Judy M. Tafelski, SCA

Assessor 

phone icon (716) 877-8811
fax icon (716) 877-4412
email icon Email

    

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm

map icon 2919 Delaware Ave. Room 3
      Tonawanda, NY  14217

Goals

Our goal is to provide the taxpayers of the Town of Tonawanda a fair and equitable assessment on their properties and maintain an equitable roll for tax purposes. 

Objectives

  • We will provide superior customer service to the public; courteous, prompt follow-up, easy access and availability to our office will be a critical component of our operation.
  • All of our decisions will be fact-based with supporting documentation that assist’s the public in understanding our decisions. 
  • We will insure, through free seminars, that the public understands the process of challenging their assessments.
  • We will publicize exemption deadlines and work with the public to insure they receive all exemptions they are entitled to.
  • Cooperation with all state, county, town, village and school district departments is key.
  • Expanding our professional abilities through state sponsored training is critical in expanding our knowledge.
 
Responsibilities
The assessor is responsible for the valuation of 28,818 parcels of real property in the Town of Tonawanda and the Village of Kenmore, with a total market value of $5.3 billion. The office is also responsible for the administration of various tax exemptions in accordance with New York State Real Property Tax Law and local laws along with the maintenance of tax maps and property records.

Tentative Assessment Roll
Each year the Tentative Assessment Roll is completed and filed for public inspection on May 1. This document contains property descriptions, ownership, valuations and any exemptions that have been granted as of March 1, the taxable status date. Please refer to our Assessment and Tax Collection Calendar and our Tax Rate Schedule

Final Assessment Roll
The Final Assessment Roll is filed each year by July 1 and is the basis for the school tax due in October and the town and county tax due in February of the following year.

Requesting an Assessment Review
Informal Process done for 2016. See Below for Board of Assessment Review Information

A property owner may request an informal review of their assessment between February 1 and April 1 of each year. Depending on the type of property in question, i.e. residential or commercial, the appropriate application will need to be completed. For information on how to challenge your assessment and determine market value, please view  pdf Challenging your Assessment - Points to Keep in Mind (321 KB)

Board of Assessment Review
If a property owner is dissatisfied with the result of this review, they may appeal to the Board of Assessment Review on Grievance Day, which is the forth Tuesday in May each year. To file an appeal, a complaint (NYS form RP-524) must be completed and filed with the assessor's office. Complaint forms are available in the assessor's office and also available online at the Tonawanda Real Property System

If a hearing before the Board is requested, the assessor's office will schedule an appointment. Grievance Day hearings are held in Room 21 of the Municipal Building, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. If a hearing is not requested, the Board will make a determination based solely on the written complaint.

Assessor FAQ's

Please review the STAR Eligibility PDF Chart by clicking here, to determine whether you qualify for STAR Exemption.

A property owner may request an informal review of their assessment between February 1 and April 1 of each year. Depending on the type of property in question, i.e. residential or commercial, the appropriate application will need to be completed.

 Click here for information on how to challenge your assessment and determine market value.

Complete form (RPTL 730) and follow instructions below.

Filing Petitions for Small Claims Assessment

Small Claims Assessment Review-SCAR

If you are dissatisfied with the decision made by the Town of Tonawanda Board of Assessment review, the Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) provides a way to seek further review of your assessment. This program is administered by OCA, New York State Office of Court Administration, for use in seeking assessment reductions for qualified properties before a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing officer.

How to File a Petition for Small Claims Assessment Review

If you plan to appeal the decision, you must file a Petition for Small Claims Assessment Review by completing form ( RPTL-730).

 How to File a Petition for Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR)

You can challenge your property assessment in SCAR if you meet both of the following provisions:

  1. You own and live in a one, two, or three-family home and use it exclusively for residential purposes. Vacant land parcels also can qualify provided they are not of sufficient size to contain a one, two, or three-family residential structure.
  2. You already timely filed a written review about your property assessment with the board of assessment review (BAR) and you are not requesting a reduction greater than the amount you sought before that board.


Filing Fee is $30.00- which may be refundable if you prevail in your claim. Prepare at least 8 copies of the petition; Remember to keep a copy for your records:

  • 3 copies to be filed with County clerk:
    • Erie County Clerk’s Office - Actions & Proceedings Room, 
      First Floor, 25 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY 14202.
  • 1 copy to each of the following:
    • County treasurer
    • Tonawanda Town Clerk
    • Clerk in the school district
    • Tonawanda Assessor

Petitions must be filed no later than Tuesday, July 30, 2015. Original and payment goes to Erie County Clerk’s Office listed above. 

The court will assign your petition to a hearing officer who will advise you of the hearing date, time and location.

 

Property Tax Exemptions
Most exemptions are offered by local option of the taxing jurisdiction (municipality, county or school district). The assessor's office is responsible for creating fair and equitable assessments, and administering real property tax exemptions as provided by the New York State Real Property Tax Law and locally adopted laws.

Here is a brief video detailing tax exemptions.

In the Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore the following tax exemptions are available to qualified residents:   

Though all property in the Town of Tonawanda and the Village of Kenmore is assessed, not all of it is taxable. Some properties, such as those owned by religious organizations or governments are completely exempt from paying property taxes.

