Thursday, May 17, 2007

Albany Assessment 11

One difficulty with filing a Complaint on Real Property Assessment in Albany is that people get — or come away with — contradictory or apparently mistaken advice. An example of contradictory advice (or understanding of that advice) is that at a neighborhood meeting I was told that the City of Albany Department of Assessment and Taxation did not distinguish between one- and two-family row houses, and today a neighbor who owns a one-family row house told me that she was advised by the same department not to list two-family row houses among her comparables. An example of apparently mistaken advice is that in showing people how to fill out Form RP-524, employees at the Assessment and Taxation Department cross out Part Three, Sections B, C, and D. and tell people to just fill in Item 4 of Section A. UNEQUAL ASSESSMENT (Complete items 1–4). Now Section A appears to have to do with the percentage assessment of full value, whereas people are really complaining about excessive assessment, the apparent subject of Section B.

I do not say that the advice given by the Assessment and Taxation Department is contradictory or mistaken. I am saying that what people are coming away with appears to be contradictory or mistaken.


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