The sole assessor is a New York State Certified Town official who obtains certification by attending approved training classes and successfully passing the test at the end of each session. Assessors must also attend yearly training and receive 24 hours of continuing education credits. The foremost job of the assessor is valuing the real property within the Town. The inventory of the real property in town is kept on property record cards with pictures of the inventory. This information is entered on the personal computer and maintained in a software program licensed by the State Office of Real Property Services (ORPS). Each year a new assessment roll is prepared and is used by the various taxing jurisdictions to levy real property taxes.
The assessor also has the duties of administering real property exemptions. Each year renewals for Low Income Senior Exemption. Enhanced Star, Agricultural Exemption, Firefighters Exemption and Disability Exemptions are mailed out to be returned to the assessor’s office on or before March 1st with the required data needed for filing. Also each year any new exemptions are collected. Each of these exemptions must be reviewed, approved and entered on the computer by March 1 for the assessment roll being prepared for that year. Once the new Tentative Assessment Roll is prepared, Notice of Change must be mailed to any taxpayer whose assessment has been changed that year. Hours are posted when the assessor will be available to discuss these changes with anyone who wishes to do so. Grievance Day is normally the 4th Tues. of May each year, where a taxpayer can come in to grieve the new assessment to the Board of Assessment Review. The assessor attends these sessions and provides any information needed (property record cards with inventory, pictures, building permits, calculations of improvements, sales comparisons, etc,) to help the Board understand the reason for change. The burden of proof that the assessment is incorrect is on the taxpayer. Any changes made by the BAR are processed and entered on the computer in preparation of the Final Assessment Roll July 1st each year. The assessor represents the Town at Small Claim Hearings to provide documentation to support the assessed value to the Hearing Officer. The assessor also works with the Town Attorney to prepare for and represent the Town in any Certiorari Cases that arise from the assessment roll.
Other duties of the assessor are to keep a watchful eye on the equalization rate, the residential assessment ratio, and the co-efficient of dispersion. Along with maintaining an equitable assessment roll these things are accomplished by watching and reporting on the sales information that comes into the office each month in the form of RP5217 which are filed with each and every deed at the Onondaga County Clerk’s Office. The information on these forms must be reviewed, corrected if needed, and entered on the RPS V-4 System. These forms give the names of the new owners and the price paid for the property plus any conditions of the sale. Quarterly reports must be sent to the Sales Review Division at the ORPS in Albany to compile a list of usable sales to calculate the Equalization rate, RAR, and COD. Based on these numbers the State determines if the town is eligible for Maintenance Aid. The assessor enters any special districts changes that appear on the assessment roll.