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Village Asks for Your Feedback on LED Streetlights and Solar Panels

LEDStreetLightThis week, the Village is looking for your thoughts on LED streetlights and the presence of solar panels atop village homes.

First – the LED streetlights:

The Village LED Streetlight Pilot Program is underway with pilot LED streetlights installed in a number of locations throughout the Village. Pilot lights are installed on sections of White Plains (Post) Road, Heathcote Road, Mamaroneck Road, Tisdale Road. Two additional lights will be installed on Springdale Road later in July. Specific locations can be found on the maps below.

Village Managers want to know what residents think about the lights. Please send any comments or questions to LED@Scarsdale.com or drop off comments at Village Hall at the LED comment box located on the first floor counter.

This phase of the Pilot will continue for the next three months. Subject to the results of this phase of the Pilot, the following streets are being considered for an upgrade to LED streetlights: White Plains (Post) Road, Heathcote Road (Post Road to Five Corners), Mamaroneck Road and Weaver Street (note: some lights on Weaver Street have already been converted to LEDs - these lights are owned and were converted to LEDs by the City of New Rochelle).

In addition to these streets, locations with Town & Country Style post-top fixtures (see attached picture) are also being considered for an LED upgrade. These locations include parts of the Crane Berkeley and Secor Farms areas as well as a few other streets throughout the Village.

Solar Panels Facing the Streetsolarpanel

The Board of Architectural Review has turned down several applications to install solar panels on the street-facing side of homes. In response, the Village's Board of Trustees requested that the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) look into a formal policy regarding this and other solar installation considerations.

Since street-facing panels are an aesthetic question and the CAC is seeking community input. They have created a very short survey that asks, among other question 'Should solar panels be installed on the street facing side of homes?' CAC Chair Lee Fischman has asked around on his own. Says Mr. Fischman, "I've heard some folks say no way, they're ugly, while others say a homeowner should be able to put anything on the front of his or her house. There's certainly no quorum as yet."

The CAC survey can be accessed here

The CAC is also researching best practices to make applications easier and in the process has found several useful and interesting resources; these are assembled on the "Solar Central" section of the CAC's ever-expanding web page on Scarsdale.com.
ledpilot

 

Scarsdale Concours Car Show to Return On October 2 for its Thirteenth Year

concoursviewTwelve years ago the town authorities did the unthinkable—they allowed half of Scarsdale village to be shutdown for Scarsdale's first car show. Back in 2003, two Scarsdale High School sophomores, Evan M. Cygler and Dennis O'Leary III, launched the Scarsdale Concours d'Elegance with the help of the Scarsdale Police Department and the enthusiastic approval of village officials and the rest is history.

Since then, the event has become one of the village's most popular annual spectator events. This year's show, on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 will be a celebration marking thirteen consecutive years.

Expected to be on display for 2016 will be a spectacular array of Ferraris, Aston Martins, Packard's, Mercedes-Benz's, Porsches, Bentleys, Rolls-Royce's, Bugattis, Paganis and a host of other exceptional cars that span decades of automotive design.

Cygler and O'Leary developed the concept for the show when they were "car mad" third grade students at the Windward School in White Plains and launched the first Concours while students at Scarsdale High School. They said they originally created the show to be showcase both new and vintage cars while raising significant funds for local charities.

Since 2003 over $375,000 has been raised for local non-profits. Beneficiaries have included the United Way of Westchester, Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, the Kellner Family Pediatric Liver Disease Foundation, the Scarsdale Volunteer Firefighters, the Scarsdale Teen Center, the White Plains Hospital, Scarsdale/ Edgemont Family Counseling Center, the Windward School, the Scarsdale Historical Society and last year the Scarsdale Foundation, Scarsdale/Edgemont Family Counseling Center, and the Warrior & Family Assistance Fund.

