Assessor Michael C. Ward
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 5pm-8pm
Every other Saturday, 9am-noon
The Assessor's Job
The Assessor is responsible for preparing market value estimates for every property in Norfolk. The values, or assessments are used for determining the tax burden for each parcel. Annually the Assessor's officer reviews permits, transfers of property, and deeds to determine if a change in assessment is necessary.
The Assessor is also responsible for administering exemptions to taxation. These exemptions include Senior Citizen, School Tax Relief (STAR), Agricultural, and Veterans to name a few. Below are links to the most commonly used assessment forms. A complete list of exemptions can be found online at this link.
July 1st - Valuation date
March 1st - Taxable status date
March 1st - Exemption application deadline
May 1st - Tentative Roll Date
4th Tuesday in May - Grievance Day
"How can you say assessments result in the fair sharing of taxes?"
Perhaps the best way to answer this question is with a history lesson. It all began with the notion that those who can afford to pay more should pay more. So owners of bigger and better properties would pay a larger portion of the taxes. A couple of hundred years ago, that seemed like the fairest thing to do. There was a direct correlation between what you owned and what you could afford to pay. Today, the size and type of property you own is not a true indicator of your ability to pay taxes, but taxes based on property value is the process still in place in New York State. Therefore in order to assure that the taxes are being divided in the fairest way possible, it is important to have an accurate assessment of your property. People often question why assessments a are not frozen at the time of sale. Freezing assessments ignores all the trends & factors that influence your property's value and would eventually resulting shocking changes in property values and hence taxes - not what anyone wants! Once again, and example may help to explain why that is not a smart (or fair) way to address taxes.
If we froze assessments, a 1200 sq. ft. house that was purchased in 1985 for $40,000 would still be assessed at $40,000 today. If in 2008, someone down the street purchased a similar-sized home for $120,000 (because the cost of everything goes up) and we froze their assessment at $120,000, then the owner of of the 2008 house would pay 3x the taxes as the same house whose assessment remained at the $40,000. Where would you want to live? Would you feel like that was fair if you were the new person in town? As the tax rate went up both would pay more but the higher assessed one would increase more than the lower one. This illustrates the need for regular revaluations. Assessments must be current with property values. Ideally, it's best to adjust values every year, but when there aren't enough sales to work from, or the housing market is unchanged, performing a revaluation every year is difficult. So every three to five years is more appropriate.
ATTENTION: PROPERTY OWNERS
IF YOU ARE 65 YRS OLD (OR WILL BE BY 12/31) AND YOUR ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME IS LESS THAN $79,000. YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A STAR EXEMPTION. THE PROPERY MUST BE YOUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE! ALL EXEMPTIONS ARE DUE IN THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE BY MARCH 1ST. CALL THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE WITH ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE.
Grievance Forms RP-524 MUST be received and an appointment made for Grievance Day at the Assessor's Office to guarantee that you will be "heard" by the Board of Assessment Review on Grievance Day. A property owner who does NOT schedule a hearing in front of the Board of Assessment Review takes the risk of having to come back at a time set by the Board of Assessment Review.
Downloadable Commonly Used Forms
Senior Citizen Exemption (income less than $18,500)
(under 65 years of age or income cannot exceed $500,000)
(under 65 years of age or income exceeds $79,050)