THE TOWN OF RHINEBECK NEWSLETTER SUPERVISOR’S MESSAGE, MARCH 2018 TOWN-WIDE REVALUATION AND REASSESSMENT PROJECT

This past October the Town Board issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for a Town-wide Reassessment Project. This was done on the recommendation and at the request of our Assessors. The RFP was written with input from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Office of Real Property Tax Services and the Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency.

The Reassessment Committee consisted of assessors Jennifer Mund and Bill McGann, Deputy Supervisor Allan Scherr, and myself.  The Committee was formed to oversee the RFP process, interview respondents, and report the findings to the Town Board.  Earlier this year, the committee unanimously recommended Tyler Technologies.

Our Assessors Department recently reported that our 100% Equalization Rate is in jeopardy. What does that mean? In Rhinebeck we assess all properties at 100% of “Full Market Value”.  Data of recent real estate sales has consistently indicated that homes, commercial property, and vacant land are selling for more than their assessed value.  As predicted, the Town equalization rate will be impacted this year.  

 Our last Town-wide valuation project took place in 2005. Over the last thirteen years the Rhinebeck real estate market has experienced a large increase in property sales prices, a market correction with the recession of 2009, and now another substantial increase in sales prices with brisk property sales.  

Assessments are measured at value intervals and our measurements demonstrate that there is a lack of parity in the aggregate between the 3,800 parcels in the town and their assessed value. This means that some property owners have a heavier burden of taxation, through their property assessment, than others.  The Town Board and our Assessor’s Department felt that the only way to correct this lack of fairness would be to reassess every property in the Town.

At a Special Meeting preceding our regular March 12th meeting, the Town Board met with Tyler Technologies of White Plains, New York to review their proposal for the Real Property Reassessment Project. The contract was awarded to Tyler pending approval.

The project timetable is scheduled to begin around June and will be completed by July 2020. Tyler Technologies staff will be headquartered at Town Hall for the duration of the project and the company plans to begin public outreach and information sessions soon. Tyler will verify all of the data on each of the Town’s 3,800 properties.  

Property owners will have input and are encouraged to participate.  Tyler Technologies will verify existing data using multiple sources of information, including but not limited to County aerial photography, Multiple Listing Services realty information, historical data and building permit information.

After the assessment data is verified, Tyler will build assessment valuation modules, creating a database of all properties and groups of similar properties with a set of weighted criteria that will allow us to keep valuations current each year going forward.

Please be aware that a reassessment does not mean an increase in taxes. The amount of taxes that we collect is still subject to the state mandated tax cap. The Reassessment Project will ensure an equitable distribution of taxes based upon the fair market value of a property. The size of the tax levy will not change due to the reassessment, but your individual assessment may change based upon the new inventory information and current market data.  Please keep in mind that some assessments will go up, some will go down, and some will stay the same.  We encourage the public to attend the meetings and learn more about the project.

Matt Sabia, the Town’s Sole Appointed Assessor, will be overseeing the project and we are staffing the department with additional support as needed. Jennifer Mund, our former elected assessor, will be the Town’s Deputy Assessor.  Jennifer has extensive experience working on reassessment projects and knows the valuation techniques the contractor will be using.  Bill McGann, also our former elected assessor, has been hired as a Real Property Data Collector and will be conducting oversight inspections as part of quality control.  

Please come in and visit or contact me with your questions about the reassessment or anything else. I am in Town Hall weekdays. I promptly answer my emails at supervisor@rhinebeckny.gov, and I want to help you however I can.

With Warmest Regards,

Elizabeth Spinzia

Supervisor, Town of Rhinebeck