“Where's the money going?”  Cheektowaga residents frustrated about town spending

“The place’s the cash going?” Cheektowaga residents annoyed about city spending

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CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (MB) — There was an overflow crowd in Cheektowaga Thursday night time for a particular session City Board assembly in regards to the latest property reassessments issued to residents for the second time in two years.

“It is ridiculous we get taxed, and taxed and taxed,” one resident stated whereas addressing the City Board.

Involved neighbors flooded the room in addition to the close by hallway to attempt to get solutions about these property assessments, particularly after an analogous course of occurred final 12 months. That solely added to tensions within the crowd.

“Who completed this reassessment? When did it occur?” one resident stated.

Property house owners are annoyed, indignant and anxious in regards to the latest assessments. Some residents say their property worth elevated by as a lot as 50 or 70 p.c. The assessments are accomplished by the assessor’s workplace, which is led by City Assessor Jill Murphy.

“f your evaluation course of is so correct, how come the final time you probably did this my comparable did not even match my property?” one other man added.

Many residents worry that as a result of property values ​​elevated dramatically, so will their taxes. Assembly goers stated they obtained their evaluation paperwork after the Could 1 deadline, which means they may not problem how a lot their property was price because it was after the problem date. Now, they need to file a grievance with the assessor’s workplace by Could 25, which is lower than two weeks away.

“I did not get my letter till [May] the tenth. So the place does that go away me when it comes to time and preparation?” one other resident questioned.

City Assessor Murphy in addition to different board members joined the assembly through Zoom, however that didn’t cease residents from putting the blame on her shoulders. Additionally they say City Supervisor Diane Benczkowski must finances successfully in order that taxes don’t improve.

“You higher begin eager about the way you’re spending this city’s cash in another way. I am recommending you place an oversight committee into place to handle the finances for the city for this 12 months,” Aimee Pikuzinski stated.

One resident says this type of committee used to exist however was disbanded in the course of the pandemic.

“I was on the residents finances advisory committee and I used to be on there for all 4 years of it they usually disbanded it. They do not wish to take heed to our options once I was on it,” Daniel Kollander added.

City Supervisor Benczkowski stated she is going to attempt to work with different city leaders on the finances in order that taxes will keep the identical.

“I’ll ensure there isn’t any tax levy improve, which means what goes to the taxpayers to select up the price,” Supervisor Benczkowski continued.

The Supervisor blamed the evaluation mess on a miscommunication between council members and the assessor’s workplace. She says she shares residents’ issues, however there’s nothing she will do in regards to the assessments.

“I am not pleased about this in any respect,” Supervisor Benczkowski stated whereas holding again tears. “They [residents] deserve higher and the best way I used to be blindsided, I am very, very upset about it.”

She continued to say she needs the Assessor Murphy to provide you with an everyday evaluation plan in order that city leaders and residents know what to anticipate. She’s additionally contemplating methods to get extra public enter, akin to reviving the finances oversight committee.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the Minus Better workforce as a reporter in 2022. She beforehand labored at WETM in Elmira, NY, a sister station of Minus Better. You’ll be able to observe Tara on Fb and Twitter and discover extra of her work right here.