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Tue., Sep. 1
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The Potsdam town board is behind assessment hikes


The voters, property and business owners in the town of Potsdam should please, please, keep this in mind: we are currently right back in the same situation with assessments that we were in five years ago because of one common factor. The common factor is the individuals seated on the town board.

The supervisor and trustees will absolutely claim that they have no express direction over the assessor and how he evaluates property. So how is it that once again we have to fight outrageous increases in our assessments?

We have a new assessor. What is the common factor to cause a similar event to occur? The town board. Don’t let public speechmaking blur the fact that our assessments increased for a reason. That reason has very little to do with the real estate that has sold above assessed value.

In fact, I challenge every real estate company in the area to disclose the total number of properties for sale in St. Lawrence County. How long have each of the properties been on the market? How many sold below, sold at and sold above assessed value? And, most importantly, how many have not sold? The issue of how many on the market and still on the market should greatly impact market value, more so than the handful of property that sells above assessed value. Market value of a town is set by the state, but good luck finding what it is. It’s a well hidden fact that is necessary for grievance of your assessment.

Voters keep in mind that when the state of New York indicates that the town of Potsdam is at 100 percent equalization (and they will), the jump from our current 96 percent to 100 percent gives the coffers a boost in revenues. This point should not be covered up by the public statement of no increase in the cost per thousand for this year.

Again, I say we must take back control of this town board, our county legislators and our tax dollars. Send a message that we’re done being financially strapped by the people we elected to look out for our best interests. Thus farthey have failed.

Tracey E. Haggett-Sloan


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