Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Tax Questions

Q. How does my assessment affect the property taxes I pay?
A. New York State has a comprehensive breakdown of property taxes, and how it is influenced by property value.

Q. Why did my taxes go up? How can I decrease my taxes?
A. Generally, taxes can increase due to a change of assessment, exemption status, tax rate, or because of the application/increase of special charges not related to assessment.

Q. What is this charge on my taxes?
A. If you are unsure of why a charge has been added to your taxes, you can call us at (315) 448-8270, and we will assist in looking into the matter.

Q. I want to know who pays the taxes for a particular property. Whom do I ask?
A. Tax related questions should be directed to the City Payment Center, which oversees taxes.  Please call (315) 448-8310.


Assessment Questions

Q. How do you assess properties?
A. We assess properties based on accepted methods of real estate valuation which may include cost, property income, and comparable sales of similar properties. Assessments may be adjusted for physical changes or changes in market value.

Q. What will happen if I demolish/build a structure like a porch or garage?
A. Your assessment may change to reflect a change in value.

Q. Why is my assessment different from my neighbors?
A. Each property is unique and therefore has a different market value.


Property Information Questions

Q. What happens to foreclosed properties, and can I purchase City-owned property?
A. Properties that have undergone tax foreclosure are transferred to the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation (the "Land Bank"). Visit their website to view available properties for sale. Other City-owned properties that have not been transferred to the Land Bank are marketed through the efforts of the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development with the support of the Department of Assessment and can be found here.

Q. How can I find the owner of a property?
A. You can refer to SDG’s Image Mate to look up the ownership of any address in the City of Syracuse.

Q. Can I get an owner’s phone number?
A. Phone numbers are not part of the information we retain for properties.


Question about Property Records

Q. Can I get a survey of my property? How can I determine where a property line is?
A. Surveys are private documents that are traditionally supplied by sellers. Your personal survey should show your property lines in relation to structures located on the property. The City only maintains tax maps of each parcel of land showing lot dimensions; these do not show buildings or structures, only land.

Q. How do I get a copy of my deed?
A. You can get a copy from the Onondaga County Clerk, the official repository of deeds.