It was almost eerie yesterday.
There were scores of parking spaces at City Hall and the City Hall Annex. It could have been a holiday, not the third day after more than 28,000 property owners received revaluation notices.
At the Tax Assessor and Collector’s Office, no one was at the counter and clerks were busy at their desks.
For Ken Mallette, this has been the quietest revaluation thus far that he’s been through. This is the fourth revaluation for the city’s tax assessor.
He said that on Monday, Vision Government Solutions, which is conducting the statistical revaluation, received 24 calls to schedule a review hearing.
Mallette has also gotten some calls. And, as he predicted before the valuation letters went into the mail, there are those people who are upset that their property values are too low.
Overall, residential property values have slipped 9 to 10 percent since the last revaluation of Dec. 31, 2009. Individual property owners are reporting valuation declines of 15 percent and more, but, as Mallette points out, others may be seeing values unchanged or declining by 5 to 6 percent.
Mallette attributed the quiet start to the revaluation to a growing familiarization with the process and that people are “doing their homework” before picking up the phone or going online to schedule a review. He pointed out with revaluations being performed every three years; property owners have a good feel for the value of their properties.
“It means people are getting used to the numbers,” he said.
“It’s been low and slow,” Mallette said of the volume of calls.
Mallette said about 6,000 commercial valuation notices would be in the mail the first of next week. He said the same procedure for review hearings would be held with property owners capable of going online or calling to schedule a hearing. As the commercial notices are going out later than the residential notices, he said the schedule for hearings would be extended if necessary. As planned at this time, hearings would conclude on May 10.
Property owners should look at comparative properties, which they can do by going to the city’s website, as well as review data on their property for accuracy [for example, the city could have recorded a deck to a house when there isn’t one], before their hearing. If a current appraisal has been done on the property, they should bring that, too.
Hearing appointments can be scheduled by calling Vision at 888-844-4300. When calling or scheduling online, property owners will need their “PID,” or property ID number, that can be found on their valuation letters.