County proceeds with assessment review

NORWICH – The Chenango County Finance Committee unanimously approved a draft study of its current assessment administration system on Thursday, a move that makes way for a second round of state funding.

The study makes no recommendations, but found technological inefficiencies, both at the local and county level; inconsistencies with data collection in some parts of the county; a lack of information available to the public; and a loss of potential state aid.

Lawmakers last year, though reluctantly, applied for and accepted $50,000 from the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness to help streamline property tax assessment and collection procedures. The grant was used to form a special committee, led by Town of Coventry Supervisor Janice O’Shea, and to hire a consultant. After several months of meetings, the committee presented its findings last week.

The report represented “incremental steps to having the same assessment levels in the county,” said O’Shea, and “to improve what we currently have.”

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