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Hanover assessor reappointed despite complaints from residents

SILVER CREEK -- The Hanover Town Board reappointed the town assessor Monday night, even though several residents who have seen their property values climb discouraged the move.

Several residents attended a board meeting to ask that members delay the appointment of Assessor Karen Bowker, possibly until after November elections.

They presented a petition to Town Supervisor Kathy Tampio requesting the delay.

Despite the pleas, Bowker was appointed to a six-year term.

She received approval from four of five members. Homer Bowker Jr. abstained from the voting because he said the assessor is a member of his extended family.

Several residents who own property in the seasonal areas of Hanford and Sunset bays spoke about assessed valuations, including Patricia Young, who owns property on Front Street in Hanford Bay. She said she and her husband have joined with other property owners in legal action opposing their assessments.

They said there is an undue tax burden on seasonal residents.

"We don't want this woman reappointed because we feel we are being unfairly taxed," Young said.

Tampio said she was pleased with Bowker's appointment as an assessor and said she felt the office is working professionally. She said property tax evaluations are based on a state system.

The supervisor encouraged residents to petition state government to change the system from a comparison-based system to another form if they feel it will be more equitable.

Young said there are about 50 cases awaiting litigation due to assessed valuations.

Michael Hall, another Hanford Bay resident, asked if there was any update on the money owed to the town by TLC Health Care, which operates the hospital and nursing home in Irving.

Tampio said she could not comment on the case because it is in litigation, and she would not confirm the amount owed.

"All I will state is that it is not $300,000 as you imply, it is less than that," Tampio said.

In another matter, Tampio said the town's designated swimming areas have had a large amount of litter. She encouraged people using the beaches to clean up.

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