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Cheektowaga Town Board schedules special meeting to discuss reassessment notices

After overwhelming opposition to the recent notices sent out to town residents, the board voted to meet again on Thursday to decide how to move forward.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Frustrations and emotions ran high tonight in the Town of Cheektowaga as residents took to the microphone during a public hearing to air concerns about yet another notice of reassessments recently sent out in the mail.  

This is seemingly a reoccurring town trend, at least according to taxpaying residents who called this a "Cheektowaga Problem", not a "political" one.

Members of the board, including Supervisor Diane Benczkowski, said they were unaware these notices were being sent out by the new assessor, Jill Murphy, whom they hired as a contractor. 

According to Supervisor Benczkowski, during a work session back on February 8, 2022, the board was told by the assessor the meeting was to review data as part of a proposal for the new year...this is all according to a transcript the supervisor shared with 2 On Your Side's Liz Lewin.

"She said this was just a proposal, this was just to secure services," Benczkowski said. "I just received my notice and I also have to deal with my father's and my mother-in-law's they are both seniors...so this is a lot."

Calls to put an end to these reassessments came in droves. As did questions on the legality of them and the short notice.

One resident said, "Within the last two years, my home has been reassessed for over $100,000. That is totally ridiculous and they're making it very, very hard for us seniors to come against this thing."

Another lady chimed in, "What are we supposed to do? I just paid $14,000 for a new sewer pipe. That was my stipend to fix my roof."

The seemingly disjointed town board split once residents pressured them to do something once and for all - someone in favor of putting forth a resolution to stop the reassessments and others calling to table the resolution pending research into legal ramifications. 

Ultimately, a middle ground was reached and a halt was placed on the conversation. 

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A special meeting has been scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. in person and on YouTube where the conversation will pick up and a decision will be made.

Just enough time to look into legalities.  

While the adjuster did not attend Tuesday's public hearing, she is invited to attend the special meeting.