Cygler and O'Leary have now graduated from the University of Arizona and Washington and Lee University respectively, and are both gainfully employed. Cygler is Director of Marketing at Miller Motor Cars in Greenwich, CT and O'Leary is with J. P. Morgan Chase. With Cygler and O'Leary unavailable in 2010 for management of the event, the Scarsdale Historical Society took control for one year. The event has now returned to its independent stature and is no longer officially affiliated with the society.

Cygler returned to the fold in 2011 and re-joined the board of the car show along with continuing board members Lucas Meyer, Ralph Della Cava, Gordan Rafajac, Shelley Krohnengold and new board members Lawrence Patrizio, Randy Cobian, Bob Pfister, and two father and son teams; Ira and Ben Hasson, and David and Sam Fried.

The biggest news for 2012 was Cygler's passing of the torch to two upcoming members of the board, both aged 14. Ben Hasson and Sam Fried, both newly appointed members of the board, received a special honor from Cygler in a dedication accompanying the awards ceremony as Cygler stepped down from his position as Founder and CEO of the Concours. This will ensure that the event will continue to thrive.

Along with Lawrence Patrizio and his son Daniel, the board has grown to include Richard Hubbell, Andrew Albert, Alex Forschner, and in keeping with tradition, father and son teams, Leif and Sidney Waller, Ken and Jonah Schneider, and another dedicated high school student, Jacob Goodman.

With these additions the Scarsdale Concours now has three father and son teams and a total of five local high school students on the Board of Directors. As the thirteenth annual event approaches, it is clear that the future of the Concours is in good hands.

The Scarsdale Concours d'Elegance Foundation Board of Directors for 2016

Andrew Albert
Alex Forschner
Jacob Goodman
Kevin Higgins
Richard Hubell
Shelley Krohnengold
Daniel Patrizio
Lawrence Patrizio
Gordan Rafajac
Ken Schneider
Jonah Schneider
Matt Spielman
Leif Waller
Sydney Waller

The Scarsdale Concours d'Elegance Foundation is a non-profit tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Angry Residents Ask Scarsdale Village Board to Discard the 2016 Revaluation

revalmeetingLong time residents, small property owners and retirees had their night in Village Hall on Tuesday June 14 when they came to express their dismay about their new assessments after the second village-wide property revaluation. Unlike the aftermath of the first revaluation in 2014, when owners of large homes in the Heathcote Association and Murray Hill dominated the conversation, this new revaluation appears to have had the biggest impact on those least able to handle a tax increase.

This second revaluation comes just two years after the Village conducted the first village wide revaluation in 45 years in 2014. That revaluation, conducted by Tyler Technologies and audited by John F. Ryan, brought big increases in assessments to some of Scarsdale's premium homes. Just as homeowners questioned the validity of this revaluation this week, in May, 2014 David Bunzel who lives in the Heathcote Association told trustees that the "Heathcote Association had posted a petition to delay the revaluation and received a large number of signatures from people all over the Village including 80 in Fox Meadow and the 40 in our area" and said there is "substantial support from your constituents to defer it and get it right the first time." 

In 2014, Josh Frankel of Black Birch Lane defended Tyler and quoted a report from the Scarsdale Forum that said, "many large estate properties were substantially under-assessed and these property owners are enjoying a windfall on the backs of other Scarsdale taxpayers."

On Tuesday night, the audience appeared to be populated with far more owners of modest homes on .11 acres than their neighbors in Murray Hill who received large reductions in their assessments. For example, Steve Rakoff, who was a big proponent for a second revaluation, saw a significant decrease in the valuation of his own home. At a November 2015 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Morris Lane resident and developer claimed that as a result of the 2014 revaluation, homeowners in Edgewood, Greenacres and sections of Fox Meadow were receiving "discounts" on their taxes at the expense of the owners of the larger properties. Rakoff said, "If you live in Edgewood on .2 of an acre and send three children to the schools, Scarsdale is funding you to the tune of $67,000. You have a real deal!" This time around, the assessment on his home decreased $750,000 from $4,650,000 to $3,900,000.

