The city of Johnstown is considering a property revaluation. The city's equalization rate has fallen to 73 percent, which isn't the lowest in Fulton County but is still in need of improvement. When a municipality's equalization rate falls below 100 percent, it means some of the property in the city is assessed for less than what it's probably worth.
New York state's equalization rate aims to make taxation fair. Some property tax owners can benefit from a low equalization rate while other owners pay more than their fair share.
Revaluations are often controversial because some property owners fear they will see an increase in their property tax bill. Some will see an increase, but other owners who are now paying too much will see their bills come down.
We support Johnstown's revaluation and the revaluations in other municipalities because they promote greater fairness.
Property taxes in Johnstown are too high, but that's a separate issue from revaluation. The city, which has a 2014 tax rate of $17.49 per $1,000 of assessed value, can lower its taxes by spending less.