CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — 83-year old Melanie Ikrygier-Lamastra, a Cheektowaga property owner, isn't holding back when it comes to voicing her frustration over the reassessment of homes in Cheektowaga.
"This is about the worst time they could do this to any resident or business owner," Ikrygier-Lamastra said of having a reassessment during a pandemic.
Ikrygier-Lamastra says she relies on her rental properties for her retirement. She says the pandemic led to two tenants moving out and a few not paying rent. The news of her taxes going up by a few hundred dollars came as a shock.
"I read it (the announcement) and I re-read it and I laughed and said this must be some kind of a joke," Ikrygier-Lamastra said.
Ikrygier-Lamastra says she had no idea the assessment was being done until she received a letter in the mail on Monday. Homeowner Pam Bouquin is in the same situation, she says the lack of notice made the 40% increase in her assessment hard to swallow.
"I think that they should have said at least this will come next year so we can gear up and pay for it," Bouquin said.
This assessment was actually supposed to happen in 2020, but the town put it on hold due to the Coronavirus. At the time, Cheektowaga Town Assessor Jill Murphy said the assessment was needed "due to the vastly changing real estate market and to ensure fair distribution of taxes for all residents."
Bouquin is challenging the assessment with the town, which can be done until March 19th. On July 1st, all assessments are finals and by September, property owners will notice the change in their taxes.
7 Eyewitness News reached out to multiple levels of the Town of Cheektowaga for an interview or for comment and none responded or were able to do so.