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With property values rising, City prepares for annual assessments

By Press Release

Press release:

City Assessor, Rhonda Saulsbury, announces beginning April 1, 2022, Change of Assessment Notices will be mailed to property owners within the City.  Instructions will be included with each notice indicating the procedure for requesting an informal review, how to obtain forms and where to get information.  Ms. Saulsbury reminds property owners to review the full market value estimate found on the Change of Assessment Notification. If you do not agree with this estimate AND can offer proof for a change, you can follow the process of filing a challenge.  Informal reviews will be held in April.  Appointments are required. 

Information regarding property assessments, inventory data and sale information will be available beginning April 1st online at:

Please call 1-866-910-1776 to inquire about the valuation process or Informal Review process.

The City of Batavia strives to maintain a 100% equalization rate (sale price to assessment ratio) which means that we keep our assessments at 100% full market value across all property types. To accomplish this we do yearly re-valuation and make adjustments accordingly during the assessment update project. Values can adjust due to physical changes and/or market changes. 

As part of this process, we run each property through our appraisal software system, comparing the building style, square footage, year built, bedrooms, baths, lot size, et cetera, against the recent sale data. We then do a field review to determine the fair full market value based on the aforementioned data.

Although we review each neighborhood within the City yearly, we only update values in those that have experienced an increase in market values. For 2022, we will send out just over 4,400 change-of-assessment notices throughout the City.

As high sale values have continued to climb upwards of 9 - 22% +/- above assessments, we must adjust assessed values in accordance with NYS Real Property Tax Law guidelines, sometimes in consecutive cycles.

If a property owner feels that they could not sell their property for the new assessed/market value, they can request an informal review of their assessment. The Informal Review Application form can be found at the links below, or at the City Clerk’s Office, (Formal Grievance Day is held May 26th from 2:30-4:30 PM and 6:00-8:00 PM). The procedures to request the review are included with the change-of-assessment-notices. As at any time, we practice an open-door policy to anyone with a question or concern.

To access the above-mentioned information online, go to: and look for the RED links. Please keep in mind that only the new preliminary assessed values for comparable properties can be used in comparison to the reviewed property’s new preliminary value.

To submit the Informal Review Application, email it to: or bring it in to the City Clerk’s Office and we’ll email it for you by April 22nd. There is a week processing time prior to May 1st needed.

If a property owner does not have access to a computer, printer or scanner, all relevant forms can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30.

If you wish to challenge your new assessed value after the April 22 informal timeframe has concluded, you can submit a formal Grievance any time up until the start of Grievance Day, May 26th at the City Clerk’s Office, or you can attend Grievance Day on May 26th from 2:30-4:30 PM & 6:00-8:00 PM.  Grievance Day is held in Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall, located at One Batavia City Centre.

The Grievance form, sale & inventory data, and the Citywide new assessments to assist you in comparing property values, can be found in the City Clerk’s Office, at the library, and on the City of Batavia’s website:  (Departments/Assessment) as well as

tom hunt

We had a major re-assessment City wide last year. Some home owners saw huge increases in the assessed value of their property. The turn out on grievance day was huge. Ipersonality I fought tooth and nail after wading through the puzzle palace of paper work and conflicting procedures. I don't believe this should be an annual blanket review. This is just a sneaky way of increasing the tax base without increasing the rate per thousand.

Mar 30, 2022, 9:02am Permalink
C. M. Barons

Get rid of real property (based) tax. Use the IT-201 like downstate does. Just the savings on the obsoleted bureaucracy would be worth it.

Apr 4, 2022, 5:08pm Permalink
tom hunt

The annual bad news arrived in the mail today. This is becoming an annual ritual of Spring. Just like the melting of the last of winter's snow and the return of the robins. I am getting tired of fighting the City hall bureaucracy. I am a long time resident of this city and living on a fix income. my income has not been raising as fast as my home assessment!

Apr 4, 2022, 6:47pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

It's unfortunate that the system isn't designed to understand that just because housing prices go up, it doesn't mean that income is going up for people who have owned their homes for years. We've got to then make a bigger payment out of the same pot of money we've long had, and with inflation, arguable less money.

