Property Value Reassessments and Your School Taxes

April 2019

While school districts have no direct role in the reassessment process, the following information is being shared to provide taxpayers with an overview of how the reassessment process is related to their school taxes.

As a general rule: Very often, a reassessment results in a decrease in tax rates. This can cause individual tax bills to go up, down or stay the same. You should not assume that your taxes will go up if your assessment goes up nor can you simply multiply the old tax rate by your new assessment to calculate your new tax bill.

Municipal-wide reassessments are the best way to ensure that assessments are fair and accurate.

Property values generally change over time. A reassessment involves a municipality reviewing all properties to establish assessments that reflect their current market value. This ensures that all property owners are paying their fair share of the tax burden. Property assessments are determined by the local assessor. Based on changes in the real estate market, the assessor will then determine which assessments need to be increased or decreased.

New York State Real Property Tax Law requires all properties in a municipality (except in New York City and Nassau County) to be assessed at a uniform percentage of market value each year. Click here for more information on reassessments from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

A reassessment does not increase the amount that schools or other local governments collect in taxes.

With a reassessment comes a shift in the tax burden to those whose property values have risen faster than average. This process does not result in new revenue for a town, county or school district. Rather, it generally results in some redistribution of the total amount paid in taxes among property owners. It is a common misperception that a reassessment will automatically increase taxes and/or be a windfall for schools or local governments. This is not the case.

If your assessment changes, you cannot assume your taxes will increase. Your taxes may go up, down or stay the same.

Historically, with increased property assessments, a reduction in the school tax rate is normal. Because the total amount that is collected in taxes is not related to the reassessment, if values have increased, it requires a lower rate to generate the same total amount of revenue.

The impact on your taxes will depend on how your assessment changes in proportion to the assessment changes made throughout your town.

As part of a comprehensive reassessment process, all properties in a municipality will be reviewed. Typically, properties become under-assessed over time when assessments are not kept up to date. How often reassessments take place in a community varies greatly. Some municipalities have assessments that are updated regularly, while others may go decades without a reassessment. How your individual school taxes are affected will depend on how your assessment changes in comparison to the overall change in the community. If you have questions, please contact your local assessor’s office.

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