Notices are out about preliminary full-value residential property assessments in Cheektowaga and taxpayers are asking questions.
The notices were delivered in last week’s mail; the new assessments will be used in calculating school tax bills this fall.
Phones are ringing in the town assessor’s office, but not as much as anticipated. “It’s been steady, but not anything really overwhelming,” Assessor Jeneen McSkimming said Tuesday.
“There is confusion with the notices,” McSkimming acknowledged.
For the past 20 or more years, property in Cheektowaga has been assessed at 100 percent, but the town had an equalization rate of 62 percent, which was set by the state to ensure equitable property tax allocation among taxing jurisdictions, among other things. Under that system, a home assessed at $62,000 had a full market value of $100,000.
Now, a house with a market value of $62,000 will be assessed at that level.
The Town Board voted in January to go to full-value assessments, after repeatedly reassuring residents that a higher assessment wouldn’t automatically mean a higher tax bill.
But the notice to homeowners advises: “This is a hypothetical estimate based on your prior year tax levies and does NOT represent your actual future tax liability.”
Homeowners who still have questions about how their assessments were determined can meet one-on-one Wednesday and Monday with members of the assessor’s staff to go over the numbers. Among the data considered is the three-year history of property sales in neighborhoods.
The same resources can be found at www.tocny.org and in the assessor’s office at 3301 Broadway.
Wednesday’s session runs from 1 to 5 p.m. in Julia Boyer Reinstein Library, 1030 Losson Road, and Monday’s is from 6 to 8 p.m. in Anna M. Reinstein Memorial Library, 2580 Harlem Road.
“It gives the people an opportunity to come in and talk to us about their notices,” McSkimming said.
Appointments for informal review hearings are being scheduled through March 27. Grievance Day is May 28, for property owners who are not satisfied with the value determination or who were unable to attend an informal review session.