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The Assessment Department is responsible for data collection and appraisal of commercial, industrial agricultural, residential and vacant properties within the Town of Clay. We also administer all exemptions, review and analyze sales data, manage the equalization rate, defend the Town in assessment related court cases, and disseminate large volumes of assessment and tax related data to the general public. The Assessor is available by appointment throughout the year to discuss assessment related topics. We recognize that the issue of property taxes and its congruence with assessments is a complicated and emotional issue. The Assessors’ office would like property owners to be aware that WE DO NOT set budgets or levy taxes. The tax rates seen on your tax bills are the result of the expenditures and levy requests of the taxing jurisdictions in which you reside.

The Assessor will accept informal requests to your assessment at any time during the year upon the filing of an “Assessment Review Consent Form” available at our offices. These forms are ususally reviewed as the last part of the process in the finishing the tentative assessment roll, which is filed on May 1 of every year. The forms must be submitted by April 1st to provide time for review. Any request for an Assessment Review must include supporting data with each form. From this point on, the Assessor will only consider an assessment reduction upon full interior and exterior inspection of your property. Keep in mind that for assessment purposes (mass appraisal purposes) all buildings are measured from the OUTSIDE, where a fee appraiser will generally measure the inside. The reason is simple. Quite frankly, no one wants the Assessor in their house, while a fee appraiser is doing his job at your request for some type of possible financial gain (refinance, for example). Since all data collected has to adhere to the same process and principles, Assessors measure the outside for all properties.

The Town of Clay appraises property at a partial value. This is a Town Board decision. The equalization rate (Level of Assessment-LOA) for 2019 is 4.00%. This reflects an increase( 5%) in overall market value for 2019. It is the first real appreciation of Clay property in many years, reflecting the better economy locally and nationwide.It should be noted that while most of Onondaga County is at 100% of market value, over 50% of the properties in New York State have equalization rates under 10% of full market value.

To arrive at full market value for your property, divide your asessed value by .04. A property assessed at $5,000, divided by .04 will yield a market value of $125,000. The Equalization rate may change every year based on yearly differences in sales versus the assessments on those sales properties. The actual rate is set by the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services. The assessment roll for 2019-2020 is based on sales data compiled beyween July 1, 2017 and June 30, of 2018.

The Town of Clay property values on average have risen 8.6% in the last 10 years, a common trend in the northern suburbs of Onondaga County. This is a positive re-affirmation that investing in real estate in these areas is an adequate opportunity for modest growth.

The Town of Clay Assessors’ Office currently processes 18,561 property tax exemptions on the Town’s aproximately 22,000 parcels of property. All renewal applications are mailed in late October every year for return by March 1st. Due to the large volume of exemption forms mailed to property owners that require return, review and in many cases necessitate follow-up phone calls, we firmly adhere to the State legislated March 1st exemption deadline for all exemption applications. As a public service we attempt to call and remind as many people as we can that the exemptions are due, but staffing and time constraints limit our opportunity to reach everyone. Key dates that affect the assessment process are:

March 1: Taxable Status Date
Exemption Filing Deadline
May 1: Tentative Roll Filed
4th Tuesday in May: Grievance Day
July 1: Final Roll Filed

The Tentative Assessment roll (link to 2019 Tentative Assessment Roll) is filed on May 1st and may be inspected during regular office hours. Grievance Day is May 28th, 2019, the fourth Tuesday of May from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The Assessor will be in attendance with the roll beyond regular business hours, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., at the following days and time.

Saturday, May 4th, 2019 Clay Town Hall 9:00 AM-1:00 PM
Monday, May 6th, 2019 Clay Town Hall 4:00PM-8:00 PM
Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 Clay Town Hall 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Monday, May 20th, 2019 Clay Town Hall 4:00 PM-8:00 PM


If you have decided to file for an assessment reduction, you should mail or deliver the complaint form and supporting documentation to your local assessing unit so that it arrives on or before Grievance Day. You can find the Grievance form online here.If you mail the form, even if it is postmarked on or before Grievance Day, it is deemed to be late if it does NOT arrive by Grievance Day. Ideally, the form should arrive at least 3 business days before Grievance Day. Otherwise, the assessor can obtain an adjournment to have time to prepare a response to your complaint. The reason behind this is that due to the volume of complaints, the forms cannot be reviewed by the Assessor by Grievance Day in preparation for submission to the Board of Assessment Review. It should be noted that a personal appearance before the Board of Assessment Review IS NOT A REQUIREMENT. All paperwork will be reviewed by the Board of Assessment Review regardless of your choice not to appear.


Commercial Grievances

If you are filing a grievance on a commercial property, please fill out the attached forms and return a printed copy to our office:

Commercial Income/Expense (side 1)

Commercial Income/Expense (side 2)