Caroga revaluation to be complete by Jan.

CAROGA – A townwide revaluation will be finished in early 2015, according to officials.

Sole Assessor Dorothy Parker said Tuesday the revaluation is still coming along. The process, which began in October, is expected to be completed by the end of January, Parker said.

Parker said her team is taking photos and accumulating information on homes, businesses and other properties in the town. Once complete, Parker said she will apply the information to the value figures provided to her.

The town has roughly 2,900 properties.

“We are at 47.5 percent [equalization rate], and we are going to go to 100 percent, so it is going to go up,” Parker said.

No difficulties have been reported, but Parker said there was a delay in acquiring data collectors. Originally, town Supervisor Ralph Ottuso expected the revaluation to be complete by this month.

Parker said real estate sales in the town have been low, so she plans on taking that into consideration during the revaluation.

Equalization rates are established annually by the state Board of Real Property Services subsequent to on-site field appraisals and surveys of local properties.

According to the state Department of Taxation and Finance, an equalization rate is the state’s measure of a municipality’s level of assessment. An equalization rate of less than 100 percent indicates overall property in the town is assessed less than market value. For example, an equalization rate of 43 percent means overall property in a municipality is assessed at 43 percent of market value.

According to the department, “in order to distribute school district or county taxes among multiple municipalities, the level of assessment of each municipality must be equalized to full market value. Once the full market value of each municipality is determined, the school district or county can determine how much in taxes should be collected from each municipality.”

Equalization rates also affect the establishment of tax and debt limits for municipalities.