Amherst: Don't like your home's assessment? Challenge it

Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-23 21:28:24-05
The Town of Amherst is trying to make sure everyone pays their fair share of taxes. So, it has reassessed the value of homes, but not everyone agrees with the numbers Amherst is providing. 
Earlier this week, nearly 40,000 homeowners in Amherst received a notice showing their assessed property value has changed, including Jerry Hall. 
"It says that my house has been reassessed from what it was Monday afternoon to $99,900 to $143,000," explained Hall in front of his house. 
He calculates his taxes will go up 26%.
"Our average increase for the entire town was almost 21%," said David Marrano, speaking about property values, not taxes.
Marrano is the Amherst town assessor. He says the new assessments are a must to make sure everyone is paying their fair share. 
"The law says you pay taxes based on the market value of your home," said Marrano. 
Some homeowners in Amherst, like Hall, were sticker shocked when they saw how much their assessed property value went up.
"It's really kind of disingenuous to not come to my house for 12 years and just slap me with a 43% increase," added Hall. 
Not everyone in Amherst thinks the new assessment to their home is a bad thing. 
Timothy White says his property will be worth more if he decides to sell. The assessment of his home went up $15,000. He says he will actually be paying less in town taxes.  
"With market value of homes today, I thought my reassessment was quite fair. Really fair for the market value today of the house and to me it's a plus," said White.
The bottom line from the town assessor, if you don't like your home's new number, challenge it. 
"We honor that, respect that. Take the appropriate tools that we've provided whether it be online or hard copy and do the research and challenge it," said Marrano.