This week Village Hall was filled with scores of residents of more modest homes who complained that about the increase in their assessments, questioned the assumptions and methodology behind the new model and asked the trustees to revoke this new tax roll and return to the 2014 assessments.

Several people had called for the assessor to provide statistics on the revaluation; i.e. how many home assessments had gone up, how many had gone down and how many had remained the same. They also asked for assessment data by neighborhood so that they could see which areas were rising and falling. The Mayor said that this data would not be provided now, "as the staff is giving priority over the next week to answering resident questions about the grievance process and assisting them with procedural matters in light of the fact that the grievance filing deadline is June 21st, as you know. Among other things, it is noted that the sort of information you are requesting does not directly impact an individual property owner's grievance filing since such filing focuses on the assessed value of the resident's property."

Josh Frankel attempted to determine these statistics using the data that is available on the Village website. He called this new revaluation "not a tweak but a complete overhaul," that has reversed the effects of Tyler's work in 2014.

Here are the numbers he computed:zoningmap

Of approximately 5,900 parcels in Scarsdale, 2,820 saw their assessed value change by more than 10% up or down and 19% saw their valuation change by more than 20%. The total of all properties in zone A1 (largely Heathcote) declined by 6% and relief for them was spread across other zones – A4, A3, A5 (Fox Meadow, Edgewood) where 3,900 parcels rose on average 50,000 each. On average A1 parcels went down by $233,000 each. Frankel said, "The onus should not be on the residents to clean up after the Village Board."

And Michael Levine, an expert statistician and resident, also analyzed the reval numbers. His report can be found posted on the village website here.

Mayor Mark and Attorney Wayne Essanason patiently explained the process for grieving the new assessments, yet many asked why individuals had to hire professionals to appeal when, in their view, the Village had made errors. Michael Kerr of Fox Meadow Road said, "If the person who drove by my house made a mistake, why is the onus on me to file a grievance. I bought my house three years ago and the assessment has gone up $500,000! I should not have to explain this at all. There should be responsibility taken for the mistakes that have been here. The model is flawed. I don't want to have to hire someone to explain this – I would like an apology."

Dennis Meahan of Barry Road echoed the concerns of many retirees at the meeting when he told trustees, "I have been in the house for 40 years. I hosted two STEP children from Mississippi and Tennessee. I have three grandchildren in Edgewood and they all go to school here. I have never challenged my assessment. Two years ago someone from Tyler went through the house and it went down. This year, it went up $135,000. We are senior citizens and we work part time. Does this town want diversity – does it want to keep its senior citizens?"

Karen Coape Arnold who lives at 1000 Post Road hinted at the effect teardowns and development may have had on the land value component of home assessments. She said, "I live at 1000 Post Road and have done several thousand closings. I am concerned that people will be attracted to big houses on small lots. What happened to a Village in a Park? Developers are going to buy these lots and destroy our neighborhood. I live across from a commercial business, and the fire station. I have no snow removal and my assessment went up $900,0000." (Note: her land value rose from $1,185,000 to $1,900,000 for a home on one of Scarsdale's busiest thoroughfares.)

Trustees originally authorized this new revaluation to tweak Tyler's work and correct "outliers" from the last revaluation. Though it utilized the same data from the home inspections conducted before the 2014 revaluation, a different methodology was used to do the assessments. The first reval used comparable sales to value similar homes, while for this one, a statistical model was built based on a regression analysis of a range of variables.

Several speakers at the meeting claimed to have professional experience with statistical models and questioned Ryan's work.

Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez said, "We have spent 200 hours analyzing the model.It pays no attention to model risk.... It is important to validate the data. It must be accurate and consistent and validated by an independent person. Our town's reputation is at stake. Credit rating agencies will not look favorably at a town with inconsistent income streams."

