Tax Reassessments Will Raise Taxes on Well-Kept Homes, Reduce on Derelict Abandoned Homes

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Taxes likely to go up with reassessment.


By: Frank Parlato


There is a little secret no one but the Niagara Reporter will dare tell about what will happen if Niagara Falls reassesses properties.

Most home owner’s taxes will likely go up. And they are high already.

According to WalletHub, New York ranks as the worst state in America for taxpayers. The average burden for state and local taxes is $9,718, which is 39% higher than the national average.

According to New York State’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, ( Niagara Falls is the highest taxed of 1597 municipalities in New York.

That means Niagara Falls is the highest taxed municipality in the highest taxed state.

When the issue came up more than a year ago, Council Chairman Andrew Touma said some properties will go up in taxes, others will go down if the city does a reassessment.

Each property will be evaluated and, out of fairness, he says. Those that are worth more than their old assessment will have their assessments (and taxes) raised, while properties worth less, will see a tax reduction.

At the end of the day the total tax levy may remain the same. So here is the little secret: Properties that will see assessments lowered are derelict, abandoned, worthless, boarded up properties. Many of these will be demolished anyway.

To counteract these “zombie” properties, whose tax assessments will likely go down (many zombie owners gave up paying taxes even though tax assessments are listed on the tax levy), the nicer, well-kept houses in Deveaux, LaSalle and other areas will be raised to keep the tax levy the same.

By raising taxes on people who keep their houses up, and lowering taxes on worthless zombie houses, the city can raise taxes while announcing it is a quest for fairness.

It’s a pretty neat trick.





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