To assess all real property in the Town of Clarence at a uniform percentage of value, so as to ensure the fair and equitable spread of the tax burden.
Duties of The Assessor
The assessor is the official who estimates the value of real property within the Town's boundaries. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of real property tax bills.
The assessor maintains the assessment roll - the document that contains every property's assessment. To do this, the physical description, or inventory, and value estimate of every parcel of real estate in the municipality is kept up-to-date. The property inventory is available for inspection by appointment before the filing of the tentative assessment roll.
The assessment roll shows assessments and appropriate exemptions. Every year the roll, with preliminary, or tentative, assessments, is made available for public inspection. After the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has acted on assessment complaints and ordered any changes, the tentative roll is made final.
What Kind of Property is Assessed?
All real property, commonly known as real estate, is assessed. Real property is defined as land and any permanent structures attached to it. Some examples of real property are houses, gas stations, office buildings, vacant land, shopping centers, apartment buildings, and restaurants.
How is Real Property Assessed?
Before assessing any parcel of property, the assessor estimates its market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for, in an open market, under normal conditions. To estimate market values, the assessor must be familiar with all aspects of the local real estate market.
A property's value can be estimated in three different ways:
- Market approach
The property is compared to others similar to it that have sold recently, using only sales where the buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure.
- Cost approach
Calculate what the property would cost, using today's labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. This method is used to value special purpose and utility properties.
- Income approach
Analyze how much income a property, like an apartment building, a store, or a factory, will produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, financing terms, and how much money owners expect to make on this type of property are considered.
Once the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated. New York State law provides that all property within a municipality be assessed at a uniform percentage of market value. Everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes as long as every property in a locality is assessed at the same percentage of value.