Residents should ignore letters from BRT that were sent out in error

The Board of Re­vi­sion of Taxes has sent out a couple of thou­sand let­ters to prop­erty own­ers who are ap­peal­ing their new as­sess­ments, ad­vising them their 2014 taxes will ac­tu­ally be lower than they are this year. Giv­en that fact, the BRT asks the let­ter’s re­cip­i­ents if they would con­sider with­draw­ing their as­sess­ment ap­peals.

Fig­ures ac­com­pany the let­ter, show­ing an own­er what he or she paid this year and how much he or she will pay in 2014. Trouble is, some of the people who got this let­ter ac­tu­ally will see tax in­creases next year, not de­creases. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing num­bers show that. Those let­ters were sent in er­ror, Carla Pa­gan, BRT’s ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or, told the North­east Times on Monday. Any­one who re­ceives a let­ter that says taxes will be go­ing down, but has num­bers that show they’re really go­ing up, should ig­nore that let­ter, Pa­gan stated in an email to the pa­per.

The pur­pose of the mail­ing to about 2,000 tax­pay­ers was to en­cour­age any­one whose taxes are head­ing down next year to with­draw his or her BRT ap­peal.

The city­wide re­valu­ation of prop­er­ties called the Ac­tu­al Value Ini­ti­at­ive spurred a lot of gripes this year. The Of­fice of Prop­erty As­sess­ment, which ran the AVI pro­gram, re­ceived al­most 50,000 re­quests to re­view new as­sess­ments. Some people still are re­ceiv­ing re­sponses to their as­sess­ment re­view re­quests from that agency.

Those who didn’t like what they heard from OPA could take their ap­peal to the Board of Re­vi­sion of Taxes. Ac­cord­ing to Pa­gan, her agency re­ceived more than 22,000 as­sess­ment ap­peals.

The agency typ­ic­ally gets 1,000 to 2,000 such ap­peals, Pa­gan told City Coun­cil in the spring. On Monday, she said BRT has re­tained some tem­por­ary staff to help with the far-great­er-than-usu­al work­load. ••

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