Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A $eriou$ Ca$e of $ticker $hock

Dear John Auberger ~~

I got a letter from the Town of Greece on Wednesday. I thought maybe it was from you, Uncle Auggie, announcing how you personally overturned every stone and chose Todd Baxter for PD chief. Was I ever wrong. It was my new assessment and it's a whopper ~~ A 10% hike in what my property is worth, so says Leo Carroll, the assessor no one ever sees, or hears.

As I recall, Uncle Auggie, you warned us that our taxes would skyrocket if we elected a Democrat, instead of you last Fall. I must ask: Did you change your party and forget to tell us, John?? Is this how you are funding the $630,000+  you've spent investigating GPD? Is this where you'll get the cash to pay to settle all of the lawsuits facing the Town of Greece? Did someone forget to tell you that the middle class homeowners around these parts are all tapped out?

By the way John, of the few homes in my neighborhood that sold in the last year, several were foreclosures. That means they mostly sold for less than their assessed value, not more. Can you explain a double-digit percentage increase in the value from 2009 to 2010? No?? I didn't think so!! Did you pick that number out of thin air?

Well, I gotta run, John. I need to go try to squeeze some more blood from that stone you overturned. Good luck with your new chief. By the way, how much did you promise to pay him??

Mostly broke,

PS ~~ I am very proud that Uncle Leo's math adds up correctly on the assessments. Is he available to tutor for GCSD on the side? The students really need someone who can help them learn to add!


Anonymous said...

Will that tax rate be the one with the bill that we owe to the county in about a week for those of us that pay our own taxes. Or will it be saved for the school taxes in September? I thought we just got re assessed about 3 months ago.

SCATS said...

To 9:42PM ~~ The County tax bill due by mid-February is not based on the new assessments. However, the School District bills in Sept. will include any increase.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you, your asssessment is up. That no doubt means you were under paying in the past. Welcome to the present!

Anonymous said...

Scats, you seem to miss the point. The town wants to be able to demonstrate that our tax rates have stayed constant or even have been cut. However, they need increased revenue. Ergo, we raise the assessment. Tax rates look politically great, tax revenues rise comfortably and everyone is happy. Oh, maybe not the folks who pay the bills...Gotta work on that problem...

Anonymous said...

My assessement was raised too. Not 10% but still significant.

IT's an old trick used by republicans.
Why fall for it. Remember Charley Brown, Lucy, and that football.

Charley Brown is collectively the voteres. Lucy is collectively the republicans.

Don't we need another holder

SCATS said...

To 5:22AM ~~ Thanks for setting me straight on a topic that you know NOTHING about ;) Are you available for fortune-telling, too?

Charlie Hubbard said...

This type of item is exactly why we must look at SPENDING as 'the' item we use to judge how government entities are doing.

EVERY dollar increase in SPENDING will be paid by taxpayers one way or another (pocket A, pocket B, ect.)
Is there any better example of deceit than what Webster just did in selling the bond via no tax increase using reserve funds (taxes already collected) and state-aid (free money).
7:45 reflects on yet another form of deception.

Simply put WE are the problem for believing this crap. When money is SPENT - WE pay every dollar.

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ Don't forget that it's now obvious that we were the problem for believing the "I'll keep your taxes low" campaign promise & then re-electing John Auberger, too.

Anonymous said...

Just got our new assessment too. Was this an emergency reassessment? We just got one of these less than 6 months ago. Can they keep raising them each year?

Anonymous said...

Those who think they raise property assessemnts to increase revenue just do not understand the law regarding assessments. But it does give you something to _itch about!

The truth will set you free but inane rambling will raise your assessment. (same logic you use)

Anonymous said...

Something is WRONG here.

NY has been bankrupt since Cuomo in 95, thus the ongoing reassessments. The current schedule calls for every property in the State to be reassessed every 3 years. Greece reassessed last year, the notices came in January. If you were reassessed last year you should not be reassessed this year.

Sorry SCATS, forclosure sales are not applicable to assessment, they are considered distressed sales by ORPS.

On the good side, most of the Greece assessments are screwed up. Get your property inventory card from the assessor and spend some time on the ORPS site learning how you are getting screwed.

The better news, even if your endorsed candidate had beaten Augie, your assessment would have gone up.

SCATS said...

To 2:17PM ~~ I know that foreclosures aren't supposed to matter, but when I look up those assessments now (6-15 mo. after sale), it's obvious their new assessments are set lower than other properties on the same street.

Anyone think it's odd that Uncle Auggie promised to keep our taxes low when he claims he knows nothing about the assessor's office or job?

SCATS said...


Well, well, well! Guess what, folks? I found my reassessment notice from LAST YEAR! You know the one, where my taxes did NOT increase ;) So now the Town of Greece needs to explain to me a 10% hike in my assessed value from 2009 to 2010. This should be loads of fun :D

Anonymous said...

all this tax talk is fundamentally dishonest but the republicans have been running on it and fooling the people for some time now

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell us how often our properties get reassessed? Is there a link to see what other property's new assessments are?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how you got reassessed twice in 2 years. It should be every 3 years.

Anonymous said...

