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Ti updating assessments

TICONDEROGA - A year after a controversial town-wide property re-assessment, Ticonderoga is doing it again.

Things will be much different this time, though, promises Patty Osier, town assessor.

"We just want to keep up, stay current," Osier explained. "Most assessments probably won't change."

Property owners whose assessments increase will be notified by letter at the beginning of April.

Anyone who disagrees with an assessment can attend a public hearing to be scheduled this spring or can call Osier at 585-5285. After talking to Osier a person can appeal their assessment to the town board of assessment review on the fourth Tuesday of May. People who are still dissatisfied with the assessment can go to court.

In 2010, 13 land owners went to small claims court to challenge their assessment. Five of them won lower assessments. Nine larger property owners filed lawsuits against the town challenging assessments. Two of those have been settled with no reduction in assessment and seven remain in the courts.

In 2010 Ticonderoga lifted a five-year moratorium on property re-assessments in the town. The state claimed Ti was only assessed at 73 percent of full market value and wanted the town at 100 percent. That meant a 27 percent overall increase in town assessments.

The increased assessments sparked an outcry from many residents who disagreed with the values placed by Osier. In the end, the state Office of Real Property Services agreed with Osier and Ti is at 100 percent full market value.

"The goal is to stay there," Osier said.

Many people fear higher property assessments mean higher taxes, Osier noted. That's not true, she said.

"I don't set budgets," Osier said. "I set the assessment role. People concerned about their taxes need to attend budget meetings and express their feelings there."

The assessor reminded Ti residents to be certain they have submitted paperwork for any and all exemptions - senior citizen, STAR, veterans, agriculture, business - before the March 1 deadline.

Osier stressed exemptions are the responsibility of the land owner.

"It's the responsibility of each property owner to check the (assessment) roll and be certain their exemptions are on their parcels," she said.

To encourage full market assessments, the state offers $5 for each parcel to communities that stay at 100 percent assessment. In 2010, after reaching full market value, Ticonderoga received $14,800 in "maintenance aid."

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