We now have the FOILed copy of the assessment database containing the information for the 2011 Tentative Assessment Roll. It was given to us late this afternoon when we appeared at the town clerk's office with a Notice of Claim in hand.
We will be posting several Excel spreadsheets this weekend to provide property information to those who wish to grieve their assessment.
We have been told by the town clerk that even though we have received the cd, our FOIL appeal will be on the next town board agenda. Believe us...one way or another it will be discussed in the next open meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.
At this point, residents of New Hartford should be asking what is so wrong with the assessment database that the town supervisor and his appointed town attorney would try to pull a stunt like this in an effort to keep us from posting the database in an Excel spreadsheet?
We have been openly blogging about some of the problems with the database; other problems we have communicated directly to the town board in hopes of working them out behind the scenes. The reassessment program was a disaster. The unfortunate part is that it will take a considerable amount of money to correct the deficiencies in the current assessment database.
We cannot stress enough that if you feel that your assessment is "too damn high" and that your property is being unfairly assessed in relation to comparable properties, you should file a grievance with the assessor. You do not necessarily have to appear in person on May 24, 2011 to present your case for a reduced assessment. All grievance applications are reviewed by the Board of Assessment Review whether you have an appointment to appear in person or not. But remember, you must file a grievance in the assessor's office by the end of the day on May 24, 2011 in order to file a small claim or certiorari if you are unsuccessful to get your assessment lowered at the BAR.
So...what were they thinking? It is unfortunate that some of the people running our town government felt they could bully us. Guess all the talk from Pat about an open government was just that...talk because it was what we all wanted to hear.
Did they really think that we would just go on our merry way without a fight? Did they think we would not call Robert Freeman to confirm what he told them regarding FOILing the assessment database? Did they think we are not fully aware of the FOI Law regarding assessment data?
As an officer of the court, Attorney Cully has a duty to uphold the law, not try to circumvent it to satisfy the town supervisor.
Shame on them...