WPCNR THE FEINER REPORT. SPECIAL TO WPCNR by PAUL FEINER. Supervisor, Town of Greenburgh.FEBRUARY 24, 2016:
The Town of Greenburgh is near completion of the Town-Wide revaluation-the first in about 60 years. All properties have been reassessed to 100% of their current market value. This has been a long arduous process over the last two years.
(Editor’s note:) The Town also voted to reject the Homestead Option that would have greatly increased the tax burden on commercial property owners and condominium owners and created different tax classes. (The details of how the Homestead Option was rejected are reviewed below.)
The Assessor has attended over 50 public information meetings, she has been on television, radio, and Town Board Meetings. We have also provided updates on the town website. I am hopeful that everyone is aware of this major undertaking for the Town of Greenburgh. We expect that everyone will now pay their fair share of the tax burden.
The Greenburgh Town Board discussed the reassessment process with Town Assessor Edye McCarthy (former Assessor for the City of White Plains) yesterday at our work session. The video link of the entire discussion is below. Participating in the discussion with all the members of the Town Board was a representative of New York State.
So what happens now: each Greenburgh property owner will receive a “disclosure” notice in mid-March, 2016. This letter will show what your assessment and taxes were before the reassessment and what your assessment and projected taxes will be after the reassessment.
If you are satisfied with your assessed value, you need do nothing further. If you are dissatisfied that your assessment is to high or to low, please contact Tyler Technologies (their contact information will be on the letter) to discuss your new value. You will have from receipt of the letter to the end of April to meet with our Contractor.
If you are still dissatisfied, after their determination, you have the right to file a formal assessment appeal with the Board of Assessment Review in June of 2016. At this time, there is no charge for the informal meeting with Tyler Technologies, nor is there a charge to file a formal assessment complaint. You can file the paperwork on your own, as there is no requirement to hire a representative
Members of the Greenburgh Town Board (Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner, Ken Jones, and I) decided yesterday to reject the homestead option.. The Town Board asked New York State to do an analysis and all the Board members decided to reject Homestead- after receiving a report from NYS. Of the more than 1,000 jurisdictions in NYS that have reassessed properties only 48 have adopted homestead, according to the Assessor. Most of the Westchester communities that have reassessed also rejected homestead.
During a reassessment, a municipality has the choice of adopting what is known as the “Homestead Option”. Homestead is a tax policy option available to municipalities that implement a reassessment. It creates two classes, homestead (residential) and non-homestead (commercial properties and most condominiums and cooperatives). It also creates different tax rates for each of the classes. Typically the Non-Homestead tax rate is higher.
The purpose of the Homestead is to prevent a dramatic shift in the tax burden to residential property owners in the event that the residential class increases its share of taxable value. There are many factors to take in to consideration prior to making this decision, such as but not limited to: what would happen to the residential class of property; what would happen to the condominiums/cooperatives, and what would happen to the commercial class of property.
At our Town Board work session on February 23rd our Assessor, Monitor and our State Representative, presented data to give us the ability to make an informed decision whether or not to opt in to the Homestead Option. The information supplied indicated that the aggregate tax shifts between the residential and commercial class of properties was a very modest increase of approximately 2% in the aggregate.
However, if we were to adopt this provision, the commercial properties would pay substantially more in property taxes along with over 60% of the condominium owners paying over 30% more of the aggregate tax burden.
This burden would be very difficult to bear for condominium property owners, and we were also concerned about the burden to our commercial owners, as we want to maintain the economic competitiveness that we currently have. We have many large commercial developments interested in coming to Greenburgh (which will assist in relief of the tax burden to our homeowners) and this may create an apprehension, not unwarranted.
For the reasons above, the Town Board unanimously decided against opting in to the Homestead Option.
The members of the Town Board -Diana Juettner, Ken Jones, Francis Sheehan, Kevin Morgan, Assessor Edye McCarthy and I are more than happy to meet with neighborhood groups in the coming months to discuss the reassessment process and to answer questions. If you have any other questions about the process please e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.