I wrote about Our Property Assessment Problem, Our Appeal, and Our Hearing.
Based on my experience at the hearing I sent an email to Shelly Midura and to Arnie Feilkow. Midura answered me promptly and said Mr. Feilkow would be addressing my specific concerns himself. I assumed he would email me or something. I never heard from him. I did however just get a letter from the Board of Review (a.k.a. The City Council).
My appeal was granted and the amount they assessed was slightly more than my request.
My request was based largely on the cost of repairs and left the value of the land as originally assessed. I figured the lot is worth what is is worth. The Board of review reduced the values of both the land and the structure. Together they come up to about $3,000 more than I requested. I guess they did that to make some kind of point.
Now all I have to do is convince my mortgage company that I don't owe the original estimated tax, and that it's not really due yet.
It is the first instance of local government working well that I can recall. The review process was respectful, effective and reasonable. That of course does not make up for the fact that it really shouldn't have been necessary at all or that the Assessors shouldn't have screwed up so badly to begin with.
In related news the Sewerage & Water Board and the Audubon Commission have voted to roll back their millages. The City Council has asked all agencies to do the same thing. The Mayor has floated the idea of a small roll forward to raise a few million new dollars, but the reaction to that was cool.
One of the serious problems we have in our community is a lack of confidence in our government. I have a positive dread of ever going to City Hall, because of the almost unlimited amount of stupidity and indifference encountered on every visit. If our governmental agencies could simply provide efficient respectful services, most people would have a much higher level of confidence.
I do have to point out the the level of stupidity encountered at City Hall is not limited to City Employees, they have to deal with what must seem to them to be an endless supply of stupidity coming at them from uninformed citizens intent on some personal exception to the law. But that may have its roots in wide spread perception that some privileged people are able to do whatever they wish.
Perhaps the handling of this property reassessment is a small start.