Property Reassessment in
the City of Schenectady
What to do if you disagree with your assessment.
(Click link above for grievance
forms must be submitted by 8:00 PM on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 in the Bureau of Assessment office.
2010 Assessment Data
for Tentative Roll
(property classification 210).
(property classification 220).
(property classification 230).
All sales of 1, 2 and 3 family
homes from July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009.
Please see legend below for
of Schenectady • Bureau of Assessment
Jay Street • Room 8 • Schenectady, NY, 12305
Patrick T. Mastro, Sole Assessor •
Dear Property Owner:
Enclosed is an Assessment Disclosure Notice which will be
recorded on the 2009 Tentative Assessment Roll. The notice
states your previous assessment, your new preliminary
assessment and the tax liability projection using the 2008
city and county tax levy. This notice does not include
Special District fees or your school tax. The school tax
projection is not included because the Schenectady City
School District levies their tax on the prior year roll.
Therefore, your July 2009 school tax bill will be based on
your 2008 Assessed Value not the new preliminary value.
Future budgets cannot be predicted at this time and
therefore, the estimated tax appearing on your notice is a
snapshot of what your taxes would have been in January 2009,
as if the preliminary assessed value was applied. The new
value will affect the January 2010 city and county tax bill
and the July 2010 school tax bill.
In valuing all real estate, except farmland, the assessor
uses one or more of three acceptable appraisal approaches to
determine value. The three approaches are: the
cost approach, the income approach and the sales comparison
approach. The sales comparison approach was used to value
residential properties. Commercial properties were valued
using the income approach. Roll Section 8 (exempt from
taxation) properties were valued using the cost approach.
Both the income approach and the cost approach were utilized
when valuing industrial properties.
If you disagree with the Assessed Value, you may call the
Bureau of Assessment at 518-382-5075 beginning the week of
March 2, 2009 to schedule an appointment for an informal
review. Informal reviews will be conducted by appointment
only at the Casino in Central Park beginning the week of
March 9, 2009 and concluding on April 10, 2009. There will
be data publications available at the Bureau of Assessment
for you to reference if you disagree with the new assessed
value. Data will also be available at the City of
Schenectady website (www.cityofschenectady.com).
An informal review is an opportunity for property owners to
disagree with the new preliminary assessed value prior to
the Grievance Process. If an informal review is requested,
property owners will be required to provide information
which supports their opinion of value. In the event that
documentation is not provided, the informal review will be
dismissed immediately. Please keep in mind that informal
reviews are not a forum for taxpayers to complain about the
amount of taxes they are to pay or whether they have the
ability to pay them.
If after an informal hearing, you are still dissatisfied
with the Assessor's determination, you can appeal to the
Board of Assessment Review through the formal grievance
process. The grievance period begins on May 1, 2009 and ends
on Grievance Day, May 26, 2009.
Patrick T. Mastro, Sole Assessor
St No - The
property location number recorded on the Assessment Roll
St Location -
The street location recorded on the Assessment Roll
SBL Print Key
- The property identification number (section, block and
Prop Class -
The property classification. 210 = single family, 220
= two family, 230 = three family and 280 = multiple
Bldg Style -
The building style
Yr Built - The
Overall Cond -
The overall condition of the structure - includes interior
Bedrms - The
number of bedrooms
Baths - The
number of full baths
1/2 Baths -
The number of 1/2 baths
FP - The
number of fireplaces
SFLA - The
square foot living area as measured and recorded
Land Frt - The
front distance according to tax maps supplied by Schenectady
County Real Property
Land Depth -
The depth distance according to tax maps supplied by
Schenectady County Real Property
A Message to Schenectady Property Owners:
In January 2007, we began the first part of a comprehensive
revaluation of all residential, commercial and industrial
properties in the City of Schenectady. This is the first time
in more than 15 years that a complete reassessment for every
property has been conducted which includes visual inspections
of individual homes and businesses.
Reassessment is part of the adopted 2007 City Budget, and is
an essential component in our continued plan to restore
Schenectady’s financial integrity. Moreover, reassessment
helps to ensure that all properties in the City of Schenectady
are assessed on a fair and equitable basis.
Because the last reassessment, conducted in 2003, included
only a portion of the city’s residential properties – and but
a few commercial and industrial properties – our assessment
records are not up to date. As a result, some property owners
are not necessarily paying their fair share of property taxes.
That dynamic is unfair, and ultimately hurts all of us.
While the impact of a complete reassessment will not be
determined until the 2009 tax roll has been calculated, and
any adjustments to your tax bill which may be required will
not begin until the 2010 budget year, it is not possible to
know at this time just how reassessment will affect you
The following questions and answers have been prepared to
address the most frequently asked concerns you may have
regarding our reassessment process. Please take a moment to
The Schenectady Department of Assessment is always available
to answer any additional questions you may have regarding your
property during regular business hours. Call the Assessment
Office at 382-5075. Additionally, please feel free to contact
the Mayor’s Office at 382-5000 any time during normal business
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated during this important
Mayor Brian U. Stratton
the financial impacts on Schenectady if a reassessment is not
The reassessment is part of the City’s adopted budget for
2007, and is an essential component of Mayor Stratton’s
strategic plan for financial restoration in Schenectady. It is
to the City’s continued financial benefit to complete a
thorough reassessment of all residential, commercial and
industrial property. It would be financially irresponsible and
detrimental to not move forward with a reassessment. Here are
some of the major reasons why:
The City will move closer to the ceiling established by the
Constitutional Tax Limit, risking loss of State aid.
