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County official suggests no reval for town of Massena

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MASSENA — The director of the St. Lawrence County Real Property Tax Office says that based on the current percentage of market value for properties, he doesn’t recommend the town of Massena conduct a revaluation right now.

Darren W. Colton told Town Council members this week that their numbers were in line with what state officials wanted to see in terms of market value.

The number compares sales prices with assessed values of properties.

“They find out the ratio of sales and take an estimate of their market value versus assessed value,” Mr. Colton said.

For instance, he said, residential properties in the town were at 93.17 percent of value, while commercial properties were at 114.79 percent of value. Farm and vacant land were at 103.13 percent of value and utilities were at 87.91 percent.

Overall, the town is at 102.03 percent of value.

“As long as you’re within 5 percent of 100, you’re considered to be doing a good job. If the number came in at 80, you might challenge it,” Mr. Colton said. “Certainly you don’t challenge them when you’re at 102. I think you’re in good shape until these numbers start to fall or go the other way. This tells me that you’re in good shape now.”

Although utilities don’t fall within that range, Mr. Colton said, Assessor Michael C. Ward can’t do much about that number without potentially affecting others.

Mr. Ward said the town previously was required to conduct a townwide revaluation every six years.

“In the old days, if we didn’t do a reval this year, for 2014 we would have been penalized,” he said.

But now, he said, revaluations are determined by the data.

“We’re past that point now. Those rules don’t apply anymore because our numbers are so strong,” Mr. Ward said.

“You have to be leery of spending money for no reason,” Mr. Colton said.

He said the data he shared this week are provided by the state every February, and then he and Mr. Ward can review them “to see where we’re at.”

Another sheet Mr. Colton provided to council members showed the sales in the town from July 1, 2010, to the present. Altogether, he said, there were 362 sales. The minimum sale price was $10,600, while the highest sale price was $1,127,800. The mean sale price was $79,038.

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