The Putnam Examiner

Putnam County Exec and Legislators Discuss Property Revals

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Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell

Following up on an item that was highlighted in her State of the County address earlier this year, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell asked the county legislature to consider a resolution in support of a coalition of tax assessors throughout the county who are in favor of bringing property assessments up to full market value county-wide.

As it stands, the towns of Carmel and Philipstown are the only two towns in the county that are not at 100 percent valuation and both have not conducted a reassessment since 1996.

Odell said she had recently discussed the possibility of the Town of Carmel conducting a reval with Carmel Town Councilman Jonathan Schneider and read from an email she had recently received from him on the topic.

“I have been doing some research relating to the subject and have found some conflicting opinions from professionals in the field of real property services,” Odell read aloud from the email sent by Schneider, who added that he wanted to do further research to understand what the variables would be if a reval was done now.

As was explained by Odell at the committee meeting last Tuesday night, a main variable often raised on whether to conduct a reval or not is centered around the current state of housing market.

“Is it a good time to do a reval when the real estate market is at a bottom? [Or] is it a good time to do it when things have steadied out?,” Odell said.

Odell also said that the state’s Office of Real Property Services [ORPS] was in favor of towns going up to 100 percent valuation and that supporting the resolution would be the first step in possibly looking for state funding to help achieve that.

According to ORPS spokesperson Geoffrey Gloak, municipalities that conduct a reassessment are eligible to be reimbursed by the state for $5 per parcel, as long as they have not done a reassessment  during the prior two years and agree to keep their tax rolls current during the four years following a reassessment.

Gloak said that this year there was a pool of $750,000 to partially reimburse municipalities for the cost of a reassessment, but he said it was unknown if that same amount of money would be available heading into the futre.

Legislator Anthony DiCarlo, who previously was a Carmel Town Councilman, said he had invited an ORPS representative to town board meetings and that he was in favor of moving forward on the project during his tenure on the board.

DiCarlo described the debate around revals as “political,” and said that the state legislature and the governor held the power to solve that.

“I go back six years ago with this in the Town of Carmel. I’m the one who brought it up,” DiCarlo said. “The state legislators…and the governor should end it and make the law that it’s got to be at 100 percent valuation…they don’t want to touch it.”

An estimated formula for what happens to individuals homeowners’ tax bills after a reval, is that one third will go down, one third will stay the same and one third will go up.

DiCarlo added that the cost of a property reval also made it a hot button issue.

“It’s an issue of money…let’s cut to the chase. It’s going to run [Carmel] over $300,000 [for a reval]…I was for it…but I was only one person,” he said, adding that the benefits to the towns, school districts and the county outweighed the cost.

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