Mayor denies reassessment delay; Councilmember urges neighbors to speak out at upcoming city council meeting

Mayor denies reassessment delay; Councilmember urges neighbors to speak out at upcoming city council meeting

Updates on local, state and national News are detailed by the News10NBC Morning Team, along with traffic, sports and the weather forecast.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Many people living in the city were shocked when they read their new property assessments.

“I was like wait a minute is this fair. Is this right? How can it jump $61,000 in one year,” Harolda Wilcox said.

The citywide assessment process is something Rochester City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot says many residents had a challenge understanding and believes the city could’ve done a better job at being transparent.

“It’s organized chaos. People really truly don’t understand what’s happening with this assessment,” he said.

Members of City Council are calling on the mayor to halt the city’s reassessment plans. We’ve heard from many frustrated homeowners who say they are seeing increases of 85%, 100% even 200% in their property assessments.

Which is what prompted four councilmembers to fire off a letter to Mayor Malik Evans.

News10NBC received a ton of calls and emails from viewers who want answers as to why their home reassessment skyrocketed.

That’s one reason councilmember Lightfoot says he called on the mayor to delay the assessment process, to help find a solution. However, the Mayor says it’s not a sound approach and would come with consequences.

Wilcox is a homeowner in Rochester and says her reassessment has more than doubled from $40,000 to $101,000. Her higher property value will increase her property taxes.

“An extra $481 for taxes a year and more than likely it’s going to go up next year. My concern is that how is the city going to address those individuals that are on fixed incomes. Thank God I work but still everything is going up,” she said.

Groceries, rent, childcare, everything is going up but people’s paychecks.

Lightfoot wrote a letter urging the mayor for assessments to be delayed for two years. He believes the pause will allow time for the real estate market and soaring interest rates to settle.

“We’re already living in very strapped times. We have the two poorest zip codes in the state of New York. We have poverty, housing insecurities, people are tapped out,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor responded to Councilmember Lightfoot’s letter and said a delay would put him in a position of ignoring current market values, which would actually negatively impact homeowners who would otherwise receive a tax decrease and could shift the tax burden to homeowners.

“Make it make sense. We deserve the whole picture. Pause and show us the transparency all of the facts,” Lightfoot said.

Wilcox believes a halt on the assessments would give the city an opportunity to educate residents on how they arrived at their property valuation. She was disappointed to hear the city rejected the assessment delay.

“It’s sad, that’s really sad,” Wilcox said.

Lightfoot is urging anyone living in the city who wants a pause on the city assessment to call 585- 428-7538 and sign up to speak to the city council before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday February 15.

It will be a chance to have your voice heard.