The hot real estate market in Brighton in recent years has driven up the price of homes faster than the town has been able to readjust their assessed values.
According to New York State, the average Brighton property is assessed at 89 percent of its fair market value.
Over the past couple of weeks, homeowners have been notified of the new assessed value of their property. The overwhelming majority of the revaluations show an increase, according to town supervisor Bill Moehle, but he says that does not mean that a homeowner's taxes will go up by that percentage.
That's because the assessed valuation spreads out those increases among the approximately 11,000 homes in Brighton.
"So if your house only went up five percent in value, for example, that probably means your town taxes will go down.” Moehle said. “That's because the town tax rate, the amount of taxes we collect per thousand dollars of assessed value, will almost certainly go down next year." The current property tax rate in Brighton is 5.57 per thousand dollars of assessed value.
Homeowners who still want to challenge their new property assessment can meet informally with the town assessment staff in January or February. Moehle said as of Tuesday, about 230 homeowners had scheduled a meeting.
If a homeowner is still unsatisfied with the result of that meeting, they can file a formal grievance in May. The third and final option is what's known as a small claim to challenge the valuation.
Commercial property owners in Brighton went through a similar reassessment process earlier this year.
Any changes in property owners’ tax bills would not come until they have to pay their town school taxes in September 2018.
The town of Brighton website has more information on the tax assessment grievance process and comparable home values.