Saturday, February 6, 2010

City Refuses to Hold Assessment Hearings in Your Neighborhood

Councilman Mickey Kearns is calling for home assessment hearings to take place in the neighborhoods, where they belong. Sounds like a good idea to me. The only problem from the city's perspective, is citizens might actually show up. The city doesn't want that. They want to make it as difficult as possible for you and I to contest their over inflated assessments. They want you to have to worry about parking and every other ridiculous obstacle involved with going to city hall.

Kearns wants to hold the hearings in community centers like Tosh Collins. Martin Kennedy says a five member citizens panel decides where these hearings are going to be held. What he doesn't tell you is that the people chosen for these panels are rubber stamps for the politicians who put them on the panels. They represent their political interests, not us. The department's EXCUSES for not allowing citizens to contest them in their own neighborhoods are laughable.Having the hearings in city hall, allow staffers to "route some people to nearby offices to apply for tax exemptions"(because giving them directions to city hall after they win their challenges would be too difficult?). Secondly, according to Kennedy, the board doesn't have the manpower to move laptops, recorders, and projectors to the community centers. Are you kidding me? What a joke! Translation: we at city hall are too lazy to move laptops to your neighborhood so you can challenge our overinflated assessments. People should see this for what it is; a thinly veiled effort to raise your taxes without actually raising your taxes. Hopefully, people will join Kearns in continuing this fight. The taxation department needs to learn: They work for us. We don't work for them.

Lawmakers call for neighborhood assessment hearings : City of Buffalo : The Buffalo News

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