Property values jump in Newburgh

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Many property owners in the City of Newburgh recently saw large increases in the assessed values of their properties, causing many people to fear a jump in taxes would follow.

But several city leaders say that is not necessarily true.

“I was really thrown off…. I think they (property owners) were confused,” Councilman-at-Large Anthony Grice said. “And once they put the narrative out there, that it got others confused.

“But it’s not a post hoc, ergo propter hoc, or because of this, therefore that,” Grice said, referring to the higher assessment values directly causing higher taxes.

“It’s not complicated, but it’s not that simple either,” Grice said.

As Comptroller Todd Venning pointed out Monday, the new assessments were based on 2019 sales data. The new assessments, which will be made final on July 1, will be applied against the 2021 city and county tax rate, and the 2020-2021 school tax rate.

Basically, if the city keeps the tax levy roughly the same as last year, the tax rate could be decreased. If that happens, the decreased rate would be applied against the July 2020 final assessments and a property owner whose assessment value increased could pay roughly the same or a few pennies less in taxes, say city leaders.

But next year’s tax rate will not be determined until the city adopts its 2021 budget in November.

“There are other factors that go into what’s going to affect the taxes besides just the assessment,” Grice said.

The tax bills are determined by the tax levy, the total taxable assessed value of all properties and the tax rate, according to the city’s website.

City government has published information to help explain how assessments are calculated and how property owners can dispute their new assessments on Grievance Day, slated for May 26.

As property in the City of Newburgh becomes more desirable, more people will want to live there, the city’s website notes.

Developer Andrew Schrivjer believes people are already eyeing the Mid-Hudson Valley as an escape from the density, bustle and high cost of living in New York City, especially as the region starts recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.

The key, Schrivjer said, is creating a stable tax environment so that investors can have some level of predictability before committing to projects or purchases.

Schrivjer lives in New York City, but is planning to move to the City of Newburgh this summer.

He purchased and developed a historic building into apartments at 183 Liberty St. Schrivjer finished the project last year.

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