City Assessor, James Bird
Description of Duties of the Assessor
The assessor is the city official who estimates the value of real property within the city’s borders. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of property tax bills.
The assessor maintains the assessment roll – the document that contains every property’s assessment. The physical description, or inventory, and value estimate of every piece of real estate in the municipality is kept up-to-date. The property inventory is available for review by appointment before the filing of the tentative assessment roll.
The assessment roll shows assessments and appropriate exemptions. Every year the new tentative assessments are made available for public review. After the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has acted on assessment complaints and ordered changes, the tentative roll is made final.
Administrative Aide, Assessor – Madison Pokoj – 286-4384
Assessor Technician – Michele Marinello – 286-4383
Senior Assessor Data Clerk – Samantha Laures – 286-4003
Assessor’s Main Line – 286-4380
What Kind of Property is Assessed?
All real property, commonly known as real estate, is assessed. Real property is defined as land and any permanent structures attached to it. Some examples of real property are houses, office buildings, vacant land, and other commercial structures.
How is Real Property Assessed?
Before assessing any parcel of property, the assessor estimates its market value. Market value is the amount a property would sell for, in an open market, under normal conditions. To estimate values, the assessor must be familiar with all aspects of the local real estate market.
A property’s value can be estimated in three different ways:
- Market approach: The property is compared to others similar to it that have sold recently, using only valid sales where buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. Most residential property is valued using this approach.
- Cost approach: Calculate what the property would cost, using today’s labor and material prices, to compare a structure with a similar one. This method is used to value special purpose and utility properties.
- Income approach: Analyze how much income a property, such as an apartment building or a store, would produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, financing terms, and expected income streams are some of the factors used in this method.
Once the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated. New York State law provides that all property within a municipality be assessed at a uniform percentage of market value.
The goal of the assessor’s office is to determine the fair and equitable assessment for your property.
- Property Search
- Mailing Address Change Form
- Taxpayer Exemption Information
- Tax Abatement Programs
- Assessment Equity Information
- NYS Office of Real Property Services
- STAR Registration – Register for the Star Credit Here
- Important Dates
- Senior Exemption
- STAR Resource Center
- Veterans Exemption
- Tentative Assessment Roll
- Assessor Final Tax Roll
Questions or comments: please call the Assessor’s Office at 716-286-4380 or email the Assessor at James.Bird@niagarafallsny.gov