Gary Borek 2019-10-14

In April 2019, the Town Council unanimously voted to spend $580,000 over 4 years to have all residential properties revalued to eliminate the unequal real property assessments that had grown out of the partial neighborhood assessments in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and the failure to do a town-wide revaluation since that time.

In September 2019, four of the six council members voted to rescind the contract for a town-wide revaluation even though the town had already paid $100,000 on the contract and would have to forego about $80,000 of reimbursements from the State of New York.

The failure to complete the revaluation guarantees that property owners in the neighborhoods assessed in 2017 will continue to be unfairly taxed for years to come. The majority of Cheektowaga’s non-white residents live in those neighborhoods, giving rise to the possibility of a discrimination lawsuit against the Town of Cheektowaga similar to the lawsuits against the County of Nassau for its failure to do county-wide revaluations.

The graphic below shows an example of two homes: one on the east side of town, last revalued in 2015, and the other on the west side of town, most recently assessed in 2017. The first half of the graphic shows how the unfair property tax arises from just the differing years of revaluation. The second half shows the additi0nal impact when the rate of appreciation is higher for one home.

Assessment inequality example

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