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The Assessor is obligated by New York State Real Property Tax law to maintain assessments at a uniform percentage of market value, which for the Town and Village of Victor is 100%. In order to maintain a uniform assessment roll, each year the Assessor will analyze all the properties in the municipality to determine if any assessments need to be adjusted. This analysis involves comparing the sale prices of properties that have sold to their current assessments to determine how close the property assessments are to the actual sale prices. When the assessments in an area, or neighborhood, appear to vary from the actual sale prices, the assessments are adjusted and are reestablished at the current market value. The Assessor may need to conduct physical inspections for reappraisals of properties. Every assessing unit should be keeping all assessments at a fair and uniform level every year. Every year the roll, with preliminary or tentative assessments, is made available for public inspection on May 1st. The assessment roll contains every parcel located within the Town and Village and shows tax account numbers, individual assessments, real property tax exemptions, property owners, property addresses, tax billing addresses and acreage. After the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has acted on assessment complaints and ordered any changes, the tentative assessment roll is made final on July 1st. The Assessor signs an affidavit certifying that to the best of his/her knowledge the assessments set forth in the assessment roll are at 100% of full market value.
A property's value can be estimated in three different ways. First property is compared to other similar property that have sold recently, using only sales where the buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. This method is called the market approach and is normally used to value residential, vacant, and farm properties.
The second way is to calculate the cost, using today's labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. If the structure is not new, the assessor determines the depreciation since it was built. The resulting value is added to an estimate of the market value of the land. This method, called the cost approach, is used to value special purpose and utility properties.
The third way is to analyze how much income a property (like an apartment building, store, or factory) will produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, financing terms, and how much money expected to be earned are considered. This method is called the income approach.
Properties in sub optimal uses generally may not be assessed at market value; they must be assessed at their current-use value.
Once the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated. New York State law provides that all property within a municipality be assessed at a uniform percent of market value. The Town of Victor assessments are set at 100% of market value. Everyone pays their fair share of taxes as long as every property in a locality is assessed at the same percent of value.
The assessment is multiplied by the tax rate for each taxing jurisdiction - city, town, village, school district, etc. - to determine the tax bills. (For further explanation of this process, see the pamphlet entitled, "How the Property Tax Works.")
If your assessment is correct and your tax bill still seems too high, the assessor cannot change that. If you are concerned with the amount of property taxes being collected in your community, you may wish to be involved with the local budgeting processes. There are public meetings you can attend and voice your opinion, and you also have the opportunity to vote on your school budget. You should examine the scope of budgets and expenditures of each taxing jurisdiction (county, town, village and school districts) and address those issues in appropriate and available public forums. For school district taxes, in addition to voting on the budget, you can attend budget meetings. Generally, the budget meeting are held in the spring through early April. For municipal and county taxes, budget meetings are held in the fall through mid-November. Special districts (fire districts, sewer districts, etc.) also hold public meetings, but the dates vary. Contact the district for more information.