67, 85, 95% increases: Rochester homeowners express frustrations over city reassessment

City residents concerned about rise in assessments

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — We’ve received a ton of calls and emails from viewers who want answers — and Tuesday night, there was a community meeting held at Bethel Christian Fellowship in Rochester where people could voice their concerns with the city’s reassessment process.

Homeowners are seeing 67, 85, 95% increases in their property assessments. They came to the meeting organized by Uniting and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County. They want to know if there is a way to fight this.

Amy Hampton Paddyfoote: I was caught off guard.

Alex White: This is terrible.

Lisa Barr: This isn’t good.

Homeowners want to understand why their property assessment has skyrocketed. Lisa Barr lives in the 19th ward with her sister, with whom who she was at Tuesday night’s meeting. When her sister received her reappraisal in the mail, they were left scratching their heads.

“It was just kind of shocking because when you look at the comparable, what they did to our property makes no sense. It jumped from 95,000 to like 195,000,” Barr said.

She wasn’t the only one. Other homeowners say it make no sense to them either.

Michael Zazzara, the Rochester city assessor, says assessments are based on market value. It’s also based on sales within the neighborhoods.

Alex White owns a home and a business property in Rochester. He explained his home assessment increased by 28% and his business property 30%.
“It’s gone sky-high, and in many cases it’s because houses are selling for that.  Although my neighbor’s house didn’t. The city, as long as they can find three similar houses that had a high value from the sale, they can claim mine is worth that too,” White said.

His other concerns are the impacts this can have .

“It leads to older fixed income people being forced out; it leads to private equity firms buying up multiple properties,” White said.

The city does a reassessment on its 64,900 properties every four years.

Amy Hampton-Paddyfoote, also a homeowner in Rochester, wanted to learn what she could do to fight her home assessment increase of 95%.

Marsha Augustin: Did you try to dispute it with the city yet?

Amy Hampton Paddyfoote: No, not yet. I was looking around to see. I’m still in that sticker shock mode to see what I can do.”

To challenge your assessment, visit this site.