Salt supply dwindles as snow continues to fall

S alt licked

Granville has used a small mountain of salt this winter, Granville Town Highway Superintendent John Tanner told the Granville Town Board on Feb. 10.

Tanner said his crew has used 700 tons of salt with just 50 additional tons available, and can only buy 100 additional tons at the state contract price. Any salt purchased beyond the 840-ton mark would have to be at “fair market value.” If that should happen, Tanner told the board, “Hold onto your hats.” A large storm that takes place over the course of a day or more uses about 30 tons of salt, he said. 

Tanner said one of the bright spots in the proposed state budget was highway funding used for paving had been left alone and not cut. Although the same amount, given the expected surging cost of asphalt, is like a cut, Tanner said. 

Granville sole assessor Dan Boone told the board work on the current assessment was going well and he estimated finishing his work by April.

New property values should be out in March, he said.

Boone informed the board he has a new board at the assessor’s office, which shows comparable sales from the past 2½ years; comparable sales between similar homes are used to establish the market value of other local homes.

“They’re there for people to use,” Boone said of the board’s data.

As he gathered data for the upcoming assessment Boone said it looked like about 75 percent of Granville parcels will see a decrease in the assessments, while about 20 percent will see no change.

Boone said because of trends in the housing market Granville was over-assessed by about 3-5 percent. “Remember, sales determine what the values are,” Boone said. Sales of ranch style homes in the village remain steady and as a result those properties are holding their value.

Despite projected drops in assessments it was difficult to project that out to an impact on property taxes, he said. “I don’t deal with taxes; I deal with assessments,” Boone said. Another impact of the proposed budget from Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be on future revaluations. Boone said the proposed budget does not contain funding for the $5 per parcel municipalities have been reimbursed for keep assessments current. The town will receive that amount for this revaluation, but the following year is up in the air because it is not yet clear what the legislature will propose during budget negotiations, Boone said. An interesting twist in the process has those whose income is more than $500,000 ineligible for a STAR property tax exemption. Boone told the board he was shocked when he found Granville’s list had more than a dozen names and he had already had to deny four STAR requests. Board member Ken Quick said he somehow made the list with his dairy farm.

Boone said property owners need to somehow show him their income is not actually that high to receive the exemption. The list probably contains individual who are partners in an LLC, or limited liability company, whose actual income does not reach the $500,000 cutoff.

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