Grievance Day delayed

GUILDERLAND — In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promised permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

As with the rest of life in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, even New York’s dates for assessors to have their rolls prepared has been changed. Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order extending deadlines up to 30 days.

“Karen does not need a full 30 days,” Guilderland Supervisor Peter Barber said of the town’s assessor, Karen Van Wagenen.

He told the town board at its April 21 meeting that Van Wagenen and her staff had been working evenings and weekends to complete their work on the regular schedule before Cuomo’s directive was issued.

Hence, by unanimous vote, the town board set these dates:

— The tentative roll will be completed by May 15, instead of the usual May 1;

— Grievance Day, when property owners can contest their assessments, will be held on June 18 instead of the usual fourth Tuesday in May, which would have been May 18 this year.

Grievances in Guilderland will also be heard on June 19, which is to serve as a “backup” in case not everyone can be heard on June 18; and

— Final assessment rolls will be completed on July 20 instead of the usual July 1.

Van Wagenen wants property owners to file grievances if they believe their assessment is in error, Barber said. Last year, Guilderland went through a town-wide revaluation so properties should now be at full-market value.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer


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