New assessments expected to create a stir in Ogdensburg; grievance day likely in June

David Barnett
GAR Partner David Barnett

Dave Barnett a representative from GAR Associates, Williamsville, says letters containing new assessments expects it will create a stir.

“Don’t panic,” he told officials Monday.

The representative said letters would be mailed out in or around April first, the tentative assessment roll would set May 14 and grievance day would be around the second Tuesday in June.

Gar Associates will receive between $200,000 to $225,000 for their work, which is expected to raise the overall value of city properties.

The representative told council that the timeline allows time for people to call and discuss any issues with the firm and said a toll free number would be set up to field calls.

He said a lot of changes will likely occur during this time as residents will be able to explain situations that were missed by Gar Associates.

“There will be reductions that are warranted or granted,” he said.

He noted that nearly all of the work performed by the firm was done digitally.

He said that while people were out in the field the majority of the work was done using imaging, both aerial and ground level.

“We didn’t knock on any doors,” he said. “We didn’t cross any property lines.”

The representative told the city council that residents will have three opportunities to raise concerns should their assessments be off-based.

He said the first will be to call the number, the second will be to discuss it with the board of assessment review and the third would be litigation.

Although raising values on properties does not automatically raise the amount paid in taxes, an increase does typically cost more for those residents.

Since the tax rate is set based on per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Mayor Jeffrey M. Skelly has said all along that he wants to ensure that when the assessments jump from the revaluation the tax rates are brought down accordingly to make sure residents are not hit with massive tax bills.

However, given the city’s current fiscal situation, cuts to the tax rate next year do not appear likely.

Skelly said that while the reassessment is necessary he did have concerns about Ogdensburg City School District’s high tax rate, which means if the assessments jump substantially and the tax rate is not brought down, taxpayers could be hit with the large bills.

Source: North Country Now

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