“Nobody could believe it:” town of Brasher property owners shocked over higher tax bills

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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BRASHER FALLS, N.Y. (WWNY) - Some town of Brasher property owners are getting sticker shock. The first town-wide reassessment in 15 years will bring big changes in some tax bills.

Hardscrabble. That would describe Philip Furnace’s farm. That’s why he was surprised to get a letter saying it had gone way up in value, and he was not pleased.

“I didn’t know anything about it until we got the letter in the mail. And it was like, ‘Oh my God! They doubled our taxes,” said Furnace.

It was actually the assessed value that went up, but the letter also estimated how much his property taxes would go up because of that. The estimate was $3,082 per year.

A few miles away, it’s the same story.

“We could not believe our property went up that much. Nobody could believe it,” said Kamie Compo, another town of Brasher resident.

The 300 acres the Compo’s own saw a whopping change in assessed value. Their estimated tax bill will go up $2,367 per year.

“Which ended up working out to about $200 a month,” Compo said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and figure out exactly what we’re going to do at this point.”

Town Supervisor Mark Peets said the estimated tax bills are not the last word. The town could have a lower tax rate next year, but he acknowledges large landowners are bearing the brunt of the increases.

“Land values have changed quite a bit in Brasher over the last few years,” said Peets.

Why the big changes? One reason is because the town has not done a full reassessment since 2005. Peets also points out assessed value went down for some people and will stay about the same for others.

Anyone who wants to grieve their assessment must file a written complaint with the local board of assessment review by May 25th.

It won’t be the usual trooping into town hall for grievance day. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, grievance hearings will be by phone.

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