|Left to right: Anderson, DePietro, Meyer, Holodook, Rector|
We, the undersigned taxpayers of the City of Hudson, do hereby petition this administration and this governing body to:
1. Withdraw the recently released property assessments;
2. Correct individual property descriptions;
3. Further research and recalibrate provided comparables;
4. Adjust assessed valuations so that property maintained by the same owner(s) between 2018 and 2019 is not penalized by an assessment that increases more than twenty percent.
Furthermore, we request both the executive and legislative branches hit the pause button, review the entire process, and seek out equitable solutions while also protecting taxpayers from innumerable potential Article 78 lawsuits, which will further penalize already overburdened property owners.
Back in 2010, Mayor Rick Scalera did exactly what the petition is now requesting. Citing "fatal flaws" in the 2010 tax roll, Scalera announced that the City was scrapping the 2010 assessments and "voluntarily reverting back to the 2009 assessment rolls." The circumstances in 2010 were somewhat different. The decision wasn't made until the end of July, after the challenging and grieving were over, and the final assessment roll had already been submitted. The petition today is calling for the process to be stopped now, before the challenging and grieving process is complete and before it is known if the process will bring satisfactory results for those property owners whose homes may have been unfairly assessed. Also, in 2010, the problem was with reassessments made by then city assessor Garth Slocum, who had done what was called a "desk audit," and the City was planning to do a citywide revaluation the next year. Now, in 2019, we are in the middle of a citywide revaluation.
The petition's fourth request seems a bit unrealistic. With few exceptions, the 2018 assessments on properties are the same as they were after the last reval in 2012. Given the rapid appreciation of property in Hudson in the past seven years, the notion that assessments on properties that have not changed hands should increase only 20 percent would not reflect actual changes in property value, and the goal of reassessment is to establish the current market value of real property--market value being defined as "how much a property would sell for under normal conditions."
GAR Associates, the group that is doing the current revaluation, did the revaluation in 2011 as well. To remind myself of that experience—beyond my personal experience of challenging and grieving my assessment, which resulted in an acceptable outcome—I checked back in old Gossips posts and found this one from May 8, 2012: "Brouhaha about B&Bs." No, it's not about how short-term rentals are driving out full-time residents. It's about how, in the last reval, GAR reclassified all B&Bs as commercial properties, even those that met the criteria of a home-based business: a residence that is owner-occupied, has no more than five guest rooms, and lodges no more than ten adult guests at a time. Back in 2012, GAR maintained that the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) manual said nothing about B&Bs. One wonders if that omission has since been corrected.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK