Real Deal: Grievance Day
Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 01:56 PM EDT
SCHENECTADY -- Tuesday is grievance day and if you've got a gripe about what your home is valued at, this will be the time to argue. If you live in the City of Schenectady, you'll likely want to get in line to see the assessor. The state and city agreed that homes and land there were over-assessed, so they dropped the market value of everything by 4% but not the actual assessments.
Most people assume that if the home value goes down, the assessment goes down and in turn taxes go down but homeowners will likely still shell out the same amount of money. A city-wide reassessment would need to be done for there to be a shift in everyone assessments and tax bills and right now, that's not something Schenectady can afford.
Basically, the assessor is trying to stabilize the market by giving people a better idea of where their homes are valued and then giving homeowners the chance to grieve that value individually. In the end, it means more work for homeowners.
The 4th Tuesday in May is grievance day across the Capital Region. Most assessors are opening their office early and staying late but it normally works on a first-come first-servered basis, so get there early. Bring examples of comparable homes in your neighborhood that you believe are closest in value to your own but remember if you're using recent home sale data, it has to be a regular real estate transaction, foreclosures, short-sales and information from family sales can not be used as comparables.
If, after your hearing with the assessor, you're still unhappy, you'll have to take your case to Small Claims Court or Supreme Court.