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NEW ASSESSMENT NOTICES READY FOR MAILING

Under North Tonawanda's property reassessment project, new preliminary full-value assessment notices will be mailed to property owners beginning next Monday, City Assessor Brian M. Hess announced.

Notices will continue to be mailed through March 5. Instructions will be included describing the procedures for requesting an informal hearing, how to obtain forms and where to get information.

Hess said property owners should focus on the full market value estimate of their property.

"If you do not agree with the estimate and can offer proof for a change, you can follow through the process of filing a complaint."

Informal hearings will be held beginning March 27 and continuing through April 19, Hess or said. Appointments will be required. Inquiries should be directed to the Reassessment Project office. The telephone number is 695-1118. "Your property will have a preliminary assessment as of last Jan. 1, which is 100 percent of full value," Hess said.

The notice will include last year's assessment value.

"The tax amounts are estimates based on last year's budget, and indicate how your taxes would be affected if your preliminary assessed value were in effect.

"It does not reflect future tax liability. Actual tax dollars to be paid in the future will depend upon changes in the budget adopted by each jurisdiction (county, town, and school).

"Other property assessment changes in the adopted budgets include property assessment changes, exemptions, state aid and reapportionment of county and school tax levies," he noted.

"You should examine the tentative assessment roll, regardless of the notice or discussions at assessment disclosure meetings," the assessor said.

"If you disagree with your assessment, in order to protect your right to assessment review, you must file a formal written complaint with your Board of Assessment Review.

"This is not an estimate of taxes owed nor is it an advisement of a refund," Hess said.

Meanwhile, Hess, in conjunction with GAR Associates Inc. will continue to conduct a series of workshops for city property owners.

The purpose of the workshops is to provide property owners an overview of the reassessment project.

Hess will outline the informal grievance process with an explanation of the disclosure notice and assessment review applications.

The next class will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 5 in the North Tonawanda Public Library. Reservations are mandatory and may be made by calling the assessor's office at 695-8597.

Beginning March 6, a special satellite site for public access will open.

"This site is created to better serve taxpayers," Hess said. "The site will provide information regarding property assessments, inventory data and sales information. In addition the public library and the city's Web site will provide similar information," he said.

The satellite Reassessment Project office will be located in the Col. Payne Community Center, 460 Wheatfield St. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

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