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A Message from the President
Lawrence G. Quinn, IAOLawrence G. Quinn, IAO
President, New York State Assessors' Association
2007 - 2008






Much has been made, in recent months, over the advantages of county-wide assessment. There are a few individuals that believe assessments are a contributing factor, if not the primary cause, of run-away property taxes. There is a belief, among these few, that consolidation of the assessment function at the county level will somehow tame the "savage beast."

The reality is that the assessor’s office usually constitutes one of the smallest portions of the local budget. The reality is that assessments are a reflection of the market place, something the assessor doesn’t control. The reality is that increases in taxes are a result of increases in the tax levy. The reality is much of the local tax burden can be traced back to unfunded state mandates. The reality is not too many people understand the assessment process, nor do they have an appreciation of the benefits of leaving the assessment process at the town/city/village level.

To that end, your Association has endeavored to educate both the government and the public it serves on the importance of these issues. Recently, the New York State Assessors’ Association has undertaken a comprehensive review and major updating of our prized publication, "Understanding Assessments and Property Taxes." Many of you know this as the "Blue Book." Andy Jackson, FIAO, assisted by Bryan Monaghan, IAO, and Andrea Nilon, IAO, are to be commended for their extraordinary efforts. This revision was over a year in the making, but the timing of its release could not have come at a better time.

At the same time that this updating was underway, the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) and the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness released a publication espousing the advantages of county-wide assessment. It is truly regrettable that the Commission saw fit to release such a one-sided publication even before they sat down to do what they were charged to do – study and then recommend. With this in mind, and in an effort to present a counterpoint, the New York State Assessors’ Association is proud to present, for public dissemination, the "Advantages of Local Assessing."

Everyone, member and non-member alike, is STRONGLY encouraged to print these two publications and give it to as many people as possible: town and city councilors, village trustees, state representatives, the media and, most importantly, the public we all serve. Together, we can make a difference.