Ogdensburg man stunned by new city assessment

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 4:16 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - If you live in Ogdensburg, chances are you got a letter in the mail recently showing what a city-wide reassessment has done to your property value.

We saw one man’s letter and the value of his home has nearly doubled, leaving him wondering about the taxes he will have to pay.

“I’ve already heard people saying, ‘That’s enough. I’m selling. I’m getting out.’”

As a lifelong resident of Ogdensburg, Robert Wells has seen property values change. But this latest one baffles him. His 100-year-old home went from being assessed at $58,000 to $109,000.

“What they’re asking for raising my taxes, I don’t think anybody is going to give me that much money for this house. It’s not a new house. If it was 30, 40 years old, they’d say maybe,” he said.

According to City Manager Mohideen Buharie, this is the first time Ogdensburg has done a city-wide property assessment. Not only has it affected residents, but it’s also affected business owners as well.

Sarah Tynon just opened Little Miss Florist in the Sperling Building on Ford Street and she’s worried about an increase in rent because the property owner’s assessment may have gone up.

“We lost a big prison and lost jobs and now the assessments are going up. You know, people only have minimum wage jobs and for their houses to go from 50,000 to 85,000, it’s sad. It’s hard,” she said.

With assessments going up, could Ogdensburg’s property tax rate go down?

“I don’t think that discussion would ever happen. I’m not sure because, as you know, the city is in a pretty bad financial situation, so lowering the tax rate would not help the city and I don’t think anybody would want to do that,” said Buharie.

He tells residents just because your assessment is double what it was, it doesn’t necessarily mean your taxes will double.

“There are other formulas; there’s other factors that don’t happen. Some people’s property values have doubled. That necessarily doesn’t mean that their taxes will also get doubled, but it will go up,” he said.

Those who disagree with their assessments can attend Grievance Day at city hall on June 13.