Pelham NY: A Community of Homes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

101 Grievances and Pelham's Best Kept Secret

Yesterday, June 17, 2014, was "Grievance Day" in The Town of Pelham. It's the day when property owners filed papers and came to argue, protesting their proposed assessments for the next tax year.
When the proposed assessments are published early in June, owners may file a complaint that their assessments are too high. The complaints are heard by the Town's Board of Assessment Review, which meets every year in Town Hall at 34 Fifth Avenue. Grievance Day always falls on the third Tuesday in June.
This year, only 101 Grievances were filed by property owners. The number of Grievances filed was lower than last year, when reportedly 110 Grievances were filed.

For the first time in several years, residential assessments were increased, because the Assessor believed that home values increased in comparison to last year. Many commercial property owners file Grievances every year, and they often receive reductions when their cases are appealed to Court with a Certiorari Petition.

At this time, it isn't known how many of the Grievances filed yesterday were for commercial property and how many were for residential property.

But the fact that the total number of Grievances only was 101 suggests that most property owners here in Pelham were satisfied with their proposed assessments and did not file a formal protest.

When it comes to real estate taxes, it's Pelham's best kept secret that at two of the Condominiums in town, taxes are extremely low. That's because of a loophole in the tax law: While new Condos are taxed at full market value (the same way taxes are calculated on homes) converted Condos are taxed differently. The tax formula is based upon their value as rental properties, because the converted Condos originally had been investment properties that were rented to tenants by landlords.
Here's a link to a 1997 New York Times article reporting on "Pelham Manor's Last Rental Conversion." It's about The Fairways Condominium, which is near The Pelham Country Club on Wynnewood Road. The other converted Condo in Pelham is Witherbee Court, across the street from The Fairways.
We have a 1-Bedroom apartment at The Fairways for sale priced under $200,000, with annual taxes of approximately $2,692. And that's before a STAR (School Tax) reduction, which effectively wipes out the school tax bill of $1,734 (last year's bill), leaving a STAR-qualified owner with an annual tax bill of {drum roll} approximately $1,000.00. For details, contact your REALTOR, or just click here and then click the blue 7-digit "MLS" number.

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