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Heathcote Association Challenges Revaluation

DuckPondRoadNewThe Heathcote Association is circulating a petition to delay implementation of the revaluation for one year to give residents "the opportunity for residents to review and understand the means by which their assessments were determined."

Speaking for the  Association, President David Bunzel is calling the current process flawed, lacking in transparency and time constrained. The group has not received the information they require to assess the methodology behind the revaluation and they are challenging the appropriateness of the comparables that were used to price their homes. They fear that the new assessments will drive empty nesters out of town, strain the schools and change the village character. They claim that as many as 40% of the assessments are "substantially wrong" and are calling on the Trustees to defer the implementation of the revaluation.

Commenting on the petition to defer the revaluation, Bunzel said he was speaking for all 40 homeowners in the association, who favor "tax fairness for everyone," adding that "no one should pay anything but the fair rate." According to their analysis, only 28% of valuations went down and 72% have gone up. Though he knows of no precedent for a deferral he believes that there were instances where Tyler had to redo the entire valuation. When asked how he proposes the situation be rectified, he said it will take "more field work and more time and effort to get it right."

We asked Mayor Bob Steves to comment on the petition for a deferral. Speaking for himself he said, "After a number of conversations and the inadequacies of the prior roll, I see no reason to delay implementation of this roll. There has been nothing that has come to my attention that should delay the reval at this point. I believe there will be adequate recourse for anyone who feels that their values are not correct and I would encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity. The delay would be costly and there is no reason to believe that the outcome would be any different the second time. There will be a public meeting with Tyler on May 29 that will be televised.


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#11 resident 2014-05-28 14:53
Our taxes are outrageously high. At minimum, our roads should be resurfaced. Our infrastructure is terrible. There are plenty of other areas with great schools AND well maintained roads.
#10 Concerned resident 2014-05-27 18:41

Of course the larger properties should be carrying more of their share of the tax burden. But as noted in the Heathcote Association's recent petition being circulated: "Based on the limited and preliminary information reviewed to date, outlier properties, mostly “teardowns”, appear to have been used for comparable valuations. The same few comparables appear to have been used extensively."

The reality though is the Scarsdale Village wants your land no matter how big or small to be sold to builders. The current Tyler revals have overly inflated the land value in contrast to the real market value due to this small amount of tear downs. Increasing the land value as much as 4 times will force homeowners on all levels of property value and lot sizes to sell and leave Scarsdale due to large tax increases. Then the village can break up the land which will encourage sellers to sell to builders who will then cram in as many overly sized houses on chopped up lots. This cozy Village/Builder s relationship will increase tax revenue due to square footage for the village and construction companies will make huge profits. All this at the expense of residents having to move out of Scarsdale. The residents who can afford to remain will be constantly inconvenienced due to noise and messy construction sites in the neighborhood while they see their Scarsdale landscape disappear and turned into condominium looking complexes with their neighbors houses right up to their doorsteps.
#9 Proof is in the pudding 2014-05-27 15:21
The revaluation is not perfect, but the fact that the most vociferous complainers are long-term mansion owners is very telling.

Newer owners, and those who renovated in the last five or ten years (anywhere in Scarsdale, including Murray Hill) were subsidizing these people.

Enough crocodile tears.
#8 Concerned resident 2014-05-27 11:46
Let's get right to the point on how this whole revaluation is being conducted by Tyler Tech and the Scarsdale Village Hall to a good amount of Scarsdale homeowners. And ask the important question as to why many homes/land that are similar in quality and size are seeing margin differences by Tyler revals that are as much as $300,000 or more. Some lowered but many increased.

1) Visit the Scarsdale Village official website at Scarsdale . com --> click on "Village Assessor" --> click on "Town/Village of Scarsdale Online Property Inquiry". Then select a street and then an address.

