The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance claims that municipal-wide reassessments are the best way to ensure that assessments are fair and accurate, and that such assessments are designed to ensure you pay only your fair share of taxes. The Town of Carmel went 20 years or so without a reassessment, and therefore some properties have been over-assessed and some under-assessed over the years. This is because some properties will have increased in value, while others may have decreased or stayed the same. This is where some of the havoc has come from, especially since some things were not taken into consideration before taking on the task of a Town wide Reassessment. Some thoughts:
- It is not the property owners fault that the reassessment has not been done for 20 years, and some people’s tax bills are going to nearly triple. How is it fair to expect any property owner come up with in some cases $10,000 to $60,000 more for a tax payment in 1 year?
- The impact of the reduction on watershed and utility property taxes should have been calculated. Millions of dollars has been lost through an arrangement that has held us hostage to NYC. This handicaps us greatly from building up our own rateable properties to highest and best use. Commercial development would substantially ease the burden on area taxpayers.
- The search continues for balance between taxes and services. County and town taxes are minimal, burdened with a 2% cap and state mandates. We need to put more town money towards beautification and economic development, plus vital county services. School taxes are exorbitant, and need a new funding model. We should be going after CFAs and other available resources for main street revitalization and infrastructure improvements.
The Carmel Town Board should be commended for making a brave and tough decision, in most ways it is the proper thing to do and was very necessary. I just think some wise adjustments need to be made.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, “A business advocacy group”