News10NBC Investigates: Reassessment of home in Wayne County goes up quarter of a million dollars

House Reassessment

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – This might be the most shocking home assessment increase News10NBC has heard about this year. The reassessment on an old country home in Wayne County went up a quarter of a million dollars.

That kind of money gets the attention of Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean.

A house in Arcadia is assessed at $69,000. but when Billie Joe Heers got her reassessment letter, she couldn’t believe it. The new assessment is $321,000.

Billie Joe Heers: “I was shocked to begin with and then I thought I’m being taxed right out of my home because there’s no way I could pay that much tax money.”

The letter estimates Heers would pay an extra $300 dollars a month in taxes.

Berkeley Brean:
“If you wanted to sell your house right now, do you think you could sell it for $321,000?”

Billie Joe Heers: “I don’t think I could but if someone wants to give me the money come on in and buy it. I’ll leave the state.”

Diane DeJohn, Heers daughter: “I was shocked. I thought she was wrong. I thought she had the numbers wrong.”

Diane DeJohn is one of Billie Joe’s daughters.

Berkeley Brean: “Have you thought what this house might be worth?”

Diane DeJohn: “Well, certainly not $321,000.”

Berkely Brean: “And that’s a sentiment we hear a lot: there’s no way I could sell my house for this assessed value. But in this instance, there might be something to that thought.”

With the help of a realtor, Berkeley Brean found a house comparable to Billie Joe’s house. Same town. Same size. And it sold recently for $210,000.  

Billie Joe Heers: “We could turn some lights on.”

Billie Joe grew up in Kentucky but raised her family in Arcadia, Wayne County and this has been her home for 40 years. Her living room is full of her paintings. The assessment was done by a firm called Gar, out of Buffalo.

After News10NBC talked to Billie Joe, we contacted Gar and got them to call her family. Gar promised to review her case and share the properties it used to calculate her assessment by the end of the day Friday.

Billie Joe Heers: I pay my share of taxes. I’m not against that. But to raise something that high is impossible for a lot of people to pay.

The Arcadia assessor said, “Part of the problem is this was the first reassessment in the town in 18 years. So, we’re seeing massive increases.”

The town of Lyons hasn’t done one since 2016. Sodus 2017. Webster goes back to 2004.

See the last time your town did a reassessment here.