1) See under "Assessed Value" total amount went up or down from year 2013 to 2014

2) Notice all over Scarsdale (especially Quaker Ridge and Edgewood areas) many homeowners who did give access to Tyler for interior inspections can be confirmed by noticing under "Building Information"/"O verall Condition" many are rated as "Normal" or "Good". Tyler automatically gave an "Excellent" rating to homeowners who denied access although there are homes accessed that were rated "Excellent".

3) Any recent grievances can be checked by looking at the "Tax Information" section and notice whether the yearly "County Tax" recently reported for year 2014 went up or down.

So I beg the question one final time, how can the Scarsdale Village and Tyler Tech justify homeowners with 7 bedrooms and home improvements for example having revals reduced $37,897 while smaller homes with 3 bedrooms or less in "Overall Condition -Normal" get revals that increase as much as $300,000? Who's subsidizing who now? It appears possibly that some people with local political aspirations and even the highest elected official in the Village quoted in above article ..."I see no reason to delay implementation of this roll." are seeing Tyler reval assessment reductions. The current revaluation procedure is seriously flawed.This is why more time is needed to look closer and sort this all out in order to achieve true fairness to all.
#7 Concerned resident 2014-05-25 17:21
Not fair is having two additions added to a house, one in 1997 and another in 2002 all of which with upgraded materials increasing the home to 7 bedrooms and over 3360 square feet putting it right at the neighbors doorsteps and getting a $37,897 reduction from Tyler. Again while residents in Quaker Ridge and Edgewood with homes with 3 bedrooms and under 2000 sq. ft. are seeing $200,000 increases of assessment by Tyler.

This 7 bedroom house close to the village hall is obviously under assessed by Tyler. Tyler is either guilty of incompetence in their assessments or perhaps some kind of transactions going on behind the scenes. This whole reval process needs to be looked at very closely by residents. Perhaps even an investigation from the outside independent oversight agency.

How hypocritical that residents with 7 bedroom homes who are getting assessment reductions from Tyler are the same residents complaining when they are really the ones under assessed.
#6 Concerned resident 2014-05-24 21:17
Perhaps foot dragging is necessary. Well it can be seen why this would be desirable if one lives in a 7 bedroom, 3 .5 bath, 3360 square foot house with close proximity to the village hall and the new assessment was reduced by $37,890 with miraculously before grievance. Whereas as many homes in the Edgewood area with with only 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and under 2000 square feet was increased by $150,000. Seems like people agree as long as they are reduced. The system for assessment needs to be seriously scrutinized and re-examined.
#5 Bob Selvaggio 2014-05-24 17:03
I am 100% behind Mayor Steves here. The foot-dragging had gone on long enough as special interests succeeded in maintaining a status quo of vast tax inequities. The reval (once allowed to proceed) was conducted with integrity and those who denied access to appraisers did so for very transparent reasons -- it is absolutely no accident that many valuations increased dramatically. How ironic that after cheating their Scarsdale neighbors for years these individuals are now crying for "tax fairness" (by which they mean the old corrupt status quo).
#4 Another resident 2014-05-23 18:17
The town was very clear as to what would happen if you denied access. They have to assume the whole house is finished and in excellent condition. In this case they did the right thing. You should not be rewarded for trying to cheat the system.
#3 Tyler not playing fair to all. 2014-05-23 17:35
And those who did not provide access were also denied any recent meetings with Tyler.

Quoting Scarsdale resident:
Worse than large properties, Tyler has been particularly nasty to those who did not provide access. More than 50% overvaluation as opposed to established agreed valuations in court two years earlier. This clearly shows the bias and lack of professionalism from Tyler.

The only way to stop this abuse is a Real estate tax strike if carried by enough residents, and refuse to pay taxes until the process is more reasonable.
#2 Scarsdale resident 2014-05-23 17:05
Worse than large properties, Tyler has been particularly nasty to those who did not provide access. More than 50% overvaluation as opposed to established agreed valuations in court two years earlier. This clearly shows the bias and lack of professionalism from Tyler.

The only way to stop this abuse is a Real estate tax strike if carried by enough residents, and refuse to pay taxes until the process is more reasonable.

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