Two Local Clubs Receive Substantial Tax Refunds from Scarsdale Village and the Scarsdale Schools

QRGolfClubQuaker Ridge Golf ClubTwo local country clubs will receive substantial tax settlements from the Village of Scarsdale. The settlements are a result of assessment appeals which resulted in lower assessments for both clubs from the years 2014 to 2020.

As a result, Fox Meadow Tennis Club will receive $30,500 from Scarsdale Village and another $106,430 from the Scarsdale Schools for a total of $136,930.

Quaker Ridge Golf Club will receive far more. The settle is for $130,000 from the Village, and $403,979 from the Scarsdale Schools for a total of $533,979. The school refund will be made in three annual payments of $134,659 per year.

Together, the refunds will be a substantial loss to the Village and School budgets at a time when they are both struggling to minimize tax increases.

Why were the two properties overassessed? The disparity stems from their assessment as private vs. public clubs. We asked Scarsdale Village Assessor Victoria Sirota for an explanation. Below is her response outlining the Village portion of these refunds.

"The Town/Village has recently settled two separate Tax Certioraris commenced by the Quaker Ridge Golf Club and the Fox Meadow Tennis Club. These settlements represent Assessment Appeals for each of the six years at issue from 2014 through 2020.

The Quaker Ridge Golf Club market values for the years at issue ranged from $13,000,000 to $15,700,000 and the settlement market values ranged from $11,000,000 to $9,300,000, resulting in Town/Village tax refunds totaling approximately $130,000.

The Fox Meadow Tennis Club market values for the six years at issue were approximately $3,000,000 and the settlement market values ranged from $1,600,000 to $2,800,000, resulting in Town/Village refunds totaling $30,500.

For property tax purposes, there are two types of Golf/Country Clubs: public and private. Private clubs are generally high-end and more valuable than public foxmeadowFox Meadow Tennis Clubcourses. However, based on the valuation methodology accepted by the Westchester County Supreme Court a decade ago, regardless of whether a Golf/Country club is public or private, it is valued as if they were operated as a public for-profit facility. The methodology utilized in the valuation of such private facilities is based on the potential income and expenses, i.e., revenue from golf, pro shop, pool, food, tennis, etc., generated from similar public facilities in the region. Being superior in the quality of construction, design, and offering more and better amenities than public facilities, private facilities generate substantially higher income and higher valuations. As such, the value of private facilities should be higher than that of their public counterparts. However, due to the valuation methodology adopted by the Courts, consideration is not given to the Club’s actual revenue for tax purposes – rather, it is based on public facility comparisons.

The Quaker Ridge Golf Club is a not-for-profit corporation, and the subject property is operated as a private club. As noted above, the value of Quaker Ridge Golf Club would seemingly be valued as a private, profitable club, but it is not. The Westchester County Courts view this property as being similar in value to that of public courses in the County. Private swimming and tennis facilities, such as the Fox Meadow Tennis Club, are treated in the same fashion as private golf facilities in that their value is based on income and expenses obtained from swim and tennis clubs in the area, rather than the actual income of the subject property.

Please note that appeals reaching the Westchester County Supreme Court routinely take multiple years to be litigated. Because they are multi-year settlements, the dollar values are generally higher than single year settlements, of course."