Red Hook Assessor requests new data on commercial properties

Confidential survey will feed into commercial reassessments due in 2014

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In anticipation of a townwide reassessment of commercial property in 2014, Red Hook Assessor Scott Hobson has mailed a survey to all commercial property holders requesting updated information by Jan. 1, 2013.

The confidential survey requests rental income and expense information related to improvements on the properties. The data will be used to update and verify data in preparation for the town-wide re-appraisal of commercial property scheduled for the 2014 assessment roll. According to Hobson, this type of survey is a common approach used by assessors to value investment properties.

The survey does not request information on income generated by businesses on the property. A 100 percent owner-occupied building, which does not generate any income from rent, need only explain that in writing on the survey form.

Hobson explained the importance of the survey at the Sept. Town Board meeting, warning that “in the absence of localized data,…I’ll be forced to use other market information that does not necessarily represent the local market.”

He noted that Red Hook has made significant efforts to maintain an equitable assessment roll in the past, and that this survey continues that effort. “We want our values to be truly representative of our local market and not somewhere else,” he explained.

One resident asked how the assessor will distinguish between the two common types of rentals in Red Hook, those to Bard students, usually with a fee per student, and those to individuals or families. Hobson explained that the survey will establish an “expected range” for rental properties, taking into account both ends of the spectrum. The aggregate information will establish a norm for such properties and will also weigh other factors, such as proximity to Bard College.

Hobson thanked property owners who have already submitted completed surveys and assured them that their responses would be kept confidential. Anyone with questions about the survey should contact the Assessor’s office by email: shobson@redhook.org, or phone: (845) 758-4604.

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