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Scriba taxes will rise after assessment dispute

401(K) 2012

Every year, local leaders assess the value of a municipality's property. The goal is to assess them at fair market value so all property owners are paying their share of county and school district taxes.

New York state has upheld Scriba's assessment every year since 2002. But this year, the state said the Oswego County town was undervaluing its worth, giving it a rating of 86 percent on a 100 scale. As a result, Scriba town attorney Kevin Caraccioli estimates that a house worth $100,000 will pay about $300 more in school taxes this year.

"What essentially the state has said is that the town of Scriba now will pay roughly 14 percent more of that share of the kind of community tax if you will versus folks in the city of Oswego or the town of New Haven," Caraccioli said. "Homeowner's taxes will likely go up measurably."

Caraccioli says the assessment dispute is largely a consequence of the recent tax agreement the town struck with the Nine Mile Point and Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plants.

"In the year after we put all three nuclear power plants into a PILOT agreement, the state turned around and removed the value of those nuclear plants from the overall value of property in the town of Scriba and when they did that, they determined that some of properties were undervalued," he said. 

The town appealed the New York State Office of Real Property Taxes Services' decision, claiming their models were flawed. But it was denied. 

Relief may be on the way for Scriba residents. The town is currently undergoing a new revaluation of its properties for next year so it can avoid another spike in taxes.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.