The state determined level we assess property at is called the equalization rate. Assessments are based on current market value as of the last town-wide evaluation. Durham's latest revaluation was in 2003; therefore we use 100% of 2003 values for our assessments. As the market value changes, so does the level at which we assess property. 100% of 2003 value is 68.00% of 2012 value. New York State determines the level of our assessments by comparing sales prices to assessed values. This is required by law so that the split of school and county budgets results in a fair division. These budgets are split according to the value of the property within them.
Any homeowner who is a primary resident of Durham is entitled to a STAR exemption which is applied to school taxes only. Other exemptions may be applied to County and/or Town taxes.
The deadline for filing exemption forms is March 1st 2013.
The taxable status date occurs each year on March 1st. Your property is assessed for the year to come as it was on that date. Any changes made after March 1 will be captured in the assessment for the next March 1st. If your home or an improvement to your home is only partially complete as of March 1st, the assessment should reflect the property's market value as of that date. The completion of your home or improvement will be included in the next assessment role. If your home is assessed at a percentage of full value, the percentage should be listed on the Change of Assessment Notice you will receive in early May. Questions about the calculation of the percentage of completion can be answered by the Assessor.
Assessment challenges or residential reviews can be discussed with the Assessor throughout the month of May. If after an informal meeting, an agreement cannot be reached with the Assessor, you may file a formal review with the Board of Assessment Review.
Generally the Town of Durham "Grievance Day" to meet with the Board of Assessment Review is the 1st Thursday after the 4th Tuesday in May. The form for challenging your assessment can be obtained at any Assessor's office, the Greene County Real Property Tax Services Office or online at www.orps.state.ny.us. You may also contact or visit the Town of Durham Assessor's Office for the booklet "A Taxpayer's Guide: How to File for a Review of Your Assessment" and for assistance in completing the form and putting together your challenge. Once Grievance Day has passed for a particular year, there are no other legal opportunities for changing an assessment and it become final for that year.