Homeowners speak up on assessment grievance day

May 22, 2012

Think your property taxes are too high?

Today's the day you can try to get those taxes down, by way of lowering what the town thinks your home is worth.

It's assessment grievance day in many towns across Central New York.

Patrick Duffy is assessor for the towns of Manlius and West Monroe. "Some years we wind up with 400 grievances and other years we'll wind up with less than 200. It deals with perceptions of where the economy is. Other times it deals with the personal economy," Duffy said.

For example, if someone has been laid off, they may think property taxes would be a good place to cut their expenses.

Assessments are based on how much similar homes in a town sell for. Part of presenting a grievance to the board is getting that information together.

Duffy says it's probably not best to run out this morning to pick up grievance paperwork. The process takes time and effort.

"No one will be denied the opportunity to go and grieve their assessment, but it takes some homework," Duffy said.