State comptroller faults Moravia assessor for some property tax exemptions

An audit by the state comptroller's office that reviewed property tax exemptions of 85 properties in the town of Moravia found a number of key failings by the town's assessor.

The report reviewed 85 agricultural, nonprofit, senior citizen, veteran and other exemptions granted by the town assessor. Under an agreement with Cayuga County, an employee of the County Office of Real Property Tax Services serves as assessor for Moravia.

According to the report, the assessor failed to ensure that 80 percent of the reviewed exemptions contained required applications, renewal forms or supporting documentation to verify eligibility for the exemptions.

Additionally, the assessor did not correctly calculate the granted exemptions, and did not report the transfer of four properties with agricultural exemptions to the county or require new owners to submit applications for exemption.

Of the $12.9 million in exemptions represented by the 306 total exemptions in the town, the comptroller's office found issues with 68 exemptions worth $6.9 million.

To address the issues, the comptroller's office recommended the assessor ensure applicants provide adequate documentation, ensure previous exemptions are accurately calculated and eligible, and report the four exemptions.

The Auburn Citizen:
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