Realistically Taxes will go up for most through reassessment in Niagara Falls

Realistically Taxes will go up for most through reassessment in Niagara Falls


There is a dirty little secret no one but the Niagara Falls Reporter will dare to tell you about the proposed Niagara Falls reassessment of properties.

Most people’s taxes will go up.

And they are high enough 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 in a virtual statistical tie with the City of Binghamton as the highest taxed of the 1597 municipalities in New York State which, as mentioned above, is the highest taxed state in the US.

The average municipality in New York has a tax rate of about one third of Niagara Falls.

Therefore, the City of Niagara Falls is tied with Binghamton for the distinction of being the highest taxed municipality in the highest taxed state.

Now Council Chairman Andrew Touma is spearheading a plan to reassess all properties in Niagara Falls which residents fear will raise their taxes.

Touma assures the citizenry that while some properties will go up in taxes, others will go down. 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 hence taxes) raised, while those properties which are worth less, will see a tax reduction.

He says at the end of the day the total tax levy will remain the same.

Now here is the dirty little secret: The properties that will see assessments lowered are the derelict, abandoned, worthless, boarded up properties. Many of these will be demolished anyway sooner or later.

To counteract all of these “zombie” properties whose tax assessments will very likely go down (many zombie owners have given up paying taxes anyway even though the tax assessment amounts are still listed on the city’s tax levy), the nicer well-kept houses in Deveaux and LaSalle and other areas will have to be raised in order 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 substantially while announcing it is a quest for fairness.

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