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His battle could go on for years. If he wins a negotiated reduction, his assessment will be frozen for a year, so his next shot at cutting his assessment would come in 2014.
One Mamaroneck homeowner, whose 2,600 square foot ranch valued at $1 million sits near Winged Foot Golf Club, saw his assessment reduced to $754,000.
Gregory Romano II had high hopes when he appeared in June before the Greenburgh Board of Assessment Review. He'd just bought a four bedroom home in Edgemont for $580,000, which came with the unfathomable property tax bill of $36,500. The bill was based on the town assessor's determination that his house was worth $1.3 million.
so many homeowners overassessed, they've found considerable opportunity to make a living here.
in each town. Eastchester homeowners did even better, with 32 percent getting reductions.
"Anybody could have bought that house," Romano said. "It had been on the market for eight or nine months. I gave the assessment board the listing. I gave them the appraisal. I gave them the contract."
Romano's denial was the first round in a battle that could take years to resolve. One thing is sure: With the panel's denial, Romano's best case scenario would be a reduction of 25 percent, which could bring his yearly taxes down to about $27,000.
Valuing a house is tricky business. A tax bill of $36,500 is certain to depress a home's value, especially one like Romano's, with its 1960s kitchen and substantial renovation needs. Greenburgh Assessor Edye McCarthy has questioned whether the sale was an arms length transaction, which Romano will have to prove in his upcoming negotiation.
At issue is whether Romano's $580,000 purchase price reflects the property's fair market value. That's the foundation on which a fair property tax system is based. Romano said he found the house in an ad that listed it for $650,000. He bargained his way to $580,000, which was verified in an appraisal needed to secure his mortgage.
Romano was among 3,300 Greenburgh property New Balance White Shoes
owners who sought lower assessments this year, representing 12 percent of the town's parcels. Romano had plenty of company in his denial. Only 15 percent of those who filed grievances won reductions. Chances were better in Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, with about a quarter winning lower assessments New Balance Images
Homeowners who fight assessments can face long war
The empty nester said he used the services of David Ruzow, president of Granite Real Estate Tax Consultants of Pleasantville, to make his case. Granite is among the growing number of companies that find prospects through direct mail. With the region's tax assessment roles so outdated, and New Balance Men's Minimus 20v3 Training Shoe
For Romano, the denial was a rude welcome to the Lower Hudson Valley's arcane world of property valuations, which get set by municipalities that have failed to update their assessments for decades and rely on state calculations of market value to determine real estate value. It's an inexact science.
The assessment board, however, provided no solace to the 27 year old electrical engineer. The board denied his request, and instructed him, if he chose, to pursue his claim through the state court system's Small Claims Assessment Review process.
The grievance procedure is an annual spring rite that brings a ruling in September. But that decision be it a reduction or a denial is typically not the final word. Homeowners then can seek redress through the Small Claims Assessment Review process, in which applicants end up negotiating with their town assessor for a lower value and its holy grail: lower property taxes.
The home, however, is in the desirable Edgemont school district, and several of his neighbors live in homes valued at more than New Balance For Babies $1 million.
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