Wednesday, June 12, 2019

We Are Not Alone

Last week, the Altamont Enterprise reported on the revaluation in the Town of Guilderland: "About 1,000 property owners contest Guilderland's new values."

Photo: Elizabeth Floyd Mari|Altamont Enterprise
The article inspired me to want to compare what happened in Guilderland with our own revaluation experience. Guilderland had not done a reval for fourteen years, which is seven years longer than Hudson went without reassessing its properties for tax purposes, but in those fourteen years I don't think Guilderland experienced the real estate boom Hudson has in the past seven years. Of Guilderland's 12,803 properties, 1,000 is about 8 percent, as compared with the 13 percent of properties--303 out of 2,318--whose assessments were grieved in Hudson. Again, that can be attributed to a sharper rise in the market value of property in Hudson. Everyone likes it when their property appreciates. It's one of the benefits of homeownership, and most people hope it happens. What they don't like is the possibility that they will have to pay more than their fair share of property taxes. 

This year's revaluation in Hudson has been stunningly contentious. It became a campaign issue and a rallying cry for the disgruntled; it inspired Roger Hannigan Gilson to report regularly about "Hudson's reassessment mess" and led to a grabbing and shoving scuffle involving an elected official. Now, with Grievance Day behind us, things seem to have calmed down as those who grieved their assessments await the judgment of the BAR (Board of Assessment Review). So now may be a good time to compare our reval experience in Hudson not only with that of Guilderland but with past revals in Hudson. In 2010, there were 526 grievances; in 2012, there were 148; in 2019, there were 303. A lesson to be learned from these statistics may be that seven years between revisiting assessments is too much time.    

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