Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Assessment Games

Here is a story that affects many regular citizens. The city of Buffalo sent out assessments of city homes this past month. 14,400 homeowners received notifications stating that their assessments are set to increase. Fewer than 400 of them have filed challenges. Looks like the city's plan to raise their taxes is working.

Can you blame the 14,000 or so people that haven't challenged the assessment? First, research and time is involved. Then, they might have to take time off from work and deal with city hall parking. If they make it into city hall, the politically connected, often incompetent people behind the counter are always very helpful when it comes to assisting common citizens. Many people probably just throw their hands up in the air and say, why bother?

In any event, the city is granting a 15 day extension to file appeals. Last year, according to statistics compiled from The Buffalo News, 70% of the 1,638 people bothering to appeal their assessments before an independent panel were successful. City Hall is hoping you're one of the 14,000 that doesn't have the time or know how to fight them.
Later deadline likely for contesting assessments : Buffalo/Erie County : The Buffalo News

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