Neelson Daniels of 1109 Post Road concurred, saying that he has a background in statistics and that there are "fundamental flaws with the process and the model itself. I do independent valuation of models that are used by the banks. Are the outcomes reasonable? Will it predict the value of a home? Get an independent auditor to validate it. I would do it but I am biased! My taxes have gone up 30%. If we find it is flawed we can go back to the other model."

Like many residents on small lots, Kai-Hong Teng on Ridgecrest East in Greenacres experienced a big increase in his assessment, which rose 62% from $759,000 to $1,225,000. He said, "I worked with numbers for years. The first thing you do when you get numbers is to do a sanity check. Do the numbers make sense? And this does not pass the smell test. It does not pass any test."

Residents posed many theories as to why the model was flawed. Here are a few we heard:

  • The sale of properties for teardowns had skewed the value of the land vs. the dwelling.
  • Fox Meadow homeowners were paying a premium as it received the highest multiplier in the model of 1.30 with Heathcote at 1.15, and Edgewood, Greenacres and Quaker Ridge all valued equally at 1.10.
  • There were too few sales of homes above $3 million during the period July, 2014- September, 2015 to have an accurate database for the model.
  • The model was not validated by an independent auditor.

There were even a few who spoke who had not been adversely affected but were concerned with the outcome. Norman Bernstein said, "I don't have a dog in this fight. My taxes did not go up materially but I am concerned about the assumptions. The people who are benefitting have a high priced house. That is a grossly unequal and unfair result. You authorized this valuation you can unauthorize it! Don't tell me you need an evaluation in September – you have one – use the Tyler valuation."

As the night wore on, the audience grew more raucous, clapping loudly for extended periods and often screaming out from their seats rather than going up to the microphone to speak.

Residents questioned the mayor and the village attorney on how they might invalidate or disregard this new tax roll and continue to use the 2014 assessment. Village Attorney Wayne Essanason said, "Technically I believe that the board could adopt a resolution invalidating the reval process.... In order to do that there has to be sufficient reason, not just a politically motivated group. But then there would be a legal challenge from another group. We would need an objective basis to invalidate it. .... The court could find it arbitrary and capricious. It is a very high threshold."

One man said, "The dust had just settled on the first revaluation and now the BOT decided to go ahead with another revaluation and have angered even more people this time. I think you're better than that. I want to encourage you to do the right thing and consider your legacy as a board. Consider all your options going forward instead of putting the burden on us. There are other options that are available to you."

A Rock Creek Lane woman whose assessment rose $250,000 said, "Why did you reassess everything? Fire this man. He didn't do a good job."

Another man said, "We have the numbers in and we can't change them now. We have two valuations. Why can we not use the more thorough reval that was done by Tyler. Two years have gone by, a lot of people who would have grieved, already have. Why can't we pick and use Tyler. My grade and the condition of my house were bumped up and increased my assessment by 50%. That sounds illegal to me. If something was so flawed, there must be methodology of realizing this and not driving off the cliff. So the people who are the experts screwed up royally – and if they increased my assessment by 50% I might get lucky and get 25% back? Really – is that what we're worth? It's an embarrassment. It almost seems criminal to me."

Robert Berg, a proponent of the first revaluation who opposed the second one said, "As I said before, I think this reval was so flawed that it violates the equal protection clause and people can challenge it or file a class action suit to void it. I think this board has some ability to void this reval. I would urge the board to look into any legal ability they have to do it."

The Mayor assured residents that the Board was listening. He said, "We will give it some thought. We do hear you. We do hear the shock that many of you are in."

It's Time to Get Real with Greenacres Elementary School

GreenacresSchoolThis is a letter to Scarsdale10583 from Michael Greenberg of Brite Avenue
Along with many others, I attended the Board of Education's meeting on June 20, which included a discussion of the proposals for renovating or reconstructing the Greenacres Elementary School. I support Option B1, which involves renovation and expansion of the existing Greenacres school, rather than demolition of that school and construction of a new school on our existing fields (Option C1).

