Brian Scavo is making laws that help people!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014




Today Brian Scavo said" the Kathy Sheehan Administration is desperately looking for money and is fiscally irresponsible and has done another disservice to the Albany taxpayers , after losing 3 casino deals which would have lowered the tax burden for the city of Albany , now Kathy Sheehan is talking reassessment on commercial and residential property's in this recession is just devastating to the retired senior citizen home owners for next year, this tax the rich mentality has left downtown Albany with a sea of for rent and for sale signs and a city population that is  shirking . 


Scavo also said "If Kathy Sheehan  had the guts to make the tough choices  instead of having  the state of New York make the recommended cuts in the 16.5 million dollar budget gap, this to me shows lack of leadership and indecision and why many consider her to be a one term mayor,    the people of Albany new york need tax relief now ." 


Hon.Brian Scavo


Mayor Kathy Sheehan's first budget may ask lawmakers to fund the first citywide reassessment of property values in seven years.
Assessment Commissioner Keith McDonald said his office has requested money in next year's budget for the $437,000 cost of the revaluation, which would take effect in 2016.
The reassessment would be Albany's first since the 2008 financial collapse sparked upheaval in real estate markets across the country.
Currently, the state deems the city's properties overvalued by nearly 9.5 percent, making it difficult for the city to fend off lawsuits by property owners challenging their assessments, Sheehan said.
McDonald cautioned that figure, known as the equalization rate, is an average of all property sales -— commercial and residential — and does not reflect the nuances in individual neighborhoods or specific properties.
"It doesn't tell the entire story of the entire city," he said.
In her January State of the City, Sheehan said the tax base has declined by 7 percent since 2009, with the commercial base dropping 13.3 percent.
In Albany, that matters because commercial properties pay a tax rate 42 percent higher than residential properties. That dual rate depresses residential taxes, but declining commercial values could shift more costs to homeowners.
McDonald declined to speculate on the reassessment's impact.
In the 2007 reassessment, average home assessments increased in every neighborhood.
John MacAffer, an associate commercial real estate broker with CBRE Albany, said that while commercial values dropped, they have been leveling out in the last 12 months.
"That's what you're seeing in that 13.3 percent," McAffer said. "It's a property-by-property basis. ... My guess is you will see values probably hold about the same."
Sheehan said revaluing all properties at once puts homeowners on a level field with commercial property owners who "have the wherewithal and are typically pretty aggressive about challenging their assessed values."
Reassessments are controversial because a property's assessment is part of the formula that dictates how much its owner pays in taxes each year to the city, county, school district and library. The other part is the tax rate.
A revaluation in Bethlehem this year prompted some 1,100 property owners to protest their assessments, which increased on average 7.5 percent. Even so, many are now paying less in taxes, Supervisor John Clarkson said.
McDonald said the goal isn't to boost the tax base, but to ensure the burden is distributed fairly.
"We never do a reassessment to get more taxable assessed value," he said. "The sole purpose of a reassessment is to put the values where they're supposed to be."
If the revaluation plan stays in Sheehan's budget, it's still contingent on Common Councilapproval. Sheehan's budget must be released by Oct. 1.
So far in 2014 the city is running $134,000 under-budget on property tax collections, Treasurer Darius Shahinfar said — a lag he attributed "almost completely" to successful tax lawsuits. Shahinfar said that sum is not out of line with past years.
"It's costing us money not to do it," Sheehan said. "At some point, we're going to have to fix it. And I guess for me I would prefer to do it now because I don't think delay really helps anyone."

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