Ronald W. Nesbitt

Supervisor's Corner


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Jun 25

Assessments

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM by PattiAnn Schultz

Since the announcement that Xerox would be seeking to lower its assessment in town, I have heard from some that the town should just do another town-wide revaluation. My answer to that is a very simple and loud NO!

There are many reasons for this and as I have done on other occasions let me run down why doing a revaluation makes no sense at this time.

First, is the sensible reason that the local assessment function is not meant to be an economic development program. It is to equitably distribute the taxation amongst all in the community. It is not meant for a way that the taxing entities in town (i.e.: Town, School District and Fire Districts) can just spend more money because they have more money from a higher assessment roll.

The difference between a town having a 100% assessment roll and the Town of Webster being at 89% assessment is no different because the 89% is an equalized rate. I have heard from the other taxing entities that they are losing money because the Town of Webster is not at 100% assessment and Penfield is. While the two tax rates will look different on paper in reality the numbers work out the same and do not let anyone mislead you into thinking otherwise for their own municipality reasons.

For example: lets take a house in Penfield assessed at $100,000 and the current Webster school tax rate of $20.15 in Penfield. This house will pay to the Webster School district $ 2,015.00 in school tax. Now lets take a $100,000 house assessed in Webster with an 89% equalized rate set by the State of New York. The house value is 100,000 x 89% which equals 89,000 times the school district rate for Webster at $22.64 which equals the Webster house paying $2.015.00 the same as the Penfield home. The Webster Central School District does not lose a penny in tax revenue at all. Plus, the True Tax Rate the School District likes to quote does not figure into the math at all in figuring out your tax bill.

Now this formula will work with any house assessed at any value in both Penfield and Webster and the tax numbers will work out to be the same.

So to recap, the reason the Town of Webster would do a revaluation would be if the assessor found that the equitably distribution in the Town of Webster was off and she would then make a recommendation to the Town Board to correct the equitably distribution. Other than that, the formula I have just demonstrated to you shows that the Town of Webster is in-line with other Towns that are at 100% assessment by using the equalization rate given to the town by the state. In that case tax payments are equal to any town with a 100% assessment and no municipality is losing out on any tax dollars.

One other point I would like to make is the cost of a new revaluation would be in the $350,000 to $ 500,000 dollar range. This is money the town certainly does not have at this time which would mean instantly that doing a revaluation by the town would mean a hike in the town tax rate to cover the cost of the revaluation.

I would also invite any organization or group that would like to learn more about assessments to call my office and I and the Assessor would be more than happy to make a presentation to your organization on the topic.

Northeast Fire District Vote

Just a reminder if you live east of Hard Road there will be a vote on a new $5.6 million fire house July 24th from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Webster Presbyterian Church located at 550 Webster Road.

As always, if you have any questions about your town government, please contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at supervisor@ci.webster.ny.us.

Ronald W. Nesbitt
Webster Town Supervisor