For the first time in a decade, Irondequoit is undertaking a town wide reassessment. The reason for doing so is simple: according to the state of New York, our town is underassessed. Last year, we received notification that our equalization rate had fallen to 94 percent of what the state has determined our assessed value to be. To ensure that there is equity in our tax roll, a reassessment is warranted.
We have been engaged in this process for well over a year. Our assessor’s office has been very carefully reviewing over 20,000 properties in town. Near the end of January, property owners will receive their first notification of the change in assessed value. That impact notice will outline the various paths by which a property owner can appeal this initial assessment, both formally and informally.
Indeed, property values are rising in Irondequoit. According to data provided by the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, as of Dec. 15, the median 2017 sale price of a single-family home in Irondequoit was $118,000. At that point in time in 2016, the median sale value was $112,500.
Over the past decade, it is reasonable to assume that home values, on average, have increased in Irondequoit. However, most homes have had the same assessed value locked in since 2008, despite the fact their fair market value has increased. When you extrapolate that gap across over 20,000 properties, it is understandable that the state has deemed we are underassessed.
The most frequent question I’ve received about this process is simple: how will it impact my tax bill? Many have expressed concern that if assessed value increases, so must taxes. Keep in mind that, just because the assessed value might rise, that doesn’t mean that there will be an identical increase in the tax levy — the money that the county, school, fire districts and towns derive from real property to pay for government services.
Local governments are bound by a property tax cap — which is equal to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Even if a government wanted to use a reassessment to inflate the tax levy, they would have to go through extraordinary measures to do so. We’ve kept town spending on a relatively flat trajectory these past several years, and there is no reason to think we will divert from that. Ultimately, however, there is no way to state an individual homeowner’s impact until the tax rates are set later this year.
If you have questions about this process, our assessor’s office is happy to speak or meet with you. They are located on the first floor at Town Hall, and may be contacted at (585) 336-6055 or We will continue our efforts to proactively engage residents to help them understand this process and pledge to do so in an open, transparent manner.