Large turnout at Hebron assessment meeting

B y Jaime Thomas

Nearly 50 people showed up to an informational meeting in Hebron last Wednesday about the possibility of a revaluation.

And while several residents expressed disapproval of undergoing another assessment after only five years, Vicki Hayner, the town’s new assessor, said the timing was appropriate. She said New York state generally recommends revaluation every five years; additionally, she feels Hebron’s rates are off.

“In looking over things, the biggest thing I feel is that land values in the town seem to be inflated,” Hayner said.

She also said Hebron has double the grievances of towns twice its size.

“For the size of your town, the number of grievances you have is high; there’s something going on here we need to address,” she said. She explained that her job is to make sure every property is at 100 percent of its value, because some people might be paying more in taxes than they should while others might be paying too little.

What several locals in attendance questioned Hayner about was the actual process of “drive by” assessing.

“I find it very interesting that you drive up and don’t go inside. I assume you use a formula. I could be cooking on a woodstove or in a $100,000 kitchen, and you wouldn’t know. When you place a value on property just by looking on the outside, how can that be accurate?” one woman asked, and others posed similar concerns.

Hayner told the group such instances won’t affect her numbers, because she goes by market value and recent area sales data. She also said while residents are welcome to request appointments for her to see the inside of their homes, it is not common practice.

“There are 1,600 parcels in town — I’m not going to come knocking on every door. Assessors just don’t do that these days,” she said. Additionally, she told the group she will not be walking their properties but will use Google Earth and a county geographic information system to assess land.

She also said property values have stayed even in Upstate New York, and prolific ‘for sale’ signs give a false impression.

“Lots of times people are getting offers for their properties, but they’re low and they don’t want to take a low offer,” she said. Hayner made it clear during the meeting that she has no influence on how much people pay in taxes; she simply assesses a property’s value and determines exemptions.

If the Hebron Town Board votes to have Hayner re-evaluate, her cost will be $31,000 over two years. The board will vote at a public meeting on May 13.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

North Country Freepress – 05/22/15

Weekender – 05/22/15

Lakes Classifieds – 05/22/15

Northshire Freepress – 05/22/15

Classifieds 05/20/14

Norton, Rocque, Scrimo elected

Pat Norton

By Dan King The results are in and the three new faces on the Whitehall Board of Education will be […]

Celani, Bartholomew, McDermott, Torres win seats

celani bw

By Joshua Bassett The Granville CSD Board of Education faced a lot of possible changes Tuesday night, as four seats […]

Whitehall pledges support for medical marijuana facility

medical marijuana

By Dan King The number of Washington County municipalities pledging support for a medical marijuana growing facility in the county […]

Communities prepare for Memorial Day

Parade 1

Patriotism will be the epicenter of life in the greater Washington County and Lakes Region Area next week. Many towns […]

Roads in Hartford to change hands, names

By Dan King “Old-timers” in Hartford will soon have to adjust to some street name changes in the town. The […]

Smith leads Horde youth movement

smith tennis player color

By Laura McCusker The Granville High School tennis team played to a 6-2 record this spring. To help it achieve […]

Armstrong, Bartholomew at odds on park vandalism

By Dan King The top elected official in the town of Whitehall and the top elected official in the village […]