My home’s assessment went up. What does that mean for my property taxes?

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With the hot real estate market in Putnam County fueling a rise in real estate values, homeowners learned this week how that trend has impacted the taxable value of their homes.

Putnam residents received notices indicating increases in values, averaging 6% countywide — as high as 9% in some neighborhoods in the town of Carmel, a Tax Watch analysis found.  The notices went out as the county’s six assessors published their tentative assessment rolls for 2024.

Those increased values, however, do not mean that a homeowner’s property tax bill will rise a similar percentage.

The lowest average increases were in the county’s two towns that have not updated their assessment rolls in years — Kent and Philipstown. They rely on the state’s imprecise equalization rate instead of updating values each year to promote tax fairness, as is done in Carmel, Southeast, Kent and Patterson.

Rockland County homeowners received their notifications in early May while most Westchester homeowners will learn of their updated assessments in June.

Southeast Assessor Laurie Bell said that rising values means the town’s tax base has grown, which allows taxing jurisdictions to lower their tax rates because there’s a bigger tax base to which the tax levy is applied.

In Southeast, for example, the tax roll grew by 8%, from $4.1 billion to $4.4 billion. But that does not mean that a homeowner’s property tax bill will rise 8%. That would depend on how much local governments increase the tax levy needed to pay for public services.

“It’s never a dollar for dollar increase,” said Bell.

How assessments are calculated

Southeast calculates its annual increases based on a review of recent sales, with an analysis that takes into consideration the style and property type. She said assessments for ranches and raised ranches went up 10% while the taxable value of older cottages and Cape Cod-style home rose just 3%.

In Carmel, the annual update is based on sales in neighborhoods around town, or the type of property to be valued. Amanda Clerici, a town of Carmel real property appraiser, said that the assessed value of vacant land rose 10%, while residential properties rose between 3% to 9%, depending on the neighborhood. Rental apartment buildings saw their value rise 5%, she said.

A review of the tentative assessment rolls revealed how municipalities that rely on the equalization rate in 2024 appeared poised to reduce their share of county taxes. Putnam County’s property tax bill is allocated among property owners in the six towns, based on a municipality’s share of countywide assessment.

Assessments rose just 1% in Philipstown and Kent while rising 6% in Carmel, Patterson and Putnam Valley. Assessments rose 8% in Southeast.

Courtesy lohud.com

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