From ""

"How the Valuation Process Works

Annual reassessment is the systematic review of town assessments to maintain a uniform percentage of value. **A portion of the town's assessments must be reviewed and adjusted annually so that all properties are reviewed within a six-year period.** This requires the Assessor to analyze and evaluate the market, and change where appropriate, the assessment of properties each year to maintain the current market value. This allows the town to retain 100% equalization rate each year. The equalization rate is used in determining the value of the town's exemptions (i.e. STAR, seniors, disabled etc.)."

Anonymous said...

SCATS - as Charlie Chan would say,
Somthing Definitely Wong.

Unless you meet some well defined criteria you have been unlawfully assessed.

Fortunately, the NY Assessor's Manual is on line. So are many Opinions of Council
You need to do some studying.

Hide these links because neither Mr Carrol or Augie want you to have them or know what they say.

SCATS said...

To 10:15PM ~~ Thanks for the links. I'm familiar (vaguely) with ORPS from previous times. I found several neighbors who got new assessments again this year after also getting assessments last year that remained the same.

Consider this possibilty: Maybe Auberger had assessment notices with no increases mailed last year to people who weren't due to be reassessed yet to help him get re-elected. In other words, last year's mailings were nothing more than campaign fliers promoting him as the "low tax" candidate. This year is when actual reassessments occur, thus the new assessment notices. Possible? Hmmm ...

Anonymous said...

No Sale SCATS, for one simple reason. Greece reassessment is nearly totally a computer function. The program does all of the reassessment, and the humans only look at properties that have changed such as additions or new buildings.

Somebody definitely screwed up on yours and the others you have found.
Methinks some happy employee redid your entire neighborhood to reflect all the bank repos, and screwed up.

This opinion specificly prohibits what was done.
Greece has a track record of ignoring this opinion, to the extent I doubt they know it exists. I've caught them on it, and they backed down real fast.

Assessor in a Jail actually sat in the Appeal hearing and said he had absolutely no idea why a property was reassessed.

Greece Assessor in Jail also had a habit of jacking assessments of people who peed on politician's shoes. Did you make tinkle on anybody?
The usual route on that procedure was via the Building Inspector changing the property class.

Property classes do change in Greece without hearings if somebody wants them changed.

Anonymous said...

Scats at 11:33 That idea about the campaign ploy sounds right.

1:56 "Building Inspector changing the property class." What is a property class?

Anonymous said...

Remember when it was retired people that were characterized as living on "fixed incomes"?
Now the reality is that you are fortunate to have a job and have an income but at its best it is a "fixed income". For the people that have one or both in a household unemployed, even that unchanging income would be welcome. If the taxes keep increasing that income will get us less and less and it will be like a pay cut. And the utilities keep increasing. Those are the basics. And as they increase so will the food prices as the grocery stores have to pay their taxes and utilities. Is it any better anywhere else in the country? Or are the welfare states where we satisfy the unions (New York and California) the hardest hit?
Even our democratic governor is trying to rein in the spending but he is met with dissent.

SCATS said...

To 1:56AM ~~ I looked back in the SCATS archives and discovered two things. First of all, I blogged about it when I got my reassessment notice last year --

Secondly, I also located a news item in my archives stating that local real estate prices dropped 16% in the Rochester area at about the same time that I posted about reassessments.

Something is definitely stinking with this!

Anonymous said...

Assessments: The state collects sales data by "area". When sales data varies buy more than 5% of assessed value, the town is put on notice to reasses that area. The town has flexability was to how soon to act, but if they do nothing , it will affect some of the aide they get from the state.

You can be reassessed annually if the data indicates a need. But real value can be tricky because sales data can be manipulated. A common problem the last five years relates to "seller give backs", which inflates the true value of the home but helps the buyer buy more home than they can afford by generating an inflated down paynment. (Hences some of the problems in the economy right now)On the flip side, a buyer can give a builder money under the table and have a new home appear to sell for lower than true value if the assessor is not on his/her toes.

If you live in an area over 20 years old, those phony inflated values have been common. If you have that evidence, take it to the assessor. They will listen!

(Note:If the data do not indicate a need to a reassess, the town can go 5 years in a given area with no reassessment.)

SCATS said...

To 9:30AM ~~ It seems to me as if the politicians are trying to eliminate the middle class in America. Theeir only "solution" to everything is to raise taxes, fees or spend more on money-losing ideas with track records of failures (schools?).

Anonymous said...

There's another variable you are overlooking. $8500 Obama gratis to first time home buyers has artificially inflated sale prices. Ward 1 and 3 residents live in the "starter home" portion of Greece. I know that all my home did in the last few years is get a few years older. With Northgate Plaza and the Dewey Stone area going down the toilet, the property values have to go down. This reassessment is bogus and I will challenge it. We all need to challenge it.

Anonymous said...

@1:29 - SCATS would rather just complain about it. He/she probably won't challenge it because then he/she might find out there's nothing shady going on, and he/she couldn't have THAT now.

SCATS said...

To 4:26PM ~~ I love it when people presume to know what I'll do or who I am. I've challenged my assessments before. I'll do it again. I've already begun my research and made my appointment. Just remember, when I win, YOU get to pick up my slack, since you think everything is cool ;)