The Chautauqua Property Owners Association discussed the upcoming tax assessment — joined by Town of Chautauqua Supervisor Don Emhardt — and addressed grounds safety concerns at its general meeting at last Saturday in the Hall of Philosophy.
The Town of Chautauqua will be conducting a tax assessment of private properties on Chautauqua Institution’s grounds after the 2019 summer season. The last assessment took place in 2015.
Emhardt said the assessed value of properties on the grounds are likely to rise; developed properties’ values will rise 7% to 9%, while vacant land will rise 25% to 30%. Assessments are based on square footage and market values of comparable properties.
“This is all state motivated,” Embardt said. “It’s all driven by what we’re paying for properties and the state tracks this.”
However, this is not an indicator of an increase in property taxes.
According to Chautauqua’s Chief Assessor Kevin Okerlund, the town budget is not expected to rise significantly for 2019-20 and a tax increase should not be required; rather, there is a possibility that the rise in assessed values will result in a tax-rate reduction.
In New York state, Okerlund added, roughly one-third of property owners see an increase in property tax rates, one-third remain the same and the final third see a decline in tax rates during a typical property revaluation. Additionally, New York state law caps any yearly town tax increase at 2%.
The revaluations will take place September through December; assessors will only assess the square footage of houses, not physical appearances or conditions, and they will not enter homes. Assessments will be mailed in March 2020, and disputes can be filed between March and May of the same year. Formal hearings on appeals will be held on May 26, 2020, according to Embardt.
During the second half of the meeting, attendees voiced concerns about lack of appropriate road signage at unsafe intersections; bikers riding without lights at night; Institution vehicles going too fast after 8:15 p.m. Amphitheater performances; and areas with insufficient lighting.
The next CPOA meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Aug. 10, in the Hall of Philosophy, for the organization’s annual business meeting, preceding the Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees Open Forum.