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Feb 11, 2020

Homeowners in Gates surprised after spike in home assessments

Some neighbors living in the Town of Gates say they got quite the surprise in the mail, as this week several people saw a large spike in their home assessments.

A higher assessment value could mean a higher property tax on a home.

News10NBC spoke to several neighbors on Thursday, including Heather Latona, who was out shoveling her driveway when we caught up with her.

She says simply clearing off the snow, to shuttling around her two kids can make home maintenance tough enough.

“It’s a lot of work and upkeep,” Latona said.

The single mother says she may have possible plans to sell the home she moved into in 2015, but now, her work just got tougher.

This week, she found out the assessment value on her home, had skyrocketed, from her 2019 rate of $201,800 to $237,100, a difference of more than $35,000.

“It’s a little worrisome to know it’s going up that much, I don’t know if I will be able to sell it for that,” Latona said.
Just around the corner, neighbor Mike Brown shared his assessment, which increased from $195,200 to $229,400.

And then, we found Cliff Sears. His assessment rose more than $16,000 from $93,000 to $109,300. It’s an increase he says is the highest hike he’s seen since moving into his home in 2003.

While he’s not trying to sell, Sears is worried about the potential impact on his taxes, and his mortgage. Assessments are different from taxes,  and you can view a closer explanation here.

“If what they are saying in the letter is true, the property values have gone up so much, I’d like to know why, and what they’re basing that information off,” Sears said.

We stopped by Gates Town Hall to speak with the town’s assessor, Agostino Mineo. He declined to speak with us on camera but told us the town is bringing all properties up to a 100% market value. Mineo says it’s perfectly normal for some people to see a higher increase in their assessment than others.

And according to its website, the town follows New York Real Property Tax Law, as the town looks at a property’s assessment every year, and adjusts the value if needed.

Even with this in mind, Sears says going forward, he hopes the town gives homeowners more of a heads up.

“What lies underneath it, what the future holds for taxes, tax assessment and taxes?”

The assessment values and the possible tax increases could be adjusted, as people will have the chance to schedule a meeting to dispute their numbers with the assessor.

For a look at assessment exemptions, visit here.

Published by WHEC-TV

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