Town Of Clifton
 Assessment Information 

March 1, 2014
July 1, 2013
April 22, 2014
June 17, 2014
Table Of Contents:
Town's Assessor
Michael Ward
Phone: 315-769-6924
Uniform Percentage of Value
The percentage of market value (full value) used by an assessing unit to establish uniform assessments. This value must appear on the tentative roll. Real Property Tax Law Section 305 specifies, "all real property in each assessing unit shall be assessed at a uniform percentage of value..."
Taxable Status Date
The ownership and physical condition of real property as of this date are assessed (valued) according to price fixed as of the valuation date. All applications for property exemptions must be filed with the assessor by this date.
Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR)
A percentage established by the State Board of Real Property Services according to law, using the ratio of assessed value to the sales price for each usable residential sale in a recent one-year period. Ratios are then listed from highest to lowest; the midpoint (median) ratio is selected as the RAR. The RAR can be used to prove that a residential property is assessed at a higher level than other homes on the assessment roll. Your locality's RAR indicates at what percent of full value residential properties are assessed. For example, a RAR of 20 indicates that residential properties are assessed at approximately 20 percent of their full value.
Equalization Rate
"State equalization rate" means the percentage of full value at which taxable real property in a county, city, town or village is assessed as determined by the state board." (RPTL Section 102) The rate is a ratio of the sum of the locally determined assessed values for all taxable parcels for a given assessment roll divided by ORPS's estimate of total full value for that same roll.
How Property is Assessed
The first step in assessing is to determine a property's market value. To estimate market values, the assessor must be familiar with the local real estate market.

A property's value can be estimated in three different ways:

  1. Market approach
    • assessor compares property to similar properties that have recently sold
    • typically used to value residential, vacant, and farm properties
  2. Cost approach
    • assessor calculates the cost to replace a structure with a similar one using today's labor and material prices
    • subtract depreciation
    • add the market value of the land
    • used to value industrial, special purpose and utility properties
  3. Income approach
    • assessor analyzes how much income a property (such as an apartment building) will produce if rented
    • takes into account:
      • operating expenses
      • insurance
      • maintenance costs
      • financing terms
      • amount expected to be earned

Assessors also use Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal techniques to analyze property sales and estimate values for multiple properties simultaneously.

From market value to assessment

Once the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated.

In a city or town assessing at 100% of market value, the market value becomes the assessment.

If assessments in your municipality are at a fraction of market value, the assessment is calculated by multiplying the market value of the property by the level of assessment for the municipality. For example:

  • Market value of property = $100,000
  • Level of assessment = 27% (City assesses property at 27% of market value)
  • Assessment = $27,000
How to Contest your Assessment

Step One: What is the assessor's estimate of the market value of your property? 

You'll find this information on the assessment roll.


 Step Two: Develop an estimate of the market value of your property 

 Homeowners can learn how to estimate the market value of your home, whereas other property owners may wish to contact an appraiser or other real estate professional.  Generally, if the assessor's estimate of the market value of your property reflects roughly the amount for which you could sell your property, then your assessment is fair. 


Step Three: If your assessment is too high
Often, an informal discussion between a taxpayer and an assessor can result in a sharing of information beneficial to both parties. If such a discussion does not result in a reduction in your assessment, and you still feel as though your assessment is too high, you may wish to contest your assessment.


If you are assessed fairly, but you feel that your taxes are too high~

Assessors do NOT determine your property taxes. If you feel as though your assessment accurately reflects the market value of your property, but you still feel that your property taxes are too high, you may wish to address this matter with the taxing jurisdictions that impose taxes in your community - school board, county legislature, city council, town board, fire district and other special districts.

The assessor cannot assist you with tax matters, but only with matters pertaining to the assessed value of your property.