Apr 4, 2022, 11:20pm Permalink
Frank Bartholomew

I for one will not stay here, 0ver 30K in raised assessments in 3 years, I can't afford to live here, and I won't. You can't sell for assessed value because ppl know this is just another side step to say they haven't raised taxes, when in fact, they have. They have me at 121K, my house wouldn't generate 75k .The grievance procedure makes it almost impossible to fight so I won't bother. I'll sell my house to the highest bidder and let all the neighbors know that I was assessed about 50K more than the property sold for. This way all the neighbors will have a legitimate gripe next time, and hopefully the city loses money trying to rob people. Typical America, tax breaks for corporate America, and a large box of screws for the taxpayers. If they shut down all these freebies and let everyone pay their fair share, I'd be willing to bet they wouldn't have to rob the taxpayers every other year. This is so backwards .They feed the rich and we pay for it. They handing out our money to multi million dollar companies and then have the gall to steal even more from those who have gone broke trying to live here. Lowes, 2 yogurt plants, all gone when the tax breaks came to an end. Invest in people, corporate America steals enough of our money.

Apr 5, 2022, 6:55am Permalink
John Roach

And yet people take no part in their local government, never attend meetings and most are too lazy to even vote. The excuse is always it does not make a difference. They don't even try.

Apr 5, 2022, 6:37am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Frank, so sell your house and move -- to where? A place with lower taxes? Great, but you'll still pay more for housing because almost everywhere else in the country, especially where taxes are lower, have higher housing prices. You won't come out ahead on a monthly cash flow basis.

That's part of the frustration.

As for this:

"yogurt plants, all gone when the tax breaks came to an end."

I don't remember about Lowes but I know for a fact this isn't true about the yogurt plants. Pepsi-Muller left hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table in incentives they never realized when the plant closed and both companies lost at least $60 million each on the project. Meanwhile, HP Hood eventually moved in and has been very successful. As far as Alpina, there were still PILOTs on the building when they sold it at full market value to Upstate, which now operates it. These two projects have been great investments for the community.

Apr 5, 2022, 11:11am Permalink
Frank Bartholomew

My concern isn't so much about the money they did or didn't pay, but instead about the people who lost those promised jobs. Did they take on a car payment, or maybe a mortgage because they thought they found a job with a future? This money grab for promised jobs needs to stop. Right now we have more jobs than people to fill them, so the promise of a few jobs is a moot point. It isn't just me, drive around and count the for sale signs in the front yards around Batavia. Someday, the people will come first. To answer your question John, I don't think anyone who isn't planning on staying here would want or care to get involved with a lost cause, at least from their perspective. How many people stay here after retirement? I will never agree with giving multi million dollar business tax breaks while raping the taxpayers with inflated assessments to cover the difference.

Apr 5, 2022, 9:18pm Permalink
John Roach

If after years of not bothering to get involved, you are happy to let others tell you what to do, then you get what you deserve. True, the higher up government gets, the less you can do. But here, at the local level (town, village, City) you can. If you make the conscious decision to forfeit your say, then live with it. But, since you are not staying here, where have you decided to go by now?

Apr 6, 2022, 6:00am Permalink
Frank Bartholomew

John, are you talking to me, or the thousands of others who don't get involved. So if I got involved, would that lower my assessment? My plans and where I decide to go hasn't been fully decided yet, when my research is done and I'm about to make my move, and think it is any of your concern Mr. Roach, I'll give you a holler. Look at how the deer committee made out John, they got underhanded by council. I like how you chose not to discuss the exodus of retirees out of Batavia, or the for sale signs popping up like flowers in the spring. Apparently those people gave up too. I vote John, I answer my jury duty summons, pay excessive taxes.
Those are pretty much where my civic duties end. When they started with Beertavia, and Wine walks, I knew I was in the wrong place. Batavia is promoting one of the most deadly drugs to ever be legalized. Our hospital is ok for cuts and bruises, but if you are seriously ill, you better head to Buffalo or Rochester, that's where you will end up anyway. Might as well save the co pay for the ambulance ride, and when they really screw up, you may need a $34,000.00 helicopter ride to save your life. I am getting involved John, I'm exposing a bunch of crooks to my fellow citizens. But then again, one mans involvement is another mans flatulence. I guess I never learned how to blow smoke southward while heading north.

