The Elizabethtown Champlain National Bank branch is one of three that the company is challenging the assessed value of.
While three properties owned by Champlain National Bank saw their assessments decrease, the company is seeking further relief.
The company has filed suit against the towns of Westport, Willsboro and Elizabethtown over the assessed value of their bank properties located in the three municipalities.
CNB President Jon Cooper said that the company had been through the proper channels as they challenged the assessments, including Grievance Day through the Board of Assessment Review in each of the towns.
“Unfortunately, what we had proposed as what we felt was a proper assessed value for these properties was not what they felt was proper,” Cooper said. “We now have no other option than to follow the legal channel to pursue this.”
Cooper said that assessments on two other CNB parcels in Keene and Lake Placid were lowered to an assessment they felt was adequate.
Assessed values for the other three sites were lowered, but not to a point where Cooper felt the company was being treated “fairly.”
“We are not trying to shirk our responsibilities as taxpayers in these communities,” Cooper said. “We just wanted to be treated in a way we feel is fair under the system.”
At the Elizabethtown site, the property originally assessed for the July 1 final assessment rolls at $700,700 was reduced to $670,000 by the Board of Assessment Review. CNB is seeking a further decrease to $500,000.
“We are talking with other municipalities, schools and at the county,” Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said. “We have not made any kind of decision as to what we are going to do.”
In Westport, the assessed value was lowered from $341,300 to $310,000, with the company seeking a further reduction to $234,000.
At the main offices in Willsboro, the property was originally assessed at $940,000, but dropped to $880,000 by the Board of Assessment Review. The bank is seeking a further reduction to $725,000.
“I’m shocked that they are bringing an Article 7 against the town of Willsboro,” Willsboro Supervisor Ed Hatch said. “The town board (met Aug. 8) and will discuss it and make our plans on how to address it. We have to remember that it affects the school and fire budget as well as the town and county budgets.”
Overall, the three properties totaled $1,982,00 in assessed value to be used on the town, school and county tax levy. After Grievance Day, that assessment decreased to $1,705,000. Under the lawsuit, CNB seeks a further reduction to $1,459,000.
Cooper said that the matter is now in the hands of company attorneys, but left the door open to a settlement.
“If we can come up with a deal that we think is appropriate before court proceedings start, then we will settle,” Cooper said.