GREENBURGH, N.Y. – For the first time in more than half a century, Greenburgh homeowners may be getting a property value adjustment.
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said last week that the town is taking steps to perform a property revaluation, which would be Greenburgh’s first since the mid-1950s.
“We’re not playing games,” Feiner said Thursday in a meeting with Edgemont community leaders. “We said we’re going to do it, and we’re going to do it.”
Designed to reassess properties throughout the town and reset them to more fairly reflect current market values, a revaluation is typically expected to increase one-third of taxpayers' bills, maintain one-third where they are and slightly decrease the remaining third.
The hope is that doing a revaluation would help limit the millions of dollars the town and the school and fire districts lose every year in tax certiorari refunds – reimbursements paid to property owners who challenged their assessments.
“Doing this, it would stop the bleeding,” Feiner said.
The supervisor said he has been in talks with Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano about the possibility of conducting a joint revaluation. Feiner said working with Yonkers could shave as much as 15 percent off the town’s costs, which he estimated could be around $4 million.
The supervisor is also planning to send letters this week to nearly every municipality in Westchester County, urging them to undertake the process at the same time.
A group effort may even persuade the reluctant county government to hop on board, Feiner said, and lessen the fear of political consequences for local officials who push the process forward.
“If Greenburgh and Yonkers do this, it would put the pressure on everyone else and would make it less of a political issue,” he said.
Two municipalities, Rye and Pelham, have reassessed in the past two years. A few, including Mamaroneck, are pushing ahead, but many other municipalities have not reassessed properties in decades, giving Westchester County some of the most out-of-date assessments in the state.
At a community forum last week, Edgemont residents urged the town to undertake the process as quickly as possible.
“Reassessment is killing my school district and hurting me indirectly in my pocketbook,” civic leader Bob Bernstein said at the forum, noting that school taxes make up 60 percent of his tax bill.
But it may be awhile before Greenburgh’s revaluation actually happens, Town Assessor Edye McCarthy warned. She said her office currently has only PDF and paper documents, and would have to digitize the town’s data before the process could begin.
“We have been working, really hard, but it’s been slow,” she said.