Ossining Town Supervisor Sue Donnelly sent out information about their “Town Hall” meeting tomorrow night with the villages of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor. On the agenda is the topic of assessments. Read below for more information from Donnelly on the meeting:
I want to thank so many of you for attending our first “Town Hall Meeting” last month- it was a wonderful opportunity for the Town Board to get the temperature of the community, and get a clearer sense of the issues with which our residents are struggling. We plan to hold one of these meetings every 6 weeks in lieu of a Town Board Work Session, and many will focus on a specific topic that has been seen as a trending interest among our residents.
For the May meeting, we would like to bring you some information about one of the most complex issues facing taxpayers and municipalities in Westchester County and New York State property taxes. “Assessment” covers a wide range of topics of interest to constituents, including but not limited to: determining property values, SCARS (Small Claims Assessment Reviews), activism towards a county-wide re-assessment, and the ever-nebulous concept of “equalization rates”.
For something so complicated, we decided to call in the experts.
Along with our new Town Assessor Fernando Gonzalez, who is in his own right an expert in local assessment issues, we will also be speaking with Regional Manager John Wolham from the Newburgh Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS), a division of the New York State Department of Tax and Finance. Together, they will present a more user-friendly version of the wide world of how assessments come to be, what actually happens when a resident grieves their taxes, and how you can get more directly involved with changing these practices and policies going forward on the State level.
7:30 -8:00 PM: Resident Questions and Comments
8:00- 9:30 PM: Discussion of Assessment Concepts: Town of Ossining Assessor Fernando Gonzalez; Guest Speaker John Wolham, Regional Manager, Newburgh Office of Real Property Tax Services
• Assessments Vs. Taxes: What’s the Difference?
• Understanding the Equalization Rate
• Fair Assessments
• Pros and Cons of Grieving your Taxes With Assessment Reduction Firms
• Assessment Office’s “Open Door” Policy
9:30- 10:00PM- Closing Statements