Antwerp residents question sharp hike in tax bills

Antwerp tax bill surprise
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:40 AM EST
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ANTWERP, New York (WWNY) - Some village of Antwerp residents are asking why they’re seeing an almost 50% percent increase on their property tax bills.

That was the focus of a Antwerp town board meeting Monday night. Residents told officials they were appalled when they saw the number.

Town officials say it is not an accurate increase.

Town Supervisor Elizabeth Lynch says it started with an accounting change.

She told residents the way sales tax funds were being moved around was not being done correctly.

A fix was made, but she says in doing so, town property taxes had to be increased by 2%, the maximum legal amount.

When bills went out, however, they did have a roughly 49% increase.

One resident, Victoria Ryan, says her property tax bill went up more than $200, a number she says is close to a 50% increase.

Lynch, however, says an increase that large would not be constitutionally allowed.

“Forty-nine percent has nothing to do with anything,” Lynch said. “You are not being charged 49%, there is no way. Legally, state comptroller would not let us do it. Our bills have to go to the state comptroller. They look at it and everything. If there was an error, we would know, they would contact us. There is no error. We have got nothing, so the only thing is, it’s 2%.”

Lynch says the board is unsure why that number appeared on the bills in the first place.

She says they are working with an outside accounting firm that helped them update their systems to get answers for residents.