Thursday, June 8, 2017

Town Delivers Triple-Whammy

Whammy 1
The town has delivered another blow to the already beleaguered taxpayers of the Town of Greenburgh. After 24 years of the Feiner administration ignoring the property values fiasco and certiorari refunds to any commercial entity that applied, the Town finally contracted with Tyler Technologies to do a town wide revaluation. Revaluation had not been performed since the 1950’s. Why is this significant? Because any certiorari challenges made to the Town Board were automatically approved because the Town had no legal standing to refuse them. There were numerous meetings, one after another, where the Town was granting certiorari refunds to applicants throughout the Town.

Many of the Town Board meetings highlight the incompetence of the Town Board to properly govern. During these meetings, the Town Board rapidly dispensed refunds of over a million dollars per meeting! The impact to the Town spreads to other entities as the taxes collected by the Town also include taxes for various districts such as sewer, school, fire and more. Damage done, the Town Board finally handed the political football to Mr Feiner who did his characteristic poor job of picking a company to do the revaluation. Revaluation should have stopped the financial hemorrhaging. But it didn’t.

Whammy 2
So as of June 1, 2017, the Town raised the assessments for most residents. Although, two specific sections of the Town, Edgemont and the Village of Irvington and anyone receiving an increase over 25% got a reprieve for a three year period as Mr Feiner asked his two Albany cronies, Stewart-Cousins and Abinanti to push a bill through the senate and assembly respectively, allowing a gradation of payment increase for those residents affected with large reassessment increases. While that helps a disproportionate amount of the Town residents, it conversely places the burden of paying the balance onto the rest of the Town residents.

Whammy 3
Not happy about your reassessment? You can complain. However, your time frame was already behind the 8-ball as the Town drafted the letter announcing the increase and what to do to challenge your new assessment on June 1st. So, knowing they were going to raise the value of your home, they could have written the letter sooner. The postmark on our letter was June 5th. Why is this significant? Because we received the letter and were already 6-days behind! Behind what? The time span to contest your reassessment is from June 1 until June 20. Except in Greenburgh. The Town has already reduced the effective days for you to complain from 20 down to 15. This is very typical of the Town processes.

The Town screwed up again by writing the letter too late. Then it screwed up more by mailing it late. At best, some residents will get their grievance in on time but we envision that many will be late because the Town was late. The best thing that could happen, but we believe won’t, is that the Town extends the grievance period. It would be helping to make the best of a Town-created bad situation. We hope that will happen. It’s what will help to make A Better Greenburgh.

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