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ROTTERDAM: No to new tax law

The town hall's meeting room was full of residents, most of whom were against adopting the Transitional Assessment Law.

Marianna Lawler, who lives in Country Walk Estates, said when she moved to the area in 2006, her taxes were so high that she wasn't sure if she was going to be able to pay them.

"In good conscience, I can't imagine that you can vote on something knowing that these homeowners will be overpaying," Lawler said. "They shouldn't have to pay the burden of those who have been underpaying for years."

A few residents said GAR Associates made too many errors and adopting the Transitional Assessment Law would allow time to fix them.

Dawn Fiorillo, who is a stay-at-home mother, said she spent hours on the Web site researching property assessments in the town and found a lot of mistakes.

"If adopting the Transitional Assessment Law would give us the opportunity to fix major errors, perhaps it's something to give credence to. Either way you slice it, there is a lot of work to be done in Rotterdam," she said.

Mertz pointed out that the reassessment has been hard on everyone in the town and has pitted neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother.

"This is the most complicated issue that any municipality has faced in New York state," he said.

"Many years ago, a great leader talked about a house divided," Godlewski said. "The town has been divided on this issue for 30 or 40 years. It is time we move forward on this reval and begin to solve the other issues that are confronting this town." ""

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