top of page

Lightfoot Pens Letter to Pause City Assessment, Mayor Responds

Willie J. Lightfoot, Sr

A letter from Rochester City Councilmember Willie J. Lightfoot, Sr is asking Mayor Malik D. Evans to pause this city’s property assessment process.

“We’ve promised our constituents that their reassessments would be fair, honest and correct,” Councilmember Lightfoot said in the letter sent to mayor Evans last Friday. “But at this point, we feel it’s a promise we are unable to keep.”

The letter co-signed by Council members Stanley Martin, Kim Smith and Mary Lupien, is calling for the current round of assessments to be halted for at least two years, citing growing concern from city residents about their property valuations and a lack of transparency in the current process.

“This pause will also allow time for the turbulent real estate market, encumbered by high costs and soaring interest rates, to settle,” the council members wrote.

‘Many of the City residents most affected by the ongoing assessment are seniors, many of whom live on fixed income. For this demographic, significant change in property assessments may directly affect quality of life and the ability to keep the heat on and food on the table.”

Assessments are expected to be finalized this spring. But the council members say the processes which allow City residents to challenge their assessments are opaque, and have not effectively been communicated to Rochester’s most vulnerable populations.”

Mayor Evans responded Monday saying he “understands the concerns” but “delaying this year’s quadrennial reassessment is not a sound approach and will have unintended consequences.”

Evans said his administration has conducted a number of community outreach to help residents understand the process.

“In addition, as you know, an increase in property values does not automatically result in an increase in property taxes, as the tax levy formula will be impacted by the city’s overall increase in property values,” Evans wrote.

Evans says the city is working with “constituents who may find themselves in a difficult position.”

“Every person’s property and personal situation is unique, and this is why we have encouraged people to reach out and make appointments with the City Assessor. More than 5,000 individuals have signed up.

Evans notes he will be following up with the councilmembers and will be “happy to have his Finance team walk the councilmembers through the assessment process.”




Top Stories

bottom of page