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Sticker-shock over assessments in Richmond

If you saw a jump in your property assessment in the town of Richmond, you have plenty of company. About 95 percent of property owners in the town that includes homes around Honeoye Lake saw a big change on their 2019 assessment notice — mostly way up.

Some residents took to social media to air their shock, reporting increases of 20 percent or higher. One property owner of a single-family home on seven acres, with no home improvements, couldn’t believe a 23 percent jump. Assessed last year at $160,400, the revaluation put the home at $198,000 — a hike of nearly $38,000.

“We knew it was coming,” said Richmond Town Councilman Daryl Marshall. Assessments had fallen below full market value and the town needed a revaluation, he said.

Assessments aim to be at full market value, or what a property owner could expect to sell for, given current market conditions. Town assessor Lisa Bennett said 2018 saw a big increase in property values. The town’s last revaluation was three years ago. The current assessments took into account market values for the past three years, 2016 through 2018, she said. She explained that the state sets a valuation system. She develops a model from that, which is designed specifically for properties that have sold in the town using sales figures from the Ontario County clerk’s office.

Robin Johnson is director of Ontario County Real Property Tax. “Here in Ontario County the market stays pretty strong,” she said. “Sales continue to increase in value overall.”

Johnson said all municipalities are encouraged to achieve and remain at 100 percent of full market value.

In Ontario County, several municipalities are doing revaluations this year to bring their assessments up to 100 percent, or to maintain that. The Towns of Farmington, Seneca and Victor have revals to maintain 100 percent. Towns shy of the goal that are doing revals include Bristol, from 96 percent; town of Geneva, from 98 percent; and Richmond, from 97 percent.

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