Tax Grievance Day Comes to Pound Ridge

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Tuesday was Tax Grievance Day in Pound Ridge, affording homeowners the opportunity to challenge their assessed property values in hopes of lowering their tax bills.

Town Assessor Carole Long said Pound Ridge doesn’t set appointments for those who want to go before the Board of Assessment Review.

“Only walk-ins are accepted, and it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis from 4 to 8 p.m.,” she said

Long said the number of those seeking an audience with the board varies and can be affected by such things as the real estate market and the economy.

“We get anywhere from around eight to 30, depending upon the year,” Long said, adding that she didn’t know what to expect this year.

While the town has seen a trend in declining assessed values over the past three years, Long said it has yet to affect the town’s finances.

The impact “is not very much when you consider what is happening in other towns,” she said. “One reason may be we don’t have the same number of commercial properties as some of these towns. Plus, my values don’t have a lot of discrepancies. They are for the most part very accurate.”

In 2008, the town saw assessed values decrease by $1.1 million, which translated to a 2009 tax revenue loss of $13,567. In 2009, the assessments decreased $1.4 million for a revenue loss of $17,358 in 2010. In 2010, assessed value losses jumped to $1.8 million, which meant a $22,188 revenue drop in 2011.

Long said that when assessment rolls drop, the Town Board has to make up for the lost revenue. That can be done by increased tax rates or taking money from the fund balance.

“It has to be picked up,” she said. “If the Town Board needs a million dollars, it’s going to get a million dollars.”

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