Ogdensburg residents get first chance to question assessments

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 4:03 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - Ogdensburg property owners showed up at city hall Wednesday for their first chance to question why their assessments went up so dramatically.

“I was assessed last year for $22,000 and this year, they assessed me for $100,000. I’ve done absolutely no work to my house whatsoever.”

Outside Ogdensburg City Hall, property owner Bryan Wing is waiting for City Assessor Mark Schnorr, who was back in the office on Wednesday. The recent city-wide reassessment says Wing’s Jay Street property is worth 5 times as much as it was before.

“In my opinion, they shouldn’t have had a firm come in from somewhere else. We should have had a local assessor do the assessments. That’s what we pay him for,” said Wing.

Inside city hall, Ogdensburg taxpayer Helen Knapp has a similar story and similar complaint, saying her property value doubled from $41,000 to $80,000.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I realize things are going up. But first of all, you know, such a massive increase and I realize it may not possibly go up to that,” she said.

While Schnorr did not want to speak on camera, he did explain that if the city doesn’t drastically change its city budget - meaning lawmakers don’t add significant spending - then the city tax rate could lower under these new, higher reassessments.

According to Schnorr, the city currently has a tax rate of $16.58 per $1,000 of assessed value. But after the reassessments, if nothing drastically changes in the budget, in theory, the city tax rate could drop to around $12.37.

While budgets aren’t that easy, Schnorr wants people to understand taxes may not be significantly altered.

Earlier this week, City Manager Mohideen Buharie said he wasn’t sure if the tax rate could go down because of the financial situation the city is in, saying property taxes may not double but they’d go up.

Grievance Day is on June 13 at city hall.