Reassessing Assessment

Posted on 17 October 2008

While we are supportive of a proposal to take board of assessment duties for village taxes out of the hands of the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees and into the hands of Southampton Town, our one concern is ensuring residents still have the opportunity to grieve without a more arduous experience.

We believe it makes perfect sense to streamline the grievance process by making this adjustment. The village already contracts with the town to perform assessments, and virtually most decisions that come out of a grievance of one’s village’s taxes is made on the town level. Should the board of assessment be handled by the town, residents in Sag Harbor who live on the Southampton side of the village will only be subject to one Grievance Day for both their village and town taxes, which we believe inherently will save time, energy and money for Sag Harbor taxpayers.

We believe the town wants to make this an easier, less painful process for the public. This is why, especially in light of this recent proposal, we would encourage the town to consider establishing a second Grievance Day location east of the Shinnecock Canal, so village residents from Sag Harbor, North Haven, Southampton and Sagaponack can grieve without having to travel an inordinate distance to stand in line for hours to share their concerns.

That simple change could go a long way towards making reassessment, as confusing a subject as it can be, easier on everyone on both sides of the canal. 

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