Resident uses own experience to help others fight assessments

Courtney Potts

Joe Pacini successfully waged a legal battle against the town of Whitestown, N.Y., over his 2005-06 assessment.

Then he taught others to do the same by writing a book titled “Fighting Back … Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment Made Easy.”

Pacini, whose background is in insurance claims and risk management, said towns are able to mishandle assessments because most residents are not willing to go through the process of challenging them.

“They’ll throw their hands up in the air. They’ll swear a little bit. And they’ll write the check,” he said at a recent town board meeting.

Pacini said he is in favor of a reassessment as long as it is conducted properly and each individual property is examined.

A proper reassessment, he said, would result in some properties from each extreme moving toward the center, instead of all prices going up.

He also said assessors should consider current market conditions and not use bank appraisals when determining fair market value.

Banks, he said, have a vested interest in inflating appraisals so they can offer larger loans and receive more interest.

Observer-Dispatch