The revaluation of all taxable properties in Gardiner started about three years ago, in the winter of 2013-14. Gardiner’s last revaluation was in 2004. The NY State Assessor’s office recommends that revaluations of the town’s parcels be done every five to six years.
Gardiner Town Assessor, Maureen Gallagher, and her assistant, Nancy DeStefano, have been hard at work on the “re-val” along with an outside contractor hired by the town. There are several sources for the research that go into determining a property’s assessed value. Each property has a file in the assessor’s office that documents its characteristics, such as how many acres, how many bedrooms, square feet, how old, etc..
Ms. Gallagher compares this information and other findings from a personal visit to each property to observe any improvements not included in the town’s file. She also uses information from the building department, such as building permits issued.
Another source of information is the Multiple Listing Service of Ulster County (MLS). This is the data base used by realtors, when a property goes on the market or is sold, as well as pertinent characteristics of the property. By the way, due to a New York State policy known as “Welcome Stranger,” the Assessor is not permitted to raise the assessment of a house solely based on the sale price. In order to reassess a house there must be a physical change to the property, or a town-wide revaluation.
During these visits to each of the town’s approximately 3,000 parcels, both residential and commercial, the state requires Ms. Gallagher to take date stamped photos and note any changes. Any physical changes noted are added to the file and forwarded to the Building Department.
There are real benefits to a town-wide revaluation. All properties, after the re-val is official, will have an assessed value which equals the Market Value, rather than an equalized percent of the Market Value. Traditionally, at the end of the revaluation process, approximately one third of taxable properties will go up, one third go down, and one third stay will where they are.
Once the assessments have been adjusted, they are applied to the 2017 Budgets for County, Town, Highway and School. At the end of February, 2017, or beginning of March, a mailing will go out informing each property owner the of their assessment for the 2017 Roll. If a property owner disagrees with their assessment, they are welcome to call Ms. Gallagher to make an appointment for a review.
It’s a good idea to speak with Ms. Gallagher before taking the next step to appeal an assessment at the Board of Review in May. The phone number is 845- 255- 9675 extension 104/ 105, or visit www.TownofGardiner.org. For added information on revaluations see the NY State Tax and Finance site, www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/default.htm.