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DeKalb assessments can still be challenged

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As all town of DeKalb taxpayers who attended the board meetings during April and May are aware, your board has received the comments regarding the recent property assessment revaluation.

We listened to your concerns and as a whole believed the drastic increase in land assessments would potentially lead to hardships by those affected by the increases. When we explored what steps were necessary to reject the tentative assessment roll, we were informed by counsel and a representative from St. Lawrence County Tax Office that it could not be done per state Department of Taxation and Finance Real Property Tax Law.

It is critical that any and all taxpayers who believe their assessment to be unfair submit a properly completed grievance form to the Board of Assessment Review on or before Tuesday.

Pursuant to the state Department of Taxation and Finance:

“Once the assessor files the tentative assessment roll, the assessor may not make unilateral changes to the roll.”

“Assessments entered on the tentative assessment roll indicate the assessors judgment as to the value of each parcel” (Real Property Tax Law S506) Thereafter, the assessor has no jurisdiction to change those entries (2 Op. Counsel SBEA No. 62) unless either: 1. A written complaint is filed with the board of assessment review on or before ‘grievance day’ and the board directs a change to be made with respect to the complainants parcel, or: 2. There is an error as defined in section 550 of the Real Property Tax Law.”

Pursuant to the state Department of Taxation and Finance: “The town board does not have authority to change or modify the determinations of the assessor, nor can the town board order the assessor to change the level of assessment which he has chosen for his assessment roll.”

Grievance forms can be obtained at the town clerk’s office from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or on the town webpage www.Townofdekalb.org).

Once again, if you believe that your property has been assessed at a greater amount than fair market value, and you have been unable to resolve it to your satisfaction with the assessor, you must go through the grievance procedure with the Board of Assessment Review on Tuesday.

Larry D. Denesha

DeKalb Junction

The writer is town of DeKalb supervisor.

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