NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Signs that read stop the reassessments are on the lawns of several houses in the Cataract City.
“We pay enough as it is a lot of money for taxes I don’t want to see it go up at all,” said Murielle Cook of Niagara Falls.
Cook is one of several residents who’s against a proposed property reassessment that could raise taxes for some people who live in Niagara Falls. She says she already pays some of the highest property taxes as a resident of Cayuga Island.
“I’m retired my husbands ready to retire so we’re all on fixed income sooner or later, it affects you for the rest of your life,” said Cook.
Several other Niagara Falls residents have the same concerns.
“We’re on a fixed income and we only got so much money I mean we ain’t eating top of the line we are just making ends meet with social security,” said John Willmott of Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster says some homes are paying more for taxes and some are paying less for taxes than they should be. He says a citywide reassessment would ensure that everyone is paying their fair share and he says it wouldn’t increase taxes for everyone.
“It could raise property taxes for roughly an estimate is a third of homes although not necessarily drastically it could be marginally, roughly about a third of homes in a reassessment usually stay the same and what some people don’t realize is roughly a third of homes in a reassessment, their property taxes go down,” said Dyster.
Dyster says City Council is still speculating what areas of the city would be see an increase. Murielle fears Cayuga Island would be one of them.
“When it comes to having to pay higher taxes we’re all suffering no matter if you’ve got the money or if you don’t have the money or you’re still working or you’re retired it hurts everyone,” said Cook.
Mayor Dyster said it could be a while before a citywide reassessment actually happens, the soonest would be 2019. He says residents will have plenty of opportunities for public input before then.