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Tensions high at Oswego public forum about assessment spikes

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – No playing around in the Port City. People in Oswego are fired up over the spike in property assessments.

The mayor organized a “Q and A” public forum with a panel of property tax experts… and tensions were high.

“Oswego’s a city where if nobody shows up, everything’s going to go through,” William Myer said

The people of Oswego showed up to the public forum ready with questions.

“What kind of criteria did they use? because nobody’s seen anybody around at their houses,” Myer asked.

The answer is aerial and street views of the properties.

The panel put on a reassessment educational presentation that was about thirty minutes to bring clarity for people, but ultimately, it left many even more confused.

“This panel respectfully confused everybody here and especially at the end of it with this long presentation of a history class,” an Oswego neighbor said.

The purpose of the city-wide reassessment is to correct the inequity of property values, but many don’t see how this can be the right way to do it. William Myer’s assessment jumped $153,000 in one year.

“Oswego, we can’t afford this kind of change. And all the State of the City speeches that we’ve had, they said we don’t need a tax raise, we’ve got plenty of money in the reserve fund. And I ask, ‘What did it go to?’ If we’re not doing this to raise taxes, what are we doing it for?” Myer wondered.

The panel emphasized these assessments are preliminary and subject to change.

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