Property assessments rile Moriah residents

Responding to the criticism, Mazzotte said statistics don't support the concerns of many residents.

"People say the economy is bad, that home prices are down," he said. "Local (property) sales don't reflect that."

He also disputed the notion that higher assessments lead to higher taxes. In fact, he said, if local government holds the line on spending people with an 11 percent assessment increase will see a slight tax decrease in 2009.

Scozzafava acknowledged assessments don't raise taxes.

As an example, he told residents of his own assessment, which has increased from $72,300 in 2003 to $90,400 in 2009. In that same period, his town and county taxes decreased by about $20 a year.

Bruno Mazzotte, the assessor's brother, questioned the need to maintain 100 percent assessment.

He pointed out state statistics showing only 466 of 1,597 municipalities in New York are at full market value assessment. He said he's unaware of anyone asking to have their assessment raised.

Paul Mazzotte said failing to keep the local assessment roll current will cost taxpayers in the long run as the state lowers exceptions, such as the STAR program.

Mazzotte urged people with concerns to call the assessors office at 546-3098.

"If you feel you're over-assessed and can prove you're over-assessed, we'll change it," he said.

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