City of Niagara Falls

James R. Bird, Assessor

About Your Assessment

Fiscal Year Start: January 1

Valuation Date: July 1

Taxable Status: March 1

Tentative Roll: May 1

Grievance Month: Month of May

Final Roll: July 1

Total Parcel Count: 22,917

Taxable Assessed Value: $ 1,283,356,195 (City Taxable Total)

Exemption Amounts: Please call for Percentages & Requirements

Full Value: 100%

Equalization Rates: Currently 85% In New York State, the property tax is a local tax, raised and spent locally to finance local governments and public schools. While the State does not collect or receive any direct benefit from the property tax, this tax is still of major importance as the largest single revenue source for the support of municipal and school district services. The New York State Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) is statutorily obligated to administer an equalization program in order to assure equitable property tax allocation among nearly 4,000 taxing jurisdictions in New York State, and to insure the proper allocation of State Aid to Education funds, among other purposes. Equalization seeks to measure the relationship of locally assessed values to an ever-changing real estate market. Each year, ORPS calculates equalization rates for each of the state’s more than 1,200 assessing units. Why is equalization necessary? Equalization is necessary in New York State because: (1) there is no fixed percentage at which property must be assessed; (2) not all municipalities assess property at the same percentage of market value; and (3) taxing jurisdictions, such as most school districts, do not share the same taxing boundaries as the cities and towns that are responsible for assessing properties. Most of the state’s more than 700 school districts distribute their taxes among segments of several municipalities, many of which have different levels of assessment. The number of municipal segments in a school district can range from one to fifteen or more. What is an equalization rate? At its simplest, an equalization rate is the state’s measure of a municipality’s level of assessment (LOA). This is the ratio of total assessed value (AV) to the municipality’s total market value (MV). The municipality determines the AV; the MV is estimated by the state. The equalization rate formula is: Total Assessed Value (AV) Divided by Total Market Value (MV) = Equalization Rate. Equalization rates do not indicate the degree of uniformity among assessments within a municipality. (More information regarding uniformity is available from Fair Assessments - A Guide for Property Owners.) What does your equalization rate mean? An equalization rate of 100 means that the municipality is assessing property at 100 percent of market value. An equalization rate of less than 100 means that the municipality’s total market value is greater than its assessed value. An equalization rate of greater than 100 means that the total assessed value for the municipality is greater than its total market value. There would be no need for equalization if all municipalities assessed all property at 100 percent of market value every year. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________R.A.R.(Residential Assessment Ratio) Currently 86.18% RPTL Article 7, Title 1 - A, Section 738 mandates the calculation of Residential Assessment Ratios (RARs) annually. RARs are used by Assessors as a general measure of assessment equity and by taxpayers in board of assessment review grievances and/or small claims hearings. RARs are NOT issued for: municipalities currently conducting revaluation projects or who have fewer than 5 residential usable sales that year. The RAR is certified by the State Board no later than sixty days prior to the last day provided by law for the filing of the tentative assessment roll. The certified RAR and the number of sales used in its calculation are sent to the Office of Court Administration and to the appropriate County Director, County Clerk and Assessor. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Level of Assessment: Currently 81% The Level of Assessment (LOA) is simply the percentage of full value at which properties are assessed within a community. For instance, an LOA of 50% would indicate that assessments are at half of the market value; an LOA of 100% represents a community that is assessing at full value. In most states, assessments are required to be recorded at a single LOA, most commonly 100%. However, in New York State, each municipality is allowed to choose its LOA. In New York, no matter what LOA the municipality uses, all of the assessments in the community are required by law to be at a “uniform percentage of value.” In other words, if a town chooses to assess at 40% of market value, then all of the properties in the town should be assessed at 40%. (Only New York City and Nassau County are authorized by State Law to assess each of four specific classes of property at different levels.) 

County Tax Rate

When it is used : The County Tax rate is determined by The Niagara County Legislature. Simply, it is the amount of money which is in the Niagara County Budget divided by the total assessed value of the entire county. This gives a rate per $1000 of assessed value.

How it is used : The rate per $1000 of assessed value is multiplied by each property assessment (minus any exemptions) to generate a County tax bill for each property. The County Tax Rate is one tier (the same for commercial and residential). The current rate is $8.94 per $1000 of assessed value. 

City Tax Rate

When it is used : The City Tax rate is determined by The Niagara Falls City Council. Simply, it is the amount of money which is in the Niagara Falls Budget divided by the total assessed value of the entire city. This gives a rate per $1000 of assessed value. 

How it is used : The rate per $1000 of assessed value is multiplied by each property assessment (minus any exemptions) to generate a City tax bill for each property. The City Tax Rate is two tier (one rate for commercial and and a different rate for residential). The current rate is $17.57 per $1000 of assessed value for residential and $33.81 per $1000 of assessed value for commercial. 

School Tax Rate

When it is used : The School Tax rate is determined by The Niagara Falls School Board. Simply, it is the amount of money which is in the Niagara Falls School Board Budget divided by the total assessed value of the entire city. This gives a rate per $1000 of assessed value.







How it is used School Tax Rate: The rate per $1000 of assessed value is multiplied by each property assessment (minus any exemptions) to generate a School tax bill for each property. The School Tax Rate is one tier (the same for commercial and residential). The current rate is $19.42 per $1000 of assessed value. ORPS Links

Contact information for the person responsible for technical problems or suggestions for improvement

James R. Bird

745 Main Street Room 206















PO Box 69















Niagara Falls, NY 14302

Phone: (716) 286-4380















Fax: (716) 286-4403































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































james.bird@niagarafallsny.gov