Data collection nearly done for Carlton assessments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2014 at 12:00 am

CARLTON – A consultant hired by the town to collect data on 2,400 properties is nearly done with the effort.

GAR Associates Inc. is being paid $68,000 to visit every property in the town and make note of swimming pools, additions, sheds, garages and exterior property improvements. GAR has been working on the project since March and should wrap up its work this month, Town Councilman Robin Lake said.

The firm has been working with Town Assessor Gene Massey. He will use the data from GAR for assessments on all the properties. Those assessments should be out in March.

“I think it will put everyone on an even keel,” Lake said.

The town has been working to update its assessment records so accurate and fair values can be designated for the properties. Carlton was engulfed in controversy in 2013 when new values for properties were assigned. Residents packed the Town Hall to complain about some of the big increases.

Residents also complained some properties were under-assessed. The town’s records didn’t show all the structures and improvements at some properties with low assessments, town officials said.

The Town Board chose not to re-appoint its assessor and worked out an arrangement with Kendall to share its assessor, Gene Massey.

“Gene will be very approachable,” Lake said. “If you have an issue, come on in and he’ll address it.”

The board has voted to freeze the assessments at 2012 levels, rather than allow the big increases to take effect. The board voted again to keep the 2014 data at the 2012 numbers, unless there was a building project at a property.