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A property’s full market value is the amount of money that a knowledgeable and willing buyer will offer to a knowledgeable and willing seller who will accept it when neither party is pressured to do so. Such sales are said to be arm’s length sales. A property’s assessed value is the value placed on the real property for tax purposes.
Cities and counties collect real estate taxes from homeowners that are calculated according to the assessed value, which takes into consideration the full market value of a property as well as the equalization rate of the municipality.
The equalization rate in the City of Schenectady is determined by the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS). Equalization seeks to measure the relationship of locally assessed values to an ever-changing real estate market. In order to distribute school district or county taxes among municipalities, the level of assessment must be equalized.
This year, the equalization rate is .7900 or 79.00% of the fair market value of real property. What this means is that if you have a home that has a fair market value of $100,000 your assessed value and the value for which you pay taxes is actually $79,000. You can find this information on the 2023 tentative assessment roll published on May 1st, 2023.
Copies of the assessment roll can be found on the City of Schenectady website and County of Schenectady website.
Each year, municipalities around New York State participate in the grievance period. This is a time where residents of a municipality can grieve the assessed value of their real property, not the taxes that they pay. The grievance period begins on May 1st when the tentative assessment roll is published and continues until close of business the 4th Tuesday in May or Grievance Day (this year it is May 23rd).
Completed and signed applications must be turned in to the Assessment Bureau by close of business on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023. Applications can be found on the city of Schenectady website and the New York State Tax and Finance website.
No, the Board cannot raise your assessment based on your grievance application. Your assessment will either remain the same or be lowered by some amount.
You will receive an outcome letter from the Board of Assessment Review by the printing of the final assessment roll on July 1st, 2023.
Please note that the Board of Assessment Review is only required to provide you with the results of the outcome and these results may not include an explanation. The staff members of the Assessment Bureau are not privy to the deliberations of the Board of Assessment Review and will not be able to explain the results to you.
If you have a 1, 2, or 3 family owner occupied (you live there) home used solely for residential purposes in the City of Schenectady, you may file for the Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) process. To participate in this process, you must file with the Schenectady County Clerk’s Office within 30 days of the printing of the final assessment roll (July 1).
You may have someone represent you for this process and must sign the petition to state that. If you own any other type of property in the City of Schenectady, you may hire an attorney and file a tax certiorari proceeding in State Supreme Court. You must have filed a grievance with the Board of Assessment Review in the City of Schenectady in order to take advantage of either of these processes. Additionally, you cannot ask for a value that is less than what you asked for in the grievance process.
Anyone who owns real property in the City of Schenectady can file a grievance application with the Assessment Bureau.
Yes, with your written permission, someone may file an application on your behalf as well as represent you at the Grievance Day hearing. There is a place on the grievance application where you can sign stating that you give permission to someone to represent you. It can be anyone from your son, sister, or next door neighbor to an attorney of your choice. As long as you have given permission for them to do so, they may be your representative.
Unfortunately, the staff of the Assessment Bureau cannot fill out the application for you. When you grieve your assessment the grievance is against the Assessment Bureau, therefore the burden is on you, the taxpayer, to determine how the application is to be filled out and what information is needed to plead your case.
A staff member from the Assessment Bureau may assist you by providing the grievance instructions from the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS), answering general questions related to the grievance period, or photocopying information from the tentative assessment roll. Please note that photocopies can be made for $.25 a page in the office but the tentative assessment roll can also be found on the City’s website.
It is important to understand the difference between the full market value and the assessed value of your property. The City of Schenectady does not have homestead vs. non-homestead tax rates. You may not grieve the loss of an exemption unless you had applied by taxable status day (March 1) and were denied the exemption.
If you had an extenuating medical situation that prevented you from applying by the March 1 deadline (for Enhanced STAR exemption only), please ask a member of the Bureau of Assessment about your situation. Please make sure to read the directions thoroughly before preparing your application. The instructions for the grievance application can be found on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website.
A grievance application is filed with the Assessment Bureau and it is a grievance against the work done by staff members in the Bureau. The Assessor will not be able make any changes to the tentative roll once it is printed.
In order to make sure the process is fair and equitable, taxpayers will have the opportunity to speak with the Board of Assessment Review on May 23rd, 2023, which is also called Grievance Day. The Board of Assessment Review is a panel of public officers independently appointed by the Mayor and the Schenectady City Council. The members of the Board of Assessment Review provide a system of checks and balances for the work of the Assessment Bureau.
When you turn your completed and signed grievance application in to the Assessment Bureau, you will receive a receipt stating that we received the application as well as a numbered ticket allowing you or your representative to attend the hearing on Grievance Day.
The Board of Assessment Review will meet from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24th with a 1 hour break for lunch and for dinner. The Board members will hear any and all of the grievances that are filed with the Assessment Bureau from May 1st until the end of that day.
Petitioners will be given 3 minutes to present their case to the Board of Assessment Review. There may be a brief question and answer period with the Board after the case has been presented. At this point, you have completed your role in the grievance process.
No, you do not have to attend Grievance Day, but it does give you an opportunity to plead your case, in person, with the panel making the determination in your situation. Not attending the Grievance Day hearing will not have any bearing on the outcome of your case. You will not be made of aware of the outcome of your case at this time.
The Board of Assessment Review will take all of the grievance applications, information and notes presented to them during the hearing and spend several weeks deliberating these cases.
The FOIL definition of records is very broad and includes information found in paper and electronic documents and audio and visual recordings. All records are available upon request, unless an exception in FOIL permits an agency to deny access to a record. See Public Officers Law § 87 (2).
Most of the exceptions are based upon common sense and the potential for harm that would arise if the record were disclosed to unauthorized people. If disclosure of a record would be damaging to an individual or prevent a government agency from carrying out its duties, it is likely that some or all of the record may be withheld.
Keep in mind that many records can be found on the City website and do not require a FOIL request.
Subject Matter List
Affirmative Action & Advisory Committee
Bureau of Receipts
City Clerk's Office
Department of Engineering
Office of Code Enforcement
Office of General Services
By email or phone
There are 2 answers to this question. If it is a pothole, then you should call the Bureau of Service - Street Department at 518-382-5151. If it is an area where a ‘street cut’ had been made then you should call the Department of Engineering at 518-382-5082 so that we can inform the company who made the ‘street cut’ to repair.
1) City Hall, Office of Affirmative Action or the Mayor's Office.2) The Schenectady Chapter of the NAACP.3) The Schenectady Human Rights Division.4) The Schenectady Police Department.
Please call 518.382.5211 then press "0". Please call between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Another option is to respond to the Schenectady Police Department's Traffic Division and pay the ticket in person.
You can do this between the hours of 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. You may also pay a parking ticket on this website on our parking page.
The traffic division is located at 531 Liberty Street. Again, mastercard and visa are accepted.
1) You can plea by mail. Be very careful to follow all instructions as indicted on the back of the summons. The court will then contact you by mail with further instructions.
2) Appear in person at Schenectady City Police Court on the date and time indicated on the bottom of the ticket.
** Be advised that it is very important to answer the ticket. Failure to do so can result in the suspension of you driver's license or driving privliges and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.