Veterans Exemptions

There are two different property tax exemptions available to veterans who have served in the U. S. Armed Forces, including veterans who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Obtaining a veterans' exemption is not automatic.  If you are an eligible veteran, you must submit the initial exemption application form to your assessor by the March 1st deadline.  Please confirm the date with your assessor.

Whichever exemption a veteran chooses, it will apply only to to county, city, town, and village taxes; it does not apply to school district and special district taxes. You can only receive one of the two exemptions listed below. 

  • Veterans Exemption Q&A
  • Alternative Veterans' Exemption
    • Available only on residential property of a veteran who has served during a designated time of war, or who has received an expeditionary medal
    • Currently available in over 95 percent of the county, city, town, and village taxing jurisdictions across the state. The remainder of these jurisdictions may choose to offer this exemption in the future
    • Veteran applicants should check with the assessor or clerk in the municipalities in which they respectively reside to see whether the alternative veterans'? exemption is offered
    • Authorized by Real Property Tax Law, Section 458-a
  • Cold War Veterans' Exemption
    • Available only on residential property of a veteran who served during the Cold War period.
    • Counties, cities, towns, and villages have the option to offer this exemption to qualified veterans
    • Check with your assessor or clerk to see whether the Cold War Veterans' exemption is offered
    • Authorized by Real Property Tax Law, Section 458-b

This is an informational guide only. Specific requirements for this exemption are set by New York State Real Property Tax Law and are subject to change. Additional information can be found on the NYS Tax Department website.
 
Still have questions about exemptions? Contact Carrie Martin in the assessor's office.
Tax Rates

Homestead Property Tax Rates

Homestead Property Locations

2016

2015

County / Town Tax    
           County (Library)

1.055496

1.034446

           County Service Tax

11.324902

10.823617

           Town (Outside Village)

12.324310

11.902426

           Town (Within Village)

6.322569

6.206502

           Highway

2.950445

2.949966

                      Total Outside Village

27.655153

26.710455

                      Total Within Village

18.702967

18.064565

 County

12.380398

   11.858063

 Town of Tonawanda

15.274755

 14.852392

School Tax

2015-2016

2014-2015

           Ken-Ton School District

47.438177

46.270409

           Sweethome School District

33.015720

31.544776

Village Tax 

28.532000

28.158700


Non-Homestead Property Tax Rates

Non-Homestead Property Locations

2016

2015

County / Town Tax    
           County (Library)

1.055496

1.034446

           NYS Mandate Medicaid

11.324902

10.823617

           Town (Outside Village)

26.212387
           

27.751019

           Town (Within Village)

13.018188

14.092006

           Highway

6.486245

7.074115

                      Total Outside Village

45.079030

46.683197

                      Total Within Village

25.398586

25.950069

 County

 12.380398

 11.858063

 Town of Tonawanda

32.698632

 34.825134

School Tax

2015-2016

2014-2015

           Ken-Ton School District

47.438177

46.270409

           Sweethome School District

52.728562

50.378302

Village Tax 

49.828100

50.265300


For More Information
If you have any questions, please contact the Assessor's Office at (716) 877-8811.

Board of Assessment Review Instructions
  • Applications available at the Assessor’s Office beginning May 1 or on the Town of Tonawanda website.
  • To schedule a hearing, call (716) 877-8811 after May 2.
  • If a non-hearing is requested, your application must be filed by the third Tuesday in May at
       9 p.m.   

General Information Sheet Attachment 1
Commercial & Vacant Land Challenges

  1. Complete form RP-524 (3/09) – Instructions included on form RP-524 Ins (3/09).
  2. Supply documents and complete Commercial Property Questionnaire.
  3. Complete form  Board of Assessment Review – Commercial & Vacant Land Application (include section 2 comparables)

Numbers 2 & 3 are not mandatory, but if completed it will assist the board in evaluating your property.

General Information Sheet Attachment 1
Residential Challenges

  1. Complete form RP-524 (3/09) – Instructions to complete are included in form RP-524-Ins (3/09). Complete form Board of Assessment Review Application – along with section 2 comparables used.

Number 2 is not mandatory, but if completed will assist the board in evaluating your property.

Information on How to Challenge Assessments

General Information
Video - contesting your property assessment in New York 
Link to Grievance Booklet (pdf)  

Tax Calendar

Tonawanda Important Dates for 2016/17 Tax Collection 

Tax Collection

Collected For

Due Date

Last Payment Date

County / Town Tax January 1 - December 31 February 15 June 30
School Tax 
(Ken-Ton and Sweet Home)
July 1 - June 30 October 16 November 30
Village Tax June 1 - May 31 July 3 November 1


Penalty Rates

County / Town Tax

 

School Tax

 

Village Tax

Date

Penalty Rate

 

Date

Penalty Rate

 

Date

Penalty Rate

February 16-28

1.5%

  October 17-31

7.5%

  July 4-31

7.5%

March 1-15

3%

  November 1-30

9%

  Each month after

Add 1.5%

Mar. 16-31

4.5%

           
April 1-17

6%

           

April 18-

May 1

7.5%

           


Other Important Dates

  • March 1 - STAR Application/Exemption due date
  • March 1 - Taxable Status Date
  • March 1 - Valuation Date
  • May 1 - Tentative Roll Filing
  • May, fourth Tuesday - Grievance Day
  • July 1 - Final Roll Filing


For More Information
If you have any questions, please contact the Assessor's Office at (716) 877-8811.