I would like to make a few points that I hope everyone will consider.

1. The asbestos scare tactics are officially off the table. After the district's architect from KG&D carefully described the process of asbestos abatement in schools (which, by law, takes place ONLY when the school building is empty, during summer months and vacations), and the fact that other construction takes place entirely within sealed areas behind hard, impermeable barriers, with negative pressure, air filtration and frequent air testing, among other precautions, I think it's clear that the scare tactics of the C1 camp concerning exposure to asbestos were never more than that, and that if one or more of that group were really foolish enough to file a lawsuit, as some have threatened, it would be dismissed immediately upon the school board's filing of a motion to dismiss. No such suit that's heavy on fear but devoid of fact would make it past the filing stage. The Board has absolutely nothing to fear in that regard.

2. We should not predetermine this issue. I and many others were extremely disappointed to hear the B1 group's recent email campaign to the Board described dismissively at the June 20th meeting as "robo emails". To the contrary, approximately 270 people took the time recently to write to the board to express their opinion on this issue, many of them with comments specific to their support for option B1, only to have them characterized in this dismissive way. Further, the comment made by Dr. Hagerman at the June 20 meeting that the District is motivated on the B1 v. C1 issue almost exclusively by the "Model Program", and his apparent agreement with KG&D that only C1 satisfies the Model Program, is a real disservice to our community. As was made clear at the June 20 meeting, the Model Program is no more than a prescription for room types and sizes, and the authors of that program offer no evidence that a modern or larger classroom has any bearing at all on educational outcomes. Ask yourselves this. Harvard is the oldest school in America (founded in 1636). It is approaching its 400th birthday. Anyone who has seen Harvard's campus knows that it is filled with old buildings that are far older than Greenacres. If we are to be persuaded by the Model Programmers that big + new = better, then why is it that Harvard so thoughtfully preserves its old buildings and never tears them down? If the Model Programmers are to be believed, then Harvard should be graduating sub-par students. Most of the best universities in America and worldwide (think 1000 year old Oxford or 800 year old Cambridge, and schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, Williams College, Amherst, etc.) teem with old buildings that have been restored and updated. And yet, these schools are widely regarded as the best schools in the western world. How could that be? If we believe the new + bigger = better crowd, then we have a tremendous paradox on our hands. But the truth is far simpler and less expensive than a new building. Great educational outcomes are the result of engaged children who are encouraged first and foremost to read (something our Xbox generation should consider), and are nurtured in their educations by engaged parents. Successful children also have talented and enthusiastic teachers. They learn the habits of hard work, effective listening and study skills, and the power of organization, time management, high standards and critical thinking. That's it. If you seek a correlation between academic success and some set of factors, look no further than these, because they are the reason that children succeed here. Does anyone truly believe that a primary factor in the success of children in our district is the size of the classroom they study in?

3. And as for Fox Meadow, Heathcote, Quaker Ridge and Edgewood.... As we saw at the June 20 meeting -- since KG&D's April, 2015 feasibility study contains a colorful chart to illustrate the point -- KG&D carefully documented that it is not just Greenacres Elementary that fails to measure up to the Model Program. In fact, every one of our apparently subpar elementary schools fails that test. So when we talk about the $12 million or so of cost difference between B1 and C1, the cost analysis doesn't end there. Once we set the (very questionable) precedent of tearing down schools that don't measure up to a model program that itself is questionable, every neighborhood will now insist that they have their turn. And believe me, the fact that we're tearing down Greenacres "for the children," as I heard repeatedly, who deserve a school that complies fully with the Model Program, will be prominently featured in the debate surrounding any bond issue that includes an option C tear-down option. When that occurs, the Board will be asked to clarify whether only Greenacres needs to be torn down for its failure to comply with the Model Program, and if only Greenacres and not every other elementary school, why that is. To apply this principle consistently, we must conclude that all of Scarsdale's elementary schools must be torn down, since all fail the Model Program. And since we heard from KG&D at the June 20 meeting that it is far more expensive to rebuild a school on its existing footprint than upon a new one, we must conclude that each neighborhood will require a new school on what now serves as their fields. This is where the C1 debate is taking us. When we're cautioned, as we often are at these meetings, that we should consider all facts, I submit that we should look down the road at where the arguments favoring C1 take us. The precedent this sets is unavoidable. If this board wishes to secure any capital project for the next 50 years other than elementary school tear downs and reconstruction, it should consider carefully the implications of the rationale for C1, as documented in KG&D's own presentations.

