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Property reassessment causes school tax increase

WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Some people living in Waterford are seeing increases in their school taxes following the town’s first property reassessment in more than 30 years.

A man living on Fonda Road is facing sticker shock after realizing his school taxes have nearly doubled since last year.

“It’s just disheartening, you know what I mean, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Earl McMahon, a Waterford taxpayer, said.

A jaw-dropping discovery on his tax bill. He owes about $4,900 in school taxes after paying just half last year.

“I was blown away, I don’t even think I could tell you what I said.”

So what gives? The taxes are based on newly calculated assessment numbers. After GAR Associates conducted Waterford’s first reassessment in more than three decades, Waterford Central School District Tax Collector Cady Kuebler says she’s heard plenty of complaints.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls kind of wondering why their school taxes are so high this year and it has to do with the reassessment in the spring.”

GAR Associates Vice President David Barnett says preliminary assessments went out in March, at which point they could be challenged. McMahon’s estimated school taxes were estimated to be $3,800 but ended up being nearly $5,000.

Barnett blames the discrepancy on a number of factors including the school’s tax formula. 

McMahon lives in Waterford and his school taxes go to Shenendehowa. Kuebler is hearing grievances from taxpayers in the Waterford School District too.

“So a lot of people that maybe didn’t open those letters with their new assessment are kind of shocked when they see their school bills now because it’ll be a lot higher than it was and they’re kind of like ‘well, what happened?'”

School taxes must be paid online or in person by October 1.


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