2018 Town-wide Assessment Revaluation Project

The Town of Brighton is committed to preserving fairness in each annual Assessment Roll so that property owners pay only their fair share of property taxes. The last town-wide assessment revaluation took place in 2008. Recently the Town Board approved the Town Assessor's request to perform a full Town-Wide Revaluation for the 2018 Assessment Roll to be filed on July 1, 2018.

Accurate property inventory/information is vital to an equitable assessment. Over the past two years you would have received a Property Description Report that detailed and listed all of the particular data associated with your property.  The Report asked that you confirm the information, mark any changes , sign, date and return the Report to our Assessor's office. This updated information will enable us to compare and review the market values of all of the properties in our Community and then based on the current real estate market, determine which assessments need to be increased or decreased. 

Property information is available on the Monroe County's Real Property Portal  here
 
Please check back to this page regularly for the most current information regarding this project.  Please contact the Assessor's Office at (585) 784-5215 with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions During a Revaluation

WHAT IS A REVALUATION?

A Revaluation is the process of verifying property data and reviewing Market Analysis information necessary to equalize the values of all properties within a municipality for the purpose of a fair distribution of the tax burden.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A REVALUATION?

A Property Description Report was mailed to each property owner. The building characteristics of the property were noted and property owners were asked to confirm the information on the report, mark any changes, sign, date and return the report to the Town of Brighton Assessor's Office. This is what is referred to as the Data Collection phase of the project. 

During the Data Collection phase, the Assessor's staff studies the sales and determines where the actual increases and decreases in value are occurring. This study of recent property sales allows comparisons to be made by the staff to establish parameters for generating the preliminary assessed value of property that has not been sold. The Assessor and staff then review this collected data and apply the determining factors of the sales analysis to come up with a value of each property.

HOW WILL THE HOMEOWNER BE NOTIFIED OF THE NEW ASSESSMENT?

Each property owner, at the completion of the value review portion of this project, will receive an individual notice of the new assessment. All property owners will be given the opportunity to discuss their values with staff assigned to the informal review hearings. That hearing scheduling process will also be detailed in the notice. At a hearing the property owner can voice concerns, discuss inaccuracies or discrepancies.  Should an inspection or re-valuation need to be done, the Hearing Representative will make that determination and any changes that result will be sent to the property owner prior to the annual formal assessment review challenge opportunity.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY ASSESSMENT IS EQUITABLE?

The goal of the Revaluation is to re-establish Full Market Value Assessments. For residential properties, in particular, the value should be in line with sales, within the prior two to three years. The sales properties should be of a similar size, style, age and location. Your value should be in line with these sale prices. For commercial properties, the income stream capitalization is an additional method of establishing Market Value Assessments.

Remember, very few properties are exactly alike. Your value should be comparable, but it seldom will be exactly the same as what seems to be a similar property.

WILL MY LAND VALUE CHANGE DIFFERENTLY THAN MY BUILDING VALUE?

The valuation review does include all property types, land values may change.  The market may treat different property classes differently.  All property owners will receive notices of any changes in their property's assessed values. 

WHAT IS AN INFORMAL HEARING?

Commercial change notices will be mailed at the end of June 2017.  The notices for all other class types, including residential parcels, are scheduled to be mailed in late 2017.  All notices will detail the procedure for scheduling an informal hearing.

The values detailed in the notices are not final; they are preliminary. The hearing process is your opportunity to share   information you believe is relevant to the valuation of your property. The Assessor's Office staff will review all data submitted during the hearings as a part of this assessment equity project.

An informal hearing is not a forum to discuss taxes, it is strictly meant to answer questions on the property valuations. Property owners are asked to come prepared.  Please bring any questions, any inventory changes or market data from other comparable properties in their neighborhood. A Hearing Officer will determine if an on-site review of the property is necessary. All changes to value that occur due to a hearing will be reflected in the change notice that is sent after hearings are complete.