4. Let the value engineering begin. Value engineering in construction is the substitution of materials and processes that are less expensive than those specified in an itemized budget. Since the cost of C1 exceeds what is likely to pass a bond issue, to make C1 more acceptable will require substantial value engineering. This is a term that architects like to throw around because it sounds "responsible". After all, it has the word "value" in it. But what value engineering will mean here is an increasingly ugly and less functional C1 option, as C1 inevitably is scaled back to more closely resemble the budget of B1. The truth is that we will never again be able to afford to build a building as beautiful and substantial as the one we have now. In fact, that realization -- the fact that construction methods and materials have cheapened over time -- is one of the primary arguments for preservation. "They just don't build them like they used to" is more than a saying. By the time we're done "value engineering" the new school, it will more closely resemble a typical institutional structure than the charming brick and slate-roofed early 20th century school house that we now are so fortunate to have and that too many of us fail to appreciate. Think of the new building at the Five Corners that was vacant for more than a year and that everyone agrees is among the ugliest structures in town. And as for the assumption that new construction outlasts older construction, I am now renovating a 12,000 ft home and carriage house constructed in 1902, alongside new housing that we plan to build. The 1902 home and carriage house were connected in 1978 by an addition that was built to match the original structures' cedar shingle style. Our structural engineering firm just inspected all three structures and sent us a report. Their conclusion: the 1902 home and carriage house are in fine shape and should be preserved. The 1978 addition has degraded and should be torn down. That is a perennial lesson of new vs old construction, where "pre-war" refers to a higher-quality of construction and design that is long gone and "post-war" more often than not is synonymous with undistinguished design and cheap construction methods. Buildings like Greenacres were built at a time when workmanship and beauty mattered more than cost. We have not lived in a world with those values for a very long time. Wasn't that the experience with the Quaker Ridge wing that was built with subpar concrete and did not last even for its projected useful life? According to a NYTimes article which discussed the school in April, 2005:

"In a 2002 inspection of Quaker Ridge, district facilities personnel discovered cracking and deteriorating concrete -- the result of excessive moisture and a bad batch of concrete with beach sand -- on a slab in a crawl space underneath the school. Forty percent was found to have deteriorated, and it is unclear how much more of the space could continue to crack and crumble."

According to the NY Times article, the concrete that failed at Quaker Ridge was poured in 1947 and had failed by 2002. Schools like Greenacres survive far longer than newer buildings because they were overbuilt from the start, before the era when tight budgets and corner-cutting contractors were common. This is why Greenacres and the 200 and 300 year old buildings at some of our nation's best schools still stand. The truth is that we can no longer afford to build a school building of the quality of Greenacres.

5. Even the C1 plan still results in the loss of two baseball fields. As a recent co-president of the Scarsdale Little League, I can tell you that the Little League's spring program, which involves between 850 and 900 Scarsdale children, is perennially short of ball fields, and field conflicts with the town's soccer league are common. Greenacres primary baseball field is one of only two in the town (the other being Hyatt Field on Boulevard) with 90' base paths. The other small field, closer to the playground, is used often as a field for training children to play baseball and for pickup games with kids. The C1 plan contains two soccer fields but zero baseball fields. Since there is nowhere else in town to build a new baseball field, these two fields will be lost forever to the community.

