Assessor's Office FAQ

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.

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  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.


Town Clerk FAQ

A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a license must be signed by both applicants in the presence of the town or city clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the applicants. This applies even if the representative has been given a Power of Attorney. Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by the applicants cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.

Yes. Although the marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the license was issued. When both applicants are 16 years of age or older, the 24-hour waiting period may be waived by an order of a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the County Court of the county in which either of the applicants resides. If either person is under 16 years of age, the order must be from the Family Court judge of the county in which the person under 16 years of age resides.

A marriage license is valid for 60 calendar days, beginning the day after it is issued.

If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $40. This fee includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration. This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 calendar days after the completed license is returned by the officiant (person who performs the marriage ceremony). It serves as notice that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license.

You obtain a dog license at the Town Clerk’s office for the town in which you are a resident.

Dog licenses are good for one year and expire on the last day of the last month for which it is issued.

Dog licenses are not transferable.  If the dog is given to a new owner then that owner must immediately license the dog in their name and receive a new tag.

Your dog must have proof of current rabies vaccination.  If the vaccination expires the same month as the license renews you will need to get a new rabies vaccination before the Town Clerk can renew the license.

If your dog is spayed or neutered the fee to license your dog is $10.00.  If your dog is not spayed or neutered the fee is $18.00.

If your dog should lose its license tag you will need to notify the Town Clerk and purchase a new tag for $5.00.

If you are 65 years or older you can license your spayed or neutered dog for $5.00 and if your dog is not spayed or neutered you can license it for $13.00.


Town Court FAQ

You are given an appearance date at the time the ticket is issued and you are required to enter a plea by that date. If you do not return the ticket and you fail to appear before the Court, your driver's license will be suspended. 

When you are assessed a fine or surcharge, the Court will direct you to make payment in full by a specific date. The Court accepts partial payments only upon request and approval by the Judge. If you pay by mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of your receipt. If you do not pay your fines, your driver's license will be suspended. 

Contact the Court immediately. Only the Court may grant adjournments. You are expected to find an alternative method to Court should you encounter any last minute problems such as your car not starting. 

Only the Court Clerk may answer questions or take payments. If the Court Clerk is unavailable, you MUST attempt to contact the Court Clerk again. No other Town Employees can assist you in person or by telephone. The office is normally open but it is occasionally necessary to close or be closed without advanced notice. 

NO, You must appear in person or notify the Court by mail. 


Dog Control FAQ

All dogs in New York State must be licensed once they reach the age of 4 (four) months. 

Licenses are issued by the Town Clerk’s office where you reside and renew annually. 

You will need a current certificate of rabies vaccination (the clerk is required to see the form) and proof of spaying or neutering.

The fee for an unspayed/neutered dog is $18.00 and for a spayed/neutered dog is $10.00.

If you are 65 years of age you may deduct $5.00 from the appropriate dog license fee. 

The Town of Durham does not issue purebred dog licenses.

Yes the law requires that your dog wear the tag.  The purpose of the tag is to assist in locating the dog’s owner should you and your dog become separated. 

Contact the Town Clerk for a replacement tag. You will be required pay $5.00 for the tag.

NYS defines the “owner” of a dog as any person who keeps or harbors (provides food or shelter to) any dog.  Should you encounter a stray dog, contact the Dog Control Officer at 518-947-0963 or the Town Clerk at 518-239-6122 ext. 1 to arrange pick up or you will be held responsible for the animal.

If a dog bites you or if your dog bites any person, you are required to report the incident to the Greene County Public Health 518-719-3600 and or the Dog Control Officer at 518-947-0963.  The biting dog must be quarantined for 10 (ten) days at the owners expense.

NYS Law defines a “dangerous dog” as any dog that: 1) without justification attacks a person and causes physical injury or death, or 2) poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of harm to one or more persons, or 3) without justification attacks a service dog, guide dog, or hearing dog and causes physical injury or death.

You must contact the Dog Control Officer 518-965-3828 or the NYS police 518-622-8600.  The law provides that any person may make a complaint to the Dog Control Officer of a dog attack upon a person or of a dog attacking, chasing or worrying a domestic animal.  Upon receiving such a complaint, the law requires the that Dog Control Officer immediately inform the complainant of his/her right to commence a dangerous dog proceeding and, if there is a reason to believe the dog is a dangerous dog, the Dog Control Officer is required to commence such a proceeding. 

A rabid animal may exhibit unusual aggressiveness or tameness, excessive drooling, "foaming at the mouth", and dragging the hind legs, mobility problems.

You should contact Greene County Public Health at 518-719-3600.

Yes, through an open wound or by chewing on the carcass. Have your vet administer a booster shot within five days. If your pet is unvaccinated, it must be confined for four months, or euthanized. You're not always going to know what your pet has been up to while outside, so the best protection for both your pet and your family is for you to keep your pet current with its rabies shots.

NYS Ag & Markets Law ~ Article 26: 353-b requires any person who owns or has custody or control for a dog that is left outside to provided it with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition, and the climate.  Violations of this law are subject to penalties including fines and forfeiture of the animal.  Minimum require ments for appropriate shelter are as follows:

  • Provisions must be made to provide shade from direct sunlight.
  • If left outside during inclement weather a housing facility must have a waterproof roof, be structurally sound with insulation appropriate and sufficient to protect from inclement weather
  • Allow for each dog adequate freedom of movement, to stand up, turn around, and lie down with limbs outstretched
  • Allow for effective removal of excretions, other waste material, dirt and trash.
  • The housing facility and area immediately surrounding it must be cleaned regularly.