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Saturday, May 27th

Last updateThu, 25 May 2017 11am

You are here: Home Real Estate At Last ... Property Tax Revaluation in Scarsdale
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At Last ... Property Tax Revaluation in Scarsdale

8heathcoteroadAt long last, Scarsdale will undergo a Village-wide property revaluation. The $1 million dollars needed to fund the work will be borrowed, rather than raised through taxes, and the debt service on the funds has been included in the proposed 2012-13 Village budget.

The last revaluation of Scarsdale properties was done 44 years ago in 1969, and many have noted the inequities in the system as the market value of homes has fallen out of alignment with assessed values. The reassessment will not alter the total tax levy – but instead shift the burden from those paying too much to those who are paying too little.

The revaluation will weigh homes on 19 characteristics to determine the new assessed value. Experts estimate that after the revaluation, the real estate taxes for one third of homeowners will go up, one third will stay the same and one third will go down.

The revaluation should stem the tide of tax grievances filed by residents who believe they are currently overburdened. In 2010-11, 756 grievances were filed and the volume proved very difficult for the Village assessor to handle.

We asked a few Scarsdale residents to comment on the impending revaluation and here is what they said.

Attorney Robert Berg who is a member of the Scarsdale Forum and a keen observer of Village affairs said, "Finally, a remarkable 44 years late, Scarsdale will begin the process of a town-wide revaluation. The Scarsdale Forum's Assessment Revaluation Committee demonstrated in its comprehensive November 2010 report that serious inequities exist in the taxation of equivalent properties within Scarsdale that can only be cured by town-wide revaluation. Revaluation will mean that the property tax burden will now be shared equitably among property owners. Owners of presently under-assessed properties, many of whom reside in large older homes whose value skyrocketed over the past 4 1/2 decades but whose assessment could not be increased to capture that increased market value, will no longer have their property taxes subsidized by the rest of Scarsdale's taxpayers. Moreover, with assessments being made at 100% of fair market valuation, the number of taxpayers challenging their property tax assessments should decline precipitously and the Village should be better able to defend any remaining challenges. Substantial savings in Village staff time and tax cert. refunds should result. Town-wide revaluation is a big win for fair government in Scarsdale and I welcome it. Better late than never."

Village resident Doug Ulene is also a member of the Scarsdale Forum. Since moving here in 2000, Ulene has challenged his own taxes twice. He added, “I think that a village-wide reassessment is long overdue. The Town's failure to "reval" its properties since the late 1960s has produced "winners" whose properties are permanently underassessed, and "losers" who are forced to spend time and money in order to achieve a modicum of fairness. That offends my sense of right and wrong, and I'm glad that the current Village Board appears to have the courage to re-establish property tax equity in Scarsdale.

lynneclark
Lynne Clark
Lynne Clark a realtor with Houlihan Lawrence and a longtime Scarsdale resident offered the following: "Village wide re-assessment will make our taxes more fairly allocated based on the market value of our housing stock. Right now houses selling at the same price can have a large swing on the amount of taxes owed. Luckily, sales of Scarsdale homes continue to be brisk and I am confident this will continue. During the reassessment process, tax amounts will not be known for sure on any of our properties, therefore buyers may be hesitant to make large housing decisions without knowing what their taxes will be going forward. This may affect sales for the very short term, but surely not for the long term."

Angela Manson of Prudential Centennial Realty agreed that the reval would be a plus for Scarsdale. “Revaluation is a value

manson
Angela Manson
proposition benefiting existing homeowners and real estate buyers and sellers. It ensures a current measure of fair and equitable market value when all property taxes are aligned between comparable properties in a municipality. Consumer confidence is restored in knowing everyone pays their fair share.”

annemoretti_copy
Anne Moretti
Anne Dowd Moretti of Julia B. Fee SIR explored both sides of the issue. “When the real estate market turned downward in 2007, home sellers facing the prospect of a challenging "buyers market" closely evaluated their taxes, and those with high taxes were quick to file grievances. Although the local real estate market is now slowly recovering, buyers remain very sensitive to property taxes. If taxes seem out of proportion, either high or low, buyers will adjust their offer prices accordingly, or in the case of high taxes, simply pass on considering a home altogether. A community-wide reassessment has its negatives to consider as well. The most obvious is the cost to the Village. Another issue is the implication for homeowners who are currently under-taxed who might face an increase in their taxes. As far as real estate market implications are concerned, the more proportionate the taxes are to the real value of the home, the more likely it will sell at a price reflecting that value.”

