By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
WORCESTER — The state Ethics Commission is taking no further action on a complaint regarding the significant drop in the assessed valuation of City Assessor William J. Ford’s home in recent years.
Mr. Ford was notified of the Ethics Commission’s action yesterday in a letter it sent him.
“As you know, we discussed with you a concern that your home’s assessed value had been significantly lowered in the past two years,” wrote Katherine E. Gallant, senior investigator for the commission. “Relying on what you told us and on any other necessary follow-up investigation and document review, we are satisfied that this matter does not require any further action on our part.”
Stephen Quist of June Street filed a complaint last month with the Ethics Commission in which he raised questions as to how Mr. Ford’s property valuation could go down by roughly $270,000 since he purchased the home in August 2010.
Mr. Quist pointed out that the valuation of Mr. Ford’s home at 360 Salisbury St. went down considerably, while the valuations for many other homeowners had at least stayed pretty much the same or had even gone up in some instances.
“It all begs the question of who’s guarding the henhouse?” Mr. Quist said when he filed his complaint.
Mr. Ford has also been the target of criticism from the citizens group, Accurate Worcester Assessments on Real Estate.
The group has pointed out that Mr. Ford’s home and property was assessed at $897,100 for fiscal 2010, the year in which he purchased it.
The assessment then dropped to $687,200 in fiscal 2011 and the new assessment is $620,000
The group pointed out that the land valuation of Mr. Ford’s 2.52 acres, which includes two half-acre buildable lots, is $66,500.
In comparison, the group said, the assessed land value of an abutting .56-acre on Surrey Lane is $100,4000, while the assessed land value for another .62-acre abutting property is $100,300.
Both those properties are within different neighborhood assessing codes than Mr. Ford’s property.