Allentown neighbors fear reassessment could force them out

BUFFALO, N.Y (WKBW) - Dolores Murphy has lived on Day Park in Allentown her entire life. She bought her house 50 years ago. She raised her family in it. Now, she's afraid she'll be forced to move because of taxes and the City of Buffalo’s reassessment of property values.

“Keep my fingers crossed that if I am reassessed that my taxes won't go up prohibitively,” said Murphy.

Homeowners in Allentown met at the First Presbyterian Church to hear what could happen to their taxes and what's being done to make sure they're not priced out.

“In pocketed areas of the city property taxes are going to rise by a percentage value that is much higher than anybody is used to seeing in the past,” said Jonathan White with the Allentown Association.

According to the Allentown Association, in 2011, the median home value in Allentown was $129,000. Now, the median home value has jumped to $280,000. That's an increase of 117%.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan will propose state legislation that would help homeowners whose taxes increase by 30%.

A representative from the city of Buffalo says homeowners should be patient and that if they are unhappy with their assessment they can challenge it.

Being patient is not easy for Dolores Murphy when the only home she's ever known is on the line. 

“I was hoping, after I'm gone, to leave something to my children and this would be a perfect asset to leave to them,” said Murphy.

Murphy says if her taxes increase high enough, she'll move to a retirement community.

The City of Buffalo is in the process of reassessing 95,000 properties. Homeowners will receive their reassessments in the mail.

 

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