Once the firm is hired to conduct the revaluation, the process could take up to 18 months to complete, so residents will not see a change in their tax bills anytime soon.
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Comments   

0 #11 Oleg 2013-02-01 08:04
the revaluation guys have been to my place, vey nice, verys prfesnal. the young Englishman/Scot ts person came to my house for appointment, spoke whole sentences with me in pretty good Russian (my native language) kudos to the village for hring such educated pleasant peoples
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0 #10 JG 2013-01-03 13:35
I've been advised by some real estate professionals not to let the village's representative into your house for revaluation because they have the village’s interests foremost . Better to obtain a professional who represents your interests in filing a grievance.
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0 #9 TIRED OF 2012-04-04 12:28
THIS DISGRACE HAS BEEN WIDELY KNOWN FOR DECADES AND OUR VILLAGE GOVT WAS IN CHRONIC "AVOID CONFLICT MODE" RATHER THAN "DO THE RIGHT THING" MODE. ALL ALONG, OUR ASSESSOR WAS REPRESENTING TO NYS THAT WE WERE STATISTICALLY OK ---SQUEAKY WHEELS GOT RELIEF AND OTHERS GOT QUIETLY NAILED . SHAME ON THOSE RESIDENTS WITHOUT PROPER BUILDING PERMITS AND SHAME ON OUR TRUSTEES WHO DIDN'T DO THEIR JOBS.
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0 #8 Sad resident 2012-03-05 22:24
There are plenty of older homes that do not have proper drainage, illegal drainage to sewer lines etc. These are usually the people that like to complain about others......
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0 #7 Robert Berg 2012-03-03 22:00
The only "losers" in the forthcoming townwide revaluation will be those property owners who have been underassessed (many for decades) and who will finally be brought up to fair market value. From my extensive analysis when I drafted the Forum's report recommending revaluation, these "losers" predominantly consist of large older homes on substantial properties in the estate sections of town. Some of these properties are underpaying their fair share of property taxes by tens of thousands of dollars each every year. And these property owners are being subsidized by owners of smaller, newer propeeties and those who have legally improved their properties by obtainimg required Village permits and inspections. The only legal way to bring the underassessed properties up to fair market value is a townwide reassessment (NY law does not allow spot reassessment based upon recent sales price). So that is why we must go this route. The reassessment is not ridiculously expensive. Rather, the cost is $1 million to be bonded over 5 years. The two firms under consideration are very experienced in conducting revaluations and while the process will not be perfect, following reasessment, the burden of the property tax will be shared far more equitably than under the present flawed assessment roll. Moreover, the reassessment experiences in Bronxville, Pelham, and the Town of Rye have been excellent overall, according to their assessors and the Mayor of Bronxville.
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0 #6 Scott 2012-03-02 19:46
Certain areas of the country have an ever changing tax base, and a home gets re-valued every time it sells. That wouldn't be too hard to do here.
As far as a blanket revalue goes, it would be fair here as the top is lightened by the bottom. Just check the average taxes when a $1.5m home sells and compare it to the taxes of a $3m or $4.5m dollar home, they don't stay congruent. As a long-time resident I am a little tired of my friends on Murray Hill bragging about their low taxes!
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0 #5 Mark Nadler 2012-03-02 08:57
I am very worried that the reval will have a very negative impact on the real estate market in Scarsdale as it did in Pelham and Bronxville when they went through reval years ago. The impact was felt for years, not months. The cost of reval is ridiculous and trying to affix a "market value" that will hold constant for a long period is impossible since the real estate market and inventory is not static. Finally, whovever is hired to do the reval will have no ability to get the job done accurately, uniformly or with objectivity since it is only the building department which knows what is legal in each property. Will illegal basements, decks, bedrooms, attics, being included in the reval? What about illegally replaced kitchens, bathrooms and windows? Real estate brokers in Scarsdale do not typically agree on property values in Scarsdale. How is an appraisal company going to do so?
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0 #4 Dave 2012-03-01 22:56
Its about time!!!!;-)
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0 #3 compliant resident overpaying his share of taxes 2012-03-01 04:43
@resident, Re: C of Os: ...and perhaps the fees and penalties from bringing all residences in the village into compliance for work performed without permits might actually cover the cost of the reassessment.
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0 #2 10583 2012-03-01 01:09
What are the 19 characteristics on which the re-evaluations will be based. Are they standard, state-wide?
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