Apr 7, 2022, 6:43am Permalink
John Roach

Frank, you and the others. There are 8,648 registered voters in the City of Batavia and very few get involved. And while being involved would not lower your assessment (the Council members had their assessment go up also), you could have a say in what your money is spent on. The deer committee got everything they wanted except being in control. As for the hospital, you know very well the City and County don't run il, so moving closer to another might be an option for you or others. As for retirees, many I know have left, but it not because Batavia was bad, but New York and its high taxes (and for some, the weather). Since you have declared you will not stay, but will do your research, I hope you will share what you think is the best place to go. The people I know have mostly picked Tennessee, North Carolina or Texas.

Apr 7, 2022, 9:57am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Frank wrote, "for sale signs popping up like flowers in the spring."

There are currently only 12 homes listed for sale in Batavia.

Assessments are going up because housing prices are going up. Housing prices are going up because there is more demand than there is supply. Houses sell almost immediately after being listed because there is so little supply. The facts just don't support your assertion, Frank.

Genesee County has a significant housing shortage.

Over the past 10 months, I've had a lot of dealings with UMMC and RRH.

I have zero complaints about UMMC. It's a very good rural hospital based on my experience. Did everything go perfectly? Of course not. Because there are people involved and anywhere people are involved things will be less than perfect. That part of the human condition. But UMMC offers great services for a rural hospital. If you expect a rural hospital to offer the same services as a metropolitan hospital then I respectfully suggest you have a weak understanding of economics. RRH has some world-class facilities. A small hospital like UMMC could never afford what RRH has to offer. It's unrealistic to expect it to have the kind of critical care resources that a metropolitan hospital can offer. And, btw, RRH isn't perfect there. People made mistakes there, too.

Some people think the grass is always greener -- in all my moves and changes in my life, I've learned, you know, it's not. It's never greener. It's always the same color, just different things to complain about.

Apr 7, 2022, 5:10pm Permalink
Frank Bartholomew

Howard, your last paragraph may be true for you, I mean no matter what, you are still you no matter where you are, not sure why anyone would expect different.
Believe me Howard, I would like nothing more than to finish my journey in the place I was born, but the rent is too damn high. I get it that houses are selling, but that also means someone else left. Breaking even probably isn't the intent nor the desire of the city. I believe the last 2 census proved the population is decreasing not increasing. Maybe smaller families are buying all these houses?

Apr 9, 2022, 10:55pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

" that also means someone else left."

Not necessarily. The house next to me is for sale because the owner died.

People get divorced and sell.

They get a promotion at work and buy a bigger home.

They are ready to retire and want to downsize (which doesn't necessarily mean moving to Florida, etc.).

Houses come on the market for all kinds of reasons.

Apr 10, 2022, 2:20pm Permalink
John Roach

Most of the homes on my street in the past 2 years have been due to the owners passing away or moving into places like Clinton Crossing or the senior apartments as they downsize.

Apr 10, 2022, 3:10pm Permalink
Bob Price

Gee, I wish my assessment only went up $30k. They jacked me up $58,500 in the good ol' Town of Stafford. I love how they put " a change in your property's assessment does not necessarily indicate that your taxes will change",,, Huh??? You're taxed at lets say $20 per $1000 of assessed value. On home assessed for $150k, that's $3k in taxes . They raise your assessment to $200k, that's $4k in taxes( just giving sample rate per $1k, school rates are mostly more than $20,towns villages and cities are under the $20 rate. Total bs money grab for all these towns/cities/villages. Tax tax tax, right out of your home. I sure as hell hope they decrease your assessment when this housing market eventually crashes, but we all know the government swindlers won't....

Apr 10, 2022, 11:42pm Permalink
Frank Bartholomew

Careful Bob, you'll upset the natives. The census went down, what does that tell you Howard, or John? Every excuse you covered doesn't change facts. They just "adjusted" the assessments in Batavia a year ago or so. Bob Price, you're spot on, everyone will be stuck with an upside - down mortgage and many will walk away like last time.

Apr 11, 2022, 6:22pm Permalink

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