County changes its mind on assessment grant

NORWICH The county Board of Supervisors narrowly passed a resolution Monday to take part in a state program next year to study reforming the current property tax assessment system locally.

The 13-10 vote came unexpectedly following a motion from the floor by Smyrna Supervisor James Bays. Previously, county lawmakers at the committee level had opted out of taking part in the program.

According to the state Office of Real Property Tax Service, the study paid for through a $50,000 grant administered by that agency should examine creating some sort of a county-wide assessment system in an effort to make assessments fair, efficient and less confusing.

This year, 41 counties will receive grants of $50,000 to study collaborative approaches to local assessing. Another 31 will receive grants of $50,000 to study and implement a countywide database for tax collection and enforcement information. Neighboring Broome, Cortland, Madison and Otsego counties were awarded portions of $3.6 million of the grant opportunities.

Chenango County was one of a handful of counties state-wide that declined taking part.

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