6. Ultimately, it only makes sense if the Town will fund it. I would think that we've all learned, especially from the last bond issue that was defeated, that when you have a budget item that is sufficiently large and unpopular, it will be defeated. The high school fitness center that irked so many people was only a fraction the size of the proposed budget of this school. When the costs are considered, along with the precedent of increasingly out of control spending to fund questionable capital projects, it's obvious to me that a bond issue containing a bloated Option C1 budget will be defeated.

There are now many hundreds of B1 supporters. 830 people signed the B1 petition and only 30 withdrew to sign the C1 petition. After months of concerted effort to get those in Greenacres and elsewhere to sign their petition, the C1 camp is frozen at 156 signatures. That's certainly not for lack of effort. Why would that be if their position is common sense and support for their position broad? The answer is that they are a vocal minority and not at all representative of the majority opinion within Greenacres, and certainly not outside of Greenacres. 156 people are not enough to defeat a bond issue. Hundreds of B1 supporters in Greenacres along with hundreds more in the other neighborhoods of Scarsdale are enough to defeat a bond issue. I hope that B1 is put forth as the Board's choice and that we're not forced to make such a decision.

Our superintendent and Board of Education have done an excellent job with many complicated issues related to our schools, most recently a new teachers' contract. They should be applauded for their tremendous commitment of time and effort on our behalf. I hope that sanity prevails here and that their history of largely excellent work reflecting the will of the community continues.

New 2016 Tax Valuations Posted on Village Website: Did Your Assessment Go Up or Down?

5 Paddington RoadThe new 2016 real estate tax valuations for Scarsdale properties are now posted on the Scarsdale Village website. You can click here to see how you fared by selecting your street and house number. On your property record you will find your tentative AV or assessed valuation for 2016 that you can compare to the 2015 AV shown in the column at right.

According to Village Assessor Nanette Albanese, you can calculate your approximate tax bill by multiplying the valuation by .0234. For example, if your home is valued at $1,400,000, multiply that valuation by .0234 and you'll find that your estimated taxes for 2017 will be $32,760. However, Albanese warns that the tax calculation factor could change when the 2016 school tax rate is posted in August 2016. The 2016 assessments are the basis for tax bills in 2017.

Unlike the prior revaluation which was based on comparable sales, these values were determined by the formulation of a model based on all sales in Scarsdale from July 1, 2014 through September 25, 2015. The Village has posted a chart of the sales that went into the formulation of the model on their website and you can see it here:

The Village Assessor's office will mail change of assessment letters to homeowners on June 3. According to the assessor, these letters will "Show the 2015 and 2016 assessments and the difference between the two. Mailed along with that document will be a document entitled 2016 VALUATION DETAIL SHEET, which will set forth the elements of the property used in the modeling process and the 'coefficients' that were generated." From this information you will be able to calculate the valuation for a property.

Those wishing to grieve their tax assessment can do so from today until Tuesday June 21. You can find the appropriate form on the Village website here

Probably the biggest changes in assessment were for the higher value homes as there have been fewer sales of homes valued above $3 million this year. The valuations may reflect a softening in the market for this segment of the market.

Commenting on the results of this second revaluation, Robert Berg, who sits on the Board of Assessment Review said, "From my cursory review, the huge winners are many in the Heathcote/Murray Hill area, with many values dropping to very low numbers. Check out, Birchall Drive where one home goes from $3.8mm to $2.875mm for a 7,708 square foot house graded A 100% on one acre. That's a good deal. Another home on Birchall goes from $3.121mm to $2.625mm for a 5,651 square foot house on .97 acres graded A+ 130%. Seymour Topping's property at 5 Heathcote Road is essentially unchanged in value and there are no changes to Christie Place values at all, despite some fair market value rentals in the buildings. On streets like Boulevard, some small houses went way up while others did not. To me it seems totally random, except for the big drop for many of the estate properties."

Check out your new valuation and post your comments and observations below.

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