Potsdam Taxpayers Vent At Town Meeting Over Assessments

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Tears, anger and -- at times -- insults punctuated a meeting in Potsdam Tuesday.


People in the township are angry about recent property value assessments.


While the average residential assessments went up 13 percent, some went up by much more.


"Our assessment went up by 60 percent," said Tom Whitesell.


"I just couldn't believe it," Belinda Martin said, "it went up $53,000."


Much of their anger was directed at town assessor James Snider.


He says the goal is to have assessed value match market value.


That was met by angry laughter by many people who believe their homes would never sell for the new assessed value.


Some expressed concern for their neighbors, worried that they might not be able to stay in their homes with the new assessments.


"I can't imagine what it would be like to be like 70, 80 years old and 'what am I going to do now,'" Donna Muller said.


"Call my kids? Move me into the nursing home? Sell the house? This is where I've lived, brought my kids up, my grand kids -- now I can't stay here?" Muller said.


Most of the people at the meeting were looking for the town board to do something, but the town supervisor Marie Regan says the board cannot reject the assessment.


Property owners who want to challenge their assessment can go before the town's assessment review board on grievance day, May 28.


As a last resort, they can take their case to court.


Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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