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Responsibilities of the Assessor's Office The Assessor's Office is responsible for assessing all town property and administering property tax exemptions. Assessment rolls are open for public inspection during weekday working hours.
All property in the Town of Bethlehem is to be assessed at an equitable and uniform value in order to maintain fair, equitable, and uniform property values that accurately reflect changes in economic conditions and real estate values.
Assessors are interested only in fairly assessing property in their assessing unit. If, after reviewing the assessment data of comparable properties in your market area, your assessment appears to be in line but your tax bill seems too high, the assessor cannot change that. Complaints to the assessor or the Board of Assessment Review must be about how the property is assessed. Complaints about high taxes should be addressed directly to the taxing jurisdictions, such as the school district board, the county legislature, or the town board, who set the tax rates. The assessor does not set budgets or the tax rates resulting from the budgets.
In comparing properties to yours, it is important to remember that attributes such as location, style, age, and size are critical to the comparison process. You should review assessments of truly similar homes in the same general market area and make your adjustments to the assessments of those homes to arrive at an indicated value for your home. If you are utilizing a comparable property’s assessed value per square foot of living area (SFLA), after subtracting the land value first, to make a case for over assessment, be sure to use those derived from similar homes in similar market areas and of very similar SFLA. Otherwise, your results will be skewed and will not prove your case.
Information Provided You can contact the Assessor's Office for information on:
Assessment / property inventory data - this information is available throughout the year for assessment comparison review purposes.
Tax exemption eligibility.
Tax maps - the maps and indices make it possible to locate a property, learn its size, and identify its owners. Maps and indices are available for use at the Assessor's Office and at the Bethlehem Public Library.
Board of Assessment Review - each year on Tax Grievance Day, the Board convenes to receive and act on resident appeals of tentative tax assessments.
Tax Grievance Day - held to allow people the opportunity to present oral testimony in support of previous written documentation submitted to appeal a tax assessment. Tax Grievance Day is held on the fourth Tuesday of May.