Appraisers will soon be knocking on doors across the Town of Bethlehem. (Photo by Michael Hallisey/Spotlight News)
BETHLEHEM — This month, the Town of Bethlehem will begin re-collecting residential property data to ensure that the data used for purposes of tax valuation, which has not been re-evaluated since the early ’90s, is accurate.
According to the town, a letter will be mailed to residential property owners where the data collection will take place to announce and describe the project, and to provide a telephone number to call for information. In addition, the town website will be updated with appraiser GAR Associates data collector locations on a regular basis, to provide advance notice of what neighborhoods the collectors will be in.
Data collectors will be starting in North Bethlehem in December, weather permitting. The Bethlehem Police Department, as well as the Assessment Office and the Town Clerk’s office, will have a list of authorized data collectors with vehicle identification and all GAR staff will wear clearly visible photo identification at all times.
GAR Associates will also give property owners the ability to receive a call prior to the exterior on-site inspection of their property. Typically this call will occur a couple of days before the inspection and will give the property owner a general window of time in which the inspection will occur. Homeowners can expect GAR collectors to knock on the door, have a brief conversation with the property owner, if available, and proceed to collect parcel inventory from the property’s exterior — unless the property owner has called in advance to identify it as a Do Not Enter property. GAR’s data collector will take a new photo, measure the house and all other structures and, at the conclusion of data collection, correspondence will be sent to property owners allowing them to review and make corrections identifying data discrepancies. A toll free number will be available to property owners throughout the project to obtain information, and the town’s website will be updated weekly.
GAR, which was already under contract to do assessment work for the town and the only respondent to a Request for Proposals issued by the town for this project, is expected to complete the revaluation over four years in four regional phases, beginning in North Bethlehem, followed by Old Delmar, Glenmont and, finally, South Bethlehem/Ravena/Coeymans/Selkirk.
1. Initial Mailing/Press Release/Website Update
2. Site Inspection
3. Quality Control/RPS (Real Property System)
4. Public Inventory Verification