Lamonte, Katrina Tullok and Marie Morelli.

To reply to this editorial: Please submit a letter or commentary to [email protected]..Read us Submission guidelines.

If you have any questions about the Opinions and Editing section, please contact Marie Morelli, the editor / opinion leader. [email protected]

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