CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Homeowners in Cheektowaga are raising concerns about the skyrocketing tax assessments they are just receiving this week.
Dozens of Cheektowaga homeowners gave the Town Board an earful Tuesday night.
Just one year after their homes were reassessed, leading to higher property taxes for many of them, they were shocked to get notices their homes are being assessed again.
Rising property values can be a double-edged sword for homeowners.. your house might be worth more, but that can also lead to higher property taxes. Cheektowaga homeowners just got their property reassessed less than a year ago, but this week, the assessment notices going out again.
Attorney Gary Borek told us last year’s assessment was a correction for past practices.
“Some people were being over-assessed relative to others, paying more than they should, other people were paying less than they should,” said Gary Borek, Cheektowaga homeowner.
Borek said residential property taxes depend on a number of factors, and the assessed value set by a private firm is only one of them.
Borek, who just got his own assessment notice this week, told us, that once the town sets its overall tax levy each homeowner has to pay a share, and if the rise in assessment is over the average for your neighborhood, your tax bill could go up, if it is under the average, your bill could actually go down.
“So statistically they calculate how much was the average increase of home values in a particular neighborhood, and then they apply that percentage to all the homes in that neighborhood, and that is what is on the tentative bill,” said Borek.
Town officials have said they were also surprised by the new appraisals, and because of the backlash from homeowners, plan to hold a special session Thursday.
Borek said they should be encouraging homeowners to file challenges.
“You could go to a real estate agent and some will charge you, and some will do it for free, to get what is called a ‘market analysis.’ In other words, what would you sell your property for, and you could use that market analysis,” added Borek.
Borek, who has sued Cheektowaga himself over its assessment practices, says a homeowner can try for a full appraisal, but that can get expensive. To challenge your assessment, click here.
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