Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Great news! Our new assessments are in!
Wait, what are you saying? There’s something wrong?
Now that doesn’t sound right. Are you sure?

This is what I have been hearing on a loop for days now.
Since the REVAL letters hit our homesteads.

GAR Associates and the Assessors Office have worked around the clock for a year now. The numbers are preliminary, so those of us who have seen our assessment and our taxes go up, must go to the GAR seminars being offered at City Hall and fill out the paperwork to grieve the new rate.

Mind you, I’m not getting angry calls from the residents whose taxes went down or stayed the same but this doesn’t mean the increased rates are justified. GAR acknowledges the short comings of assessing from the street during a period of dropping home values, but expects concerned taxpayers will make the effort to fill out the forms and get into their office on Grand Street.

A point that must be made…the city budget before the REVAL will be the same amount after the REVAL. There is no windfall of extra revenue coming to the city for us Councilmen to squander. (did I say that?) This is not a money grab. The misconception in the press and bloggosphere continues and needs correction. What increases "tax-wise" for one parcel, decreases for others.

The new estimates reflect more like Westchester than Ulster, considering the job situation around Kingston. I have the feeling GAR didn’t take employment stress into account when placing value to our homes.

You can find out more about the assessment process and have your homework ready when you show up Grievance Day. The last time a REVAL was done in Kingston was 1988. Assessments were set at 24% of assessed value. However, your current value is not four times the taxed rate. I wish it were that easy.
Through the month of March, I suggest, remeasure your living space square footage, compare like buildings online in the neighborhood you live in and get into the informal meetings at City Hall.
Grievance Day is May 27th. There will be a morning session and afternoon session.
Because of the mass disparity of the proiperties throughout the city, there will be a line around the building.

Check out: www.orps.state.ny.us/ or email: assessor@ci.kingston.ny.us


Anonymous said...

When is grievance day ? Please

Anonymous said...

It is not just the reval, it is the assessment on churches, which impact the insurance rates they have to pay. I did compare assessments on church buildings in the uptown area and there are differing rates per square feet;not only this, if the church I am familiar with and its land were sold, there is NO WAY we could get $300,000. No way. I don't know if it is valid to complain about a taxable parcel on the same basis as some arbitrary system has to exist for the city to run, but no care has been taken to assess churches at a reasonable rate, as far as I'm concerned. Pmmmmmmfmmmmmt.