TOWN OF RHINEBECK FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER

It’s February and Tax Collection is in full swing at Town Hall. Our Clerks, who are also our Tax Collectors, mailed about 2,000 tax bills in January. 

DEADLINES & ASSESSORS OFFICE

For those of you who do not pay through escrow, taxes are due, without penalty, by February 28th. You can pay your taxes in person at M&T Bank, right next to the post office. In person payments are also accepted at Town Hall. Or if you wish, you can mail your payments directly to M&T Bank, P.O. Box 1374, Buffalo, NY 14240.  As a reminder, the Town collects taxes for the Town and County only. 

Another side to tax collection is the valuation of real property, which is the function of our Assessor’s Department. This year we are restructuring the department.  After years of being one of the few remaining Towns in New York State with a Board of Elected Assessors, this past November we adopted a local law to hire a full time, single appointed Assessor. 

Rhinebeck was fortunate to have a Board of Elected Assessors with a lot of experience and knowledge. With the passing of two of our beloved Assessors, Jack O’Brien and Emery Ruger, the time was right for us to move forward with the changing times and appoint a full time sole assessor.

In December we formed a hiring committee comprised of five members: myself, Deputy Supervisor Allan Scherr, Mayor Gary Bassett, Deputy Mayor Ric Lewit, Elected Assessor Bill McGann, and Elected Assessor Jennifer Mund as a non-voting advisory member.

The hiring committee defined the scope of and established criteria for the new position. The committee decided that it would be ideal for Rhinebeck to hire a New York State Certified Assessor with experience in data collection, real property valuation, budgeting, staff management, familiarity with New York property exemptions, equalization rates and assessments, and experience with interfacing with the public on a regular basis. Because we are facing a Town Wide Revaluation and Reassessment, about which I will write more in next month’s newsletter, we knew that we needed an Assessor who was familiar with Mass Appraisal, a system of developing and maintaining valuation modules of all our Town’s 3,800 parcels to keep values at 100% of the current market rate on an annual basis.

At the end of advertising for and interviewing many candidates, we were unanimous in our decision to hire Matthew Sabia. Matthew grew up in Hyde Park, graduated from Marist in 2011, and is a current resident of Milton. Over the past seven years Matt has gained experience as a New York State Certified Assessor. He has worked for the Orange County Department of Real Property and Taxation as an Assistant Assessor, the Town of Marlborough as a Data Collector, and for the Town of Plattekill as a part time sole appointed assessor.   

Because we are restructuring the Assessors Department at the same time that we are undertaking a Town-wide Revaluation and Reassessment, we have planned to staff the department with additional support throughout the project. Jennifer Mund, our former elected assessor, will remain with us as a Deputy Assessor and Bill McGann, also our former elected assessor, has been hired as a Real Property Data Collector. The Revaluation and Reassessment project is expected to begin in August 2018 and be completed by May of 2020.  

TOWN HISTORIAN’S ANNUAL REPORT

Each year the Town Historian prepares a report to update the board on the work done to preserve the Town’s history.  Nancy Kelly has been our Town Historian since 1997.  She grew up at the Sepascot Home Farm on Route 308, is a charter member of the Rhinebeck Historical Society and a graduate of Cornell University. Her passion for Rhinebeck’s history was borne out of her grandmother’s countless and often repeated narratives of local life. 

You can read Nancy’s report on the Town website: www.rhinebeckny.gov/historian.html, or you can visit her at the Starr Library Local History Room on Tuesdays from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Several years ago, my son researched the history of our old 18th century eyebrow colonial home. He found the information in our Town archives invaluable and I have no doubt you will, too. 

Please come in and visit or contact me with your questions, concerns, and suggestions. I am in Town Hall weekdays. I promptly answer my emails at supervisor@rhinebeckny.gov, and I want to help you however I can. And if you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter by emailing the Clerk: townclerk@rhinebeckny.gov.

With Warmest Regards,

Elizabeth Spinzia

Supervisor, Town of Rhinebeck

P.S. – DON’T FORGET!

March 1st is the deadline for filing property exemptions – like Agricultural, Star, Enhanced (Senior) Star and Veterans. Please call 845-876-4805 and speak with our Assessor, Matthew Sabia, or our Assessor’s Aide, Donna Van Voorhis. You will find them very knowledgeable and helpful.