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Property value quarrel divides Crown Point

Charges leveled against both sides

Signs in Crown Point call for the “gang of three” —Supervisor Bethany Kosmider and trustees Yvonne DuShane and Bob Patnode — to resign following their vote to eliminate the elected board of assessors in favor of a sole, appointed assessor.

Signs in Crown Point call for the “gang of three” —Supervisor Bethany Kosmider and trustees Yvonne DuShane and Bob Patnode — to resign following their vote to eliminate the elected board of assessors in favor of a sole, appointed assessor.

— Carl Ross is confident the Crown Point assessment roll is fair and honest.

“Our assessments are accurate,” said Ross, chairman of the Crown Point board of assessors. “I may have made a mistake in there, but certainly unintentionally. There will never be a perfect roll, but that’s what we try for.”

Laurie Harvey doesn’t believe it.

“I won’t comment on the assessors as individuals, but their assessing is not fair,” said Harvey of the Interested Taxpayers of Crown Point. “I don’t know how they arrive at their assessments, but it doesn’t appear to me that things are equitable.”

The Interested Taxpayers of Crown Point, a recently formed group committed to addressing local issues, placed an ad in the Sept. 10 Times of Ti highlighting five instances of, what the group believes to be, unfair assessments in the town. Since then Harvey has provided eight other examples of unfair assessments, according to the Interested Taxpayers of Crown Point.

Crown Point assessors — Ross, Stephen Mackay and Glenn Porter — dispute the group’s claims. Ross, using the current assessment roll and tax maps, discussed each charge made by the Interested Taxpayers of Crown Point and offered explanations.

One example of unfair assessment cited by the Interested Taxpayers of Crown Point is a .17-acre parcel owned by Ross on Main Street assessed at $110 and a .16-acre lot owned by Elizabeth Mason on Route 9N assessed for $8,100.

Ross noted his property is a long, narrow driveway leading to his daughter’s home and two other lots owned by other people. Because of its configuration, it can be nothing but a driveway.

The Mason property, Ross pointed out, is configured differently and is a building lot.

“Assessments are based on actual value,” Ross said. “A building lot is more valuable than a driveway.”

The Interested Taxpayers of Crown Point also point to a 2-acre lot owned by assessor Mackay with 120 feet of waterfront on Lake Champlain assessed at $50,800. The group compares it to a 1.8-acre lot owned by Vincent Reneau with 90 feet of waterfront on Lake Champlain assessed at $57,800.

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