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A property’s full market value is the amount of money that a knowledgeable and willing buyer will offer to a knowledgeable and willing seller who will accept it when neither party is pressured to do so. Such sales are said to be arm’s length sales. A property’s assessed value is the value placed on the real property for tax purposes.
Cities and counties collect real estate taxes from homeowners that are calculated according to the assessed value, which takes into consideration the full market value of a property as well as the equalization rate of the municipality.
The equalization rate in the City of Schenectady is determined by the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS). Equalization seeks to measure the relationship of locally assessed values to an ever-changing real estate market. In order to distribute school district or county taxes among municipalities, the level of assessment must be equalized.
This year, the equalization rate is 1.05 or 105% of the fair market value of real property. What this means is that if you have a home that has a fair market value of $100,000 your assessed value and the value for which you pay taxes is actually $105,000. You can find this information on the 2019 tentative assessment roll published on May 1st, 2019.
Copies of the assessment roll can be found at the Schenectady County Office Building on the third floor, in the City of Schenectady Assessment Bureau, City of Schenectady Clerk’s Office, and on the City of Schenectady website.
Each year, municipalities around New York State participate in the grievance period. This is a time where residents of a municipality can grieve the assessed value of their real property, not the taxes that they pay. The grievance period begins on May 1st when the tentative assessment roll is published and continues until close of business the 4th Tuesday in May or Grievance Day (this year it is May 28th).
Completed and signed applications must be turned in to the Assessment Bureau by close of business on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019. Applications can be found in the Assessment Bureau, Room 8 in City Hall or the New York State Tax and Finance website.
You will receive an outcome letter from the Board of Assessment Review by the printing of the final assessment roll on July 1st, 2020.
Please note that the Board of Assessment Review is only required to provide you with the results of the outcome and these results may not include an explanation. The staff members of the Assessment Bureau are not privy to the deliberations of the Board of Assessment Review and will not be able to explain the results to you.
If you have a 1, 2, or 3 family owner occupied (you live there) home used solely for residential purposes in the City of Schenectady, you may file for the Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) process. To participate in this process, you must file with the Schenectady County Clerk’s Office within 30 days of the printing of the final assessment roll (July 1).
You may have someone represent you for this process and must sign the petition to state that. If you own any other type of property in the City of Schenectady, you may hire an attorney and file a tax certiorari proceeding in State Supreme Court. You must have filed a grievance with the Board of Assessment Review in the City of Schenectady in order to take advantage of either of these processes. Additionally, you cannot ask for a value that is less than what you asked for in the grievance process.