Village sues towns

CANAJOHARIE – The village has filed suit against the assessor and Board of Assessment Review in the town of Palatine, seeking to lower the assessment on several sections of the village’s watershed and filtration systems.

According to village Mayor Francis Avery, the village is also suing the assessor and Board of Assessment Review in the town of Ephratah.

In papers filed in Fulton and Montgomery counties at the end of July, the village is asking the state to review the two assessments and lower them.

Avery said the town of Johnstown agreed to lower the assessment on sites in the town by $28,000. He said the other two towns did not lower theirs.

He said the village currently pays about $300,000 in property taxes on the parcels among the three towns. Avery said the village is seeking a significant reduction from the two towns.

The filing states that the village water system currently serves 850 residential customers, some small businesses, the Canajoharie Central School and Richardson Brands Corporation on Erie Boulevard.

The filing says that before Beech-Nut left, the water system was seeing between 0.8 million gallons per day to 1.8 million gallons per day. In the past 12 months, however, water usage has been approximately 0.2 million gallons per day.

“Therefore, only 15.5 percent of the system’s historic demands is currently being utilized,” the complaint states.

The petition states that the lower usage rate should mean a lower total taxable value.

Avery said when Beech-Nut left, the village lost thousands of dollars in tax revenue that then shifted to the village’s taxpayers. He said the village is simply following the same process a homeowner would undergo if they were seeking a reduction.

“It’s a straightforward grievance,” Avery said. “We feel we are overassessed.”

Avery said the village is not seeking any additional funds or refunds in this process, and is simply seeking a reduction.

“We’re just looking for some relief,” Avery said.