WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT?
A property assessment is based on market value. What would a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on for the property under normal conditions? There are three approaches used to value real property. They are: the sales approach, the cost approach and the income approach. Typically when placing a market value on a pre-existing single family residence, the Assessor uses the sales approach and compares sales of similar houses to the subject. However, the cost approach can also be used. The cost approach is based on the depreciated cost of labor and materials required to replace it. The income approach is typically used to value commercial properties. Any of these three approaches can be used to provide the best estimate of a property's market value.
WHAT ARE THE TRUE TAXES ON MY PROPERTY?
The Assessor’s office does not give out ‘true taxes’. However, we are more than happy to give you an estimate of what your taxes may be. Your assessment is only a fraction of what your taxes are based on. There are other factors involved that are subject to change.
WHAT IS STAR?
STAR is New York State's School Tax Relief Program that includes a partial property tax exemption from school taxes. If you own and live in your home, you are probably eligible for the STAR exemption. If you purchased your home after March of 2015 you will recieve your tax relief in the form of a check as opposed to it coming off of your tax bill. In addition, those purchasing after 2015 should apply online at tax.ny.gov or call to enroll at 518-457-2036.
There are two parts to the STAR Property Tax Exemption:
- The Basic STAR Exemption is available for owner-occupied primary residences where the total income of all property owners is $250,000 or less per year. Basic STAR exempts the first $30,000 of the assessed value of the home for school tax purposes only. The STAR credit [check] income limit is 500,000.
- The Enhanced STAR Exemption is available for owner-occupied primary residences where at least one owner is turning 65 years of age by December of the year the exemption is due. In addition to the age requirement, there is a maximum income level requirement which changes yearly. For the 2021/22 school tax bill, the maximum income is $90,550 on your 2019 income tax return. Income for Enhanced STAR purposes is defined as your adjusted gross income minus taxable amount of total IRA distributions [Federal Form Line 8b - 4b] [State Form Line 19 - 9]. The Enhanced STAR works by exempting the first $69,800 of the assessed value of the home for school tax purposes only.
WHAT IS THE SENIOR EXEMPTION?
Section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law gives local governments and school districts the option of granting a reduction in the amount of property taxes paid by qualifying senior citizens turning 65 and older. This reduction is in addition to the Enhanced STAR Exemption. There is a maximum income limit to qualify which varies between the County, Town and School Districts. In addition, non-reimbursed medical expenses may be deducted in certain instances. For further information regarding the income limits along with the medical deductions, please contact the Assessor's office during normal business hours.
IF FARMINGTON CONDUCTS A REASSESSMENT, WILL MY TAXES INCREASE?
A reassessment does not necessarily mean your taxes will increase. Nor does it mean that your assessment will definitely increase. Also, if your assessment is increased, it does not necessarily mean your taxes will increase. For example, if tax rates go down but your assessment goes up, it's possible your taxes wouldn't change. Overall, a property's assessment should reflect current market value. If market values fluctuate and the assessments are not changed to reflect the fluctuation, a property owner may pay more or less then their fair share of taxes. Keeping assessments up-to-date each year is necessary for fair tax distribution. That is why reassessments are done. Generally speaking, Farmington usually does a reassessment every other year.
WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE ASSESSMENT ON THE TENTATIVE ROLL?
The first step would be to schedule an informal meeting with the Assessor. During that meeting you can review how the Assessor arrived at the value of your property and tell her any information regarding your property that she may not be aware of. The Assessor typically will not make a decision on changing the assessment at that time. You will receive a letter advising of her decision by the beginning of May. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may file a Grievance Application for the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) on or before the fourth Tuesday in May. Instructions for filing a Grievance Application are located on this website under Assessor/Frequently Used Forms and Instructions.