The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that Jefferson County is being forced by court order to pay back roughly $50,000 in property tax revenue.
The reason? They overvalued assessments for 39 property owners, occasionally by millions of dollars.
The biggest-ticket item is The Edgewood Resort, 22467 Edgewood Road, town of Alexandria. State Supreme Court in Jefferson County agreed to the property’s assessment drop from $8,237,825 to $5,400,000.
In some cases the court found that the assessor got the property value wrong by more than 40%.
I include this as a Morning Read, because soaring property values have been a big engine driving growth in local governments and school spending over the last decade.
So far, despite the collapse of the housing bubble, we haven’t seen those numbers drop much.
But at a time when the state is curtailing local government aid, and considering a property tax cap, we could also see a serious decline in property values, as lower sale prices continue to nudge assessments down.