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Council Discusses Revaluation

Lisa Volpe, city assessor, discusses the proposal to authorize GAR Associates to conduct a revaluation of property in Jamestown. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Time is running out if city of Jamestown officials want a revaluation of city property to start this year.

On Monday, Lisa Volpe, city assessor, discussed the proposal to authorize GAR Associates to conduct a revaluation of property in the city of Jamestown. The only bid the city received for the revaluation was from GAR for $285,000.

Volpe said this would be the first time in 16 years the city has done a revaluation, with the state of New York recommending that it be done every five years. She said GAR did the last revaluation in 2006 for around $1 million.

If the revaluation isn’t started by March 1, Volpe said the city will have to wait until next to start. If that is the case, the revaluation won’t be completed until 2024.

Jeff Russell, At-Large councilman, asked Volpe why the city doesn’t do the reassessment of property in-house. Volpe said the city’s assessors office doesn’t have the staff necessary to meet the state’s timetable to do the revaluation program in-house.

Russell said people who have recently purchased a house in the city of Jamestown for more than the asking price because of low interest rates are concerned about the revaluation. He said that he is worried the revaluation might drive people out of the city.

Russell also said that it’s “ironic” to use American Rescue Plan Act money to fund the revaluation that could lead to people paying higher taxes because the federal stimulus funding is taxpayer money.

Anthony Dolce, council president, said it’s difficult to do a reassessment at anytime, but understands why people are worried about a revaluation being done during the pandemic. He said that he would like it pushed back to possibly be done next year.

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said his staff will address the council’s concerns about the revaluation and come back during next week’s work session meeting of the council with more information.

Last fall when the reassessment was first discussed, Volpe said the last time a reassessment was done the total assessed property value in the city increased 263%. She said performing a reassessment could also lower the city’s tax rate.

Volpe said a house assessed at $70,000 that saw no change in its value could see a tax decrease of $112. She said the equivalence rate in the city is 93%, which contributes to a higher tax rate due to inequity in values.

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