Within the next few weeks, Town of Mamaroneck residents will be checking their mailboxes for the results of a town-wide revaluation that may cause homeowner's assessments to go up, while others may see a drop.
The $1.3 million project to reassess approximately 8,500 properties in the town began in the fall of 2011, when Amherst, NY-based GAR Associates began their data collection process.
GAR will begin mailing assessments on or around March 8; these mailings will include a letter to residents, an FAQ page, information on public workshops (tentatively scheduled for March 14, 16 and 18), instructions on completing next steps and an assessment disclosure notice.
If a resident disagrees with their assessment, they will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a GAR representative during the Informal Review period from March 14-April 20. No decision will be made during the appointment, however, the resident can present additional information or request an interior inspection during this time. Approximately 35-40 of town homeowners allowed GAR to do an interior inspection, said GAR Appraiser David Barnett, a percentage he referred to as "above average."
"We just can't stress enough to the property owners that help is available-we are here to help, our staff is here to help," said Cindy Baire, GAR's owner.
One of the components of the assessment that's often confusing to people is the assessment disclosure, said Baire.
"It's just an illustration of what would have happened if these new values were replaced by the 2011 roll."
GAR will also be moving from a fractional assessment of 1.74 percent to 100 percent, or full market value, she said.
This change could affect WWII and Korean War veterans who, by law, currently have a maximum tax exemption of $5,000 of assessed value. The Town voted unanimously to pass a new local law that would allow the board to adjust the current veteran's tax exemption so that it can be increased proportionally to assessments, as per Section 458 of New York Real Property Tax Law.
Those contesting their assessments will be notified of GAR's decision at the end of April 2013; final assessments will be filed in September 2013 and the new assessments will be applied to town and city taxes in April 2014 and school taxes in September 2014.
"We haven't done a reassessment since 1968 and we know that it's very difficult to defend the roll when people challenge their taxes and assessment," said Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson, continuing, "We're not raising taxes for the town...we're distributing the taxes in a more fair and equitable manner."
For more information, please visit the Town of Mamaroneck Reassessment Project's website here.
A previous version of this article stated that the cost of the reassessment project was $2.2 million; it is actually $1.3 million. Patch apologizes for the error.