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Regular City Property Reassessments Are A Way To End Taxpayers’ Sticker Shock

Many city residents shuddered a bit last week when city Assessor Lisa Volpe mentioned the word “reassessment.”

Logic tells us a property reassessment means roughly one-third of homeowners will see their property assessments increase, roughly one-third will see their assessment remain the same and roughly one-third will see their assessment decrease.

But is that old logic necessarily true in this inflated housing market that is seeing houses selling like expensive hot cakes when those same houses were barely holding their value as recently as three or four years ago?

We understand, then, the apprehension of so many city homeowners.

Complicating the issue is it has again been far too long since the last city property reassessment. Going 15 years between reassessments means there is going to be a lot of sticker shock in Jamestown, especially for someone who has owned their home for several years but lives in a neighborhood that has seen nearby homes selling for $10,000 or $15,000 above the seller’s asking price.

Moving forward, the City Council and the mayor’s office nened to be setting money aside for regular property reassessments. Take Amherst as an example. That particular Erie County town reassessed properties in 2017 and immediately made plans to do another reassessment in 2020 — meaning changes to individual homeowners should be small.

Jamestown would be wise to take a similar approach.

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