Unfair assessments and tax inequity.
Property taxes will rise at a rapid rate.
Increase in tax certiorari cases (challenges to tax
Negative impact on the City’s Bond Rating.
Lack of control over the Equalization Rate.
Loss of State aid for completion of reassessment.
a “Reassessment” mean?
A “Reassessment” is the process of re-certifying the value of
property or land for tax purposes. New York State’s Real
Property Tax Law requires all properties in Schenectady to
be assessed fairly and at a uniform percentage of market
What is the “Equalization Rate” and why is it important?
The equalization rate is the state’s measure of a
municipality’s “level of assessment”. This is the ratio of
total assessed value to the municipality’s total market value.
The municipality determines the assessed value and the market
value is estimated by the state.
An equalization rate of 100 means that the municipality is
assessing property at 100 percent of market value.
An equalization rate of less than 100 means that the
municipality’s total market value is greater than its
An equalization rate of greater than 100 means that the
total assessed value for the municipality is greater than
its total market value.
Schenectady underwent a property reassessment in 2003, so why
is it necessary to conduct another reassessment now?
The Mayor and the City Council want to ensure all property
owners that taxes are levied on a fair and equitable basis.
Since 2003 property values in the City of Schenectady have
risen markedly resulting in an equalization rate of 75 percent
in 2006. The 2003 reassessment, conducted under the previous
administration, was a “partial reassessment”.
Trending methodologies used during the 2003 reassessment
process resulted in some neighborhoods receiving higher
assessments and others remained the same. Therefore, only a
portion of the residential properties were reassessed.
Additionally, the property data used in the analysis was last
updated in 1992 and has been proven to be unreliable resulting
in inaccurate assessed values. All of these factors contribute
to the need to update our property values. A complete,
house-to-house, business-to-business reassessment will allow
the City to update data records that are used in determining
Why does the City need to do an interior inspection of my
The City Assessor has requested that you allow both interior
and exterior inspections, which provide the basis for
identifying comparable sales that will be used in determining
Who are Data Collectors and why should I let them inside my
Data Collectors are trained and knowledgeable contractors
hired by the City to assist in the reassessment process. The
Schenectady Police Department has conducted thorough
background checks on each inspector for the safety of our
Upon arrival at your home or business, inspectors are required
to show you their City of Schenectady identification badges
(photo IDs). A sample photo is available for viewing on the
left portion of this web page. All inspectors have completed
a comprehensive training program conducted by the City
Assessor’s Office, and are required to be polite, courteous
and respectful of you and your property. If you have any
concerns, please call the City Assessor’s Office at
If I am not at home, or am unavailable when Data Collectors
are in my neighborhood, can I make an appointment for a Data
Collector to come back at a time more convenient to me?
Yes. When a Data Collector arrives at your property
and no one is home, he or she will leave a signed letter (click
for sample) with his or her name and a contact number.
You may call the phone number given and arrange an
appointment at your convenience.
What happens if a Data Collector breaks or destroys personal
property in my house?
If you believe that your home or personal property has been
damaged by a Data Collector, you may submit reasonable and
verifiable claims to the Office of City Corporation Council.
Any applicable reimbursement will be evaluated on a
case-by-case basis by the City Council.
I have the right to refuse an interior inspection of my home?
While you are not required to let the assessor or data
collector in your home, your cooperation, along with that of
all other property owners in the City, helps assure that your
assessment will be fair and based on complete and accurate
information. Without such cooperation, data collectors are
forced to estimate how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc., there
are in your home. Later, if you disagree with the assessment
for your property and ask that it be lowered through a formal
tax grievance process, assessment officials will be mandated
to conduct an interior inspection to obtain the information
you refused to provide in order to rule on your request for a
recently made modifications to the interior of my home, how
will that impact my assessment?
Cosmetic upgrades such as paint, wallpaper or carpeting will
not increase your assessed value. However, major renovations
to baths, kitchens, attics and basements will be noted and
reflected in the reassessment process.
When will the reassessment project be completed and what
assessment roll will the new assessed values appear on?
The reassessment process will be conducted in three phases
from 2007 to 2009. The first phase of the reassessment project
is data collection which began in January 2007 and is expected
to continue through the end of the year. In 2008, the second
phase - Valuation Production and Testing - will be completed.
Phase three involves field review, disclosure notice and
informal review. Upon completion of phase three in 2009, the
new assessed values will be posted to the 2009 Tentative Roll.
Property owners would not realize any potential financial
impact – up or down – until the 2010 tax year.
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