IF I DISAGREE WITH MY ASSESSMENT AFTER A HEARING, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

After the informal hearing process has been completed, the preliminary values become tentative values—the tentative assessments are the values placed on the Tentative Assessment Roll filed each May 1. The filing of that Tentative Assessment Roll opens the annual formal assessment challenge process. That is the next, and last, opportunity to ask for a change in the new Full Market Value Assessment for the 2018 Final Assessment Roll which will be filed on July 1, 2018. The formal assessment challenge process is also referred to as the Grievance Process.

The Grievance Process does require the filing of form RP524 along with your market value support information. The formal Grievance Process can take two forms—in the first two weeks in May, the assessor and her staff will schedule hearings with property owners. Those wishing to meet with the Assessor’s Office staff, in an effort to stipulate to a reduction, must have their RP524 form completed and their value supported. If an agreement is not reached, the second form of the Grievance Process is available—a hearing with the Board of Assessment Review. The Board of Assessment Review will examine the case and make a determination as to the disposition of the appeal.

Should the property owner still feel the assessment is incorrect, they may appeal to the Superior Court in the 7th judicial district in which the town is located or take their appeal to Small Claims Court—the avenue available to the property owner depends of the class of the property. All appeals to the Board of Assessment Review must be made by the 4th Tuesday in May of any given year. 

Further information regarding the annual formal review is also available on the assessment challenge page within the Assessors Web pages.  Please contact the Assessor's office at (585) 784-5215 with any questions pertaining  to filing dates for appeals.

WILL A REVALUATION INCREASE TAXES?

A Revaluation may result in an increase or decrease of individual assessments; it does not mean that all property taxes will increase. You may be saying, "SURE!" But remember assessments are only the base that is used to distribute the Tax Burden. The Tax Burden is the amount that the Town must raise to operate our local government and support the many services each of us has come to expect, such as road maintenance, police, etc. If the same amount of money is to be raised after the Revaluation as the previous year and each assessment doubles, the tax rate would merely be cut in half.

WHAT IS MARKET VALUE AND WHO DETERMINES MY PROPERTY VALUE?

Market Value is determined by people, by the activity in the Real Estate Market and the general economy. The value of your property is based on an analysis of the entire market for the full two to three calendar years before the completion of the revaluation Project. The market can generally be defined as, you, the person who sold the property to you, and the person willing to buy it from you. It is the revaluation staffer's job to research and analyze the values in any particular area or neighborhood.

In effect, they do what you would do to determine the selling price when putting your property up for sale. Only the staff has specific guidelines to follow. General factors that are examined for each property are: location, size, quality of construction, age of improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, etc.

HOW DO MARKET CHANGES IMPACT ASSESSMENTS?

As illustrated in the example below, four owners purchased homes in Brighton for $100,000 in 2008. Over the years, the value of real estate has changed. House "A" may now sell for $80,000, House "B" may still sell for $100,000, House "C" may now sell for $120,000 and House "D" may now sell for $160,000.
Updating the assessments will reflect the new market values and will fairly distribute the tax burden based on the current market value of each property.

   House"A"
House"B"
House"C"
House"D"
Total Taxes Collected
Assessment Prior to Revaluation (2008 Market Val)
 $100,000 $100,000
$100,000
$100,000
 
 Property Taxes Prior to Revaluation
 $4,000  $4,000 $4,000
$4,000
 $16,000
 Assessment After Revaluation (2016 Market Value)
 $80,000 $100,000
$120,000 $160,000  
 Property Taxes After Revaluation
 $2,782 $3,479
$4,174
$5,565
 $16,000

DO I HAVE TO LET THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE IN IF THEY WANT TO INSPECT MY PROPERTY?

No, you don't have to let them in; this is a request not a court order. However, if you choose not to let the Assessor's staff in they will be forced to estimate the interior of the property. There are three scenarios that can occur. The first is that the Assessor's Office will estimate correctly and your assessment will be accurate. The second is the Assessor's Office will estimate incorrectly and you will receive an inaccurate assessment. The third case scenario is that the taxpayer made improvements to the house and the new assessment does not reflect the improvements. If you want an accurate assessment on your property the best approach is to let the Assessor's staff inspect the property.