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TOPTA submits assessment petition to Potsdam

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POTSDAM — The Town of Potsdam Taxpayers Association presented the town board Monday with a petition to repeal the recent property reassessment, with more than 320 signatures in favor of reverting to the roll from 2012.

Potsdam has more than 5,500 properties, all of which were revalued in the tentative tax roll submitted May 1.

The Board of Assessment Review is meeting daily this week to consider evidence brought by property owners who chose to challenge their assessments.

“We have been given a blind eye and a deaf ear,” association President Tracey E. Haggett-Sloan said.

Ms. Haggett-Sloan accused the board of promoting the revaluation as a form of government control.

“You’ve developed a lengthy trail of not working for the best of the people,” she said.

Her remarks drew the ire of several board members, including Judith R. Rich.

“You have the right to speak, and you have the right to not understand,” Ms. Rich said.

According to board members, they no longer have the power to change the tax rolls. That ability has been out of the board’s hands since May 1, when the tentative roll was submitted.

The fate of taxpayers now rests with the appointed Board of Assessment Review, which likely will make its decisions before the end of the week.

“The town board has no legal power to turn back the roll,” Councilman Michael J. Zagrobelny said.

The property values will be finalized by July 1.

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