It is common for people and businesses on Grievance Day to seek a lower property valuation so they can reduce their tax collection. But going in the opposite direction, Irving Tissue has requested an increase in its valuation from $11 million to $18.85 million as part of an agreement with the town and city of Fort Edward and the school district. With that, the company will pay more taxes.
According to The Post Star, the city previously had a payment-in-tax agreement with Irving Tissue, which was about to expire. The property was valued at $22 million in accordance with the terms of the contract.
However, former advisor Vicki Hayner obtained a second opinion on the property’s value and opted for a new $11 million valuation, which sparked protests from the community, especially from school officials, who had built their budget with based on a factory valuation of about $16 million.
This change meant that school taxes for residents would increase, not decrease as previously stated.
With the repercussions of the case, Hayner resigned from the position and Roseanne Lemery was appointed in her place.
According to Fort Edward’s Superintendent of Schools, Dan Ward, he and other employees met with Irving executives, Lemery provided some comparable property values and came up with a $25.8 million value for the plant and, like the city has an equalization rate of 73%, the estimated value is $18.85 million.
This is a one-year contract only, and with this change, the school tax rate is expected to decrease from $29.27 to $27.97 per $1,000 appraised value. Ward commented that these are estimates and could change slightly if other valuations change.
Fort Edward’s Superintendent of Schools also said he appreciates the company’s willingness to come to the table and that owner Robert Irving and all local employees agree to review the property’s valuation.
“They’ve shown time and time again with their commitment to our school, our village, our town and our community. I just want to express our gratitude to them,” Ward said to The Post Star.