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It's Your Money: Are you paying more in Monroe County property taxes?

Posted at: 01/24/2013 4:40 PM
Updated at: 01/24/2013 5:55 PM
By: Ray Levato

Are you paying more in Monroe County property taxes? Democrats in the county legislature say yes, just check your tax bills.

But Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks says she's keeping the county tax rate flat. So News10NBC wanted to know what the whole story is when it comes to how much you have to pay.

Brooks has kept the tax rate stable at $8.99 per thousand of assessed value, but democrats say fees tacked on your bills for county services are driving your tax bill higher.
 
This has been a bone of contention between democrats and Maggie Brooks and the republicans. And democrats say their latest property tax analysis shows the bottom line, taxes and charge backs together, are up double digits for many taxpayers.

News10NBC pored over a a bunch of county tax bills Thursday and one thing became clear, peoples' taxes are going up. But why?

Monroe County Legislator Paul Haney says it's largely because of the line on the tax bill called county services to localities, what are called "charge backs" for services. That's separate from the tax line called county general services. Snowplowing county roads was added this year to the charge back for M.C.C. But it all adds to the bottom line you pay.

Paul Haney, (D) Rochester, said, “If people would really compare their 2013 tax bill with their 2007 or 2008 tax bill they'll see a significant change.”

But Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks still maintains she's holding the line on taxes. And the increase is because the assessed value of people's homes has gone up.

Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive, said, “When the democratic minority in the county legislature uses inaccurate numbers and misinformation to advance a political point I don't put much credibility in it.

News10NBC's Ray Levato said, “Where is it inaccurate?”
    
Brooks said, “I think the numbers are wrong. We do different math than they do.>

Levato said, “Well, Maggie Brooks says a lot of this is because people's home values have gone up, the assessed value has gone up.”

Haney said, “Everybody's taxes have gone up whether their assessment changed or not. For example, here's a house in the town of Gates. The assessment is $128,000 and hasn't changed over the last seven years. But yet the net county tax bill over that seven years has gone up by 12.1 percent.”

Haney showed us where the county services line, those annual charge backs for county services, tripled from about $50 to $150. And he says the burden falls hardest in towns where home values are lower, like Parma.  

John Swartzenberg, Parma homeowner said, “I don't know why they do it that way. Call 'em like you see 'em. If it's a tax, then it's a tax. >

Rita Kearney, Parma Homeowner, said, “Of course it's a tax. I don't care what they say, it's still a tax.”

Many banks send a copy of the tax bill receipt when the taxes are paid, but Hanley says many people just don